Monday, December 22, 2008

The Open Secret

Gelen esinleme 5
Ama ne gökte, ne yeryüzünde, ne de yer altında tomarı açıp içine bakailecek kimse yoktu. O zaman acı acı ağlamaya başladım. Çünkü tomarı açmaya ve işine bakmay layık kimse bulunamadı.
Have you ever had a dream where you were confronted with a mystery, some key of cosmic significance, that would miraculously transform your situation? Then you wake up, and can't remember what the big secret insight was?[1]

Let's look at a few words:
  • gök -- heaven. gökte -- in heaven
  • yer -- earth. place. yüz -- face. yeryüzünde -- on earth.
  • altında -- under
  • tomar -- scroll.
  • layık -- worthy
  • acı -- bitter. bitterly. acı acı -- extremely bitterly.
No one can accuse the writer of this book of concealing his emotions. As Jimmie Hollandsworth pointed out, the imagery in Esinleme is cartoon-like. Bold colors, loud noises, hard-edged images. In this chapter, he sees something that makes him weep bitterly. The most important information in the universe, the key to everything else, is sealed -- with seven seals. And nobody can be found who is worthy to break the seals, and release the vast resources this document conveys.[2]

What's the meaning of it all? Or as Michael Caine plaintively asks in the final, memorable shot of the movie Alfie, "What's it all about?"

The riddle of "life, the universe, and everything" is right there -- in front of the writer -- and inaccessible. Frustration enough to make anyone weep.

Ah, but as the chapter unfolds, One is found who is worthy to break the seals. I'm reminded of how Paul inverted the meaning of the word "mystery." Before his time, esoteric cults, mystery religions, flourished in the Roman empire. Something in us relishes secrets, as long as we're the ones who know them! Today, grown men get together to play "let's pretend" in Masonic lodges around the world. The word "mystery," in fact, comes from the Greek word "mystes," initiate. Someone who has completed the ordeal and been initiated into the secret knowledge of the order. Paul, however, asserted that the biography of one Man, Jesus of Nazareth, was the open secret, the key to unlocking all the riddles of life.

My prayer for those who read this blog is for you, too, to find out "what's it all about," and not be left as clueless as Alfie at the end of your story.


[1] I had a nightmare sometime in the 1990's, during which I was working on a PhD dissertation that would bless many people, and help them get a grip on their lives, their hopes, their destiny, their culture. In my dream, I experienced rich satisfaction in the course of performing intensely meaningful work. The nightmare component? I knew that I was dreaming, not actually doing it ... back then!

[2] Oh, yes. It's a legal document, a will. Back then, a man on his deathbed would call seven friends, each of whom would affix his wax seal to the rolled-up will. Upon his demise, the seven friends would convene again. Each would examine the seal, and testify that it was intact. The will was valid. It has not been tampered with.

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