In other words, "now" shapes both the future and the past, and neither is any place you can visit.
You are free to change either the future or the past, but so is every other little bit of matter-energy in the universe, and this all collapses into a consensus of "now" which is the only thing that actually exists. There are probable pasts, and probable futures, but there isn't any "there" in the past or future to go to.
Wherever you are going, here you are, and wherever you've been, here you are. From our forward leaning cultural perspective which models the past as something immutable, an anchor of sorts in an incomprehensibly fluid universe, we say "Wherever you go, there you are."
This is a consequence of all things being energy. Energy doesn't experience time. You are energy, everything is energy, and it's all moving at the speed of light, which is the only "speed" of anything, no slower, no faster. What we see as energy, and what we see as mass, is all about perspective and relativity. The three dimensional universe + time we perceive is not the canvas upon which this universe is written.
Our perspective is a consequence of our genes and our evolution. There's no reason for minds like ours to comprehend anything not directly related to the propagation of our genes. Most of us have minds flexible enough to get beyond the simple model of a flat earth and a dome of the heavens; we can understand that the earth is spherical, and our planet is orbiting the sun, which orbits the central mass of the galaxy, etc., etc., etc. with all sorts of complications. But it's incredibly difficult for us to grasp non-intuitive things like how all the math of quantum physics, Special Relativity, Maxwell's Equations, etc., etc., fits together. There are various models of the universe, some better than others, but still no "Universal Theory of Everything," which may be beyond minds like ours for the simple reason that the universe is very big and we are very small.
Nope, I've never been physically removed from a church (unlike like my mom) but I still go with the attitude that I don't belong to the Church, the Church belongs to me and my community. If the Church hasn't yet been brave enough to ask me about that money they don't get from me, then I don't expect they ever will be.
I'm pretty sure they know.
My parents, and my wife's parents started using birth control after they'd birthed a few more kids than they could comfortably support. This was the 'sixties. After that they were birth control using heretics.
I'm pretty comfortable as a gay rights activist, father of only two kids, and overall heretic.
I've got a lot of the same feelings for the Church as I do the USA itself. It is an integral part of my community. Unlike the USA, I can pick and choose how I support the Church. If I stop paying my Federal taxes because I don't want them to spend my money on war then the IRS gets on my case. If I don't put any money in the collection basket, nobody asks. I'm utterly shameless about that.
I'm fortunate to live in a community with a somewhat liberal Church. I've lived in and visited places where the Roman Catholic (and even the Episcopal Churches) seem to be competing with the right wing fundamentalists to see how many people they can label as outcasts to throw under their Jesus bus. My parents used to live in a place like that. Attending Mass more than once or twice a year there was intolerable to anyone politically left of Bill O'Reilly or Newt Gingrich, even anyone still exercising half a brain. Mass was attended regularly by a bunch of Fox News watching fossils who held a secret suspicion that Vatican II was the work of Satan. My Italian great uncle, a guy who loved everyone, and everyone loved, a guy who had gay friends in Hollywood long before that was cool, a giving Christian in so many ways, got possibly the worst funeral ever. I can summarize in a single sentence paraphrasing what the fossil priest said, "This dude wasn't a good Catholic and is probably going to hell so be afraid and pray for your own soul."
Um, okay, Father. I'm not afraid of supporting civil rights and loving my neighbor. How about you? You could feel the whispering snark in the air, almost as bad as when one of my childhood friends married a fundy. "Obey your husband," the fundy preacher said. Nope, that ain't going to happen in this matriarchal community. Little do you know, husband, your bow hunting days are over. You're going to be a vegetarian like your wife. And it was so. One of my brothers ended up in a similar situation, but fortunately surfing wasn't a sin in her religion. My brother surfs while his wife and kids ride horses.
This poor Priest didn't last long at my great uncle's wake. Everyone was drinking and laughing and being very Irish. After Father left a few virgins may have been lost. If it happened in my great uncle's strawberry patch or next to his bait worm farm then my great uncle is probably still laughing about it. If you are very quiet you might hear him.
Profile InformationName: Hunter
Current location: California
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 37,963
About hunterI'm a very dangerous fellow when I don't know what I'm doing.
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