The Hallelujah Chorus


F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote about a couple of kids from Saint Paul. Basil and Josephine. One hundred years late, I lived in his neighborhood. The stories in this setting seemed very real, amidst the Victorian mansions out the window. I had an excitement in reading his stories. Stories which in Minnesota were so near.

Summit Xmas There was a realness of the story of Basil and Josephine. About the promise. In good times. Stories about wealth. By this writer of the Lost Generation. The lost wealth in the gravity ridden world of the Promise of the 1920s.

Isaac Newton, in Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, investigated the motion of many physical objects, within the solar system. Newton’s first law is called the law of inertia. Me and 2009. In this economy, it was not so bad. The laws of gravity often cause crashes. From a risk management perspective, I have been safe. A moving object will not change its velocity until a net force acts upon it.

Net forces. It was 16 years ago. I passed a Bosnian woman in Munich, a refugee who had escaped war torn Yugoslavia in 1993. I gave her some change. She was not happy with my donation. More recently, a young woman in the Philippines who wanted to be home at Christmas asked for $100. A hundred dollars! The human response was to ignore such a request, especially when you could not do anything of significance. There were just too many people claiming need. The internal stress. So many refugees. Too many needs. So many wars.

Aristotle had taught that heavy objects like rocks wanted to be at rest on the Earth. Galileo’s rock philosophy was that force acting on a body determines acceleration, not velocity. Using Galileo’s rock philosophy, Isaac Newton had come up with his first law: the law of inertia where no force means no acceleration, and hence the body will maintain its velocity. Newton’s second law was that a force applied to a body produces a proportional acceleration. Or more simply, an object that is not moving will not move until a force acts upon it. It was curling season, and I subscribed to this rock philosophy. “To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” In this war torn economy. In real estate. On Wall Street, this seemed to address why one day those indexes were up. A moving object will not change its velocity until a net force acts upon it. Buyers looking for sellers.

Newton’s third law was the law of reciprocal actions. Newton described 329 years ago a relationship between the forces acting on a body and the motion of that body. Was this Newton’ view on his own marriage? F and -F are equal in magnitude and opposite in direction. Newton explained whenever a first body exerts a force F on a second body, the second body exerts a force -F on the first body.

Brute force. The physics within the solar system. Today. Centrifugal force and gravity. Where was the world moving? About force, momentum, and position. Me and planetary motion. This is it. My position, in real events, with human life. The conversation back and forth – the questioning from the Judaic culture, in the search for answers. The questioning of God, in prayer. The Messianic Secret. To keep people in mystery, not understanding identities and what is going on. Yet, the excitement.

The physics. About the excitement in the physics at work in my life. Inside forces. Outside forces. With established frames of reference. There is a spiritual physics connected to Kepler’s laws of planetary motion. About force, momentum, and position. When an imposed force applied to a body produced a proportional acceleration.

Prayer and the spiritual physics:  Have you even been considered to have been in a position of power? When someone thought you could do something to help them? Someone who might not have been taught the the law of inertia. Even when there was no reason to give money to a stranger on the street. When you had no way to know how your philanthropy would be spent. When you never knew what was inside the person asking – but some times guessed.

As if I had enough money – or power – to help every passer-by who asked. SumitXmas2

To believe that I can still change the world. The excitement, in the season of excitement over the mystery. Not much older than Basil and Josephine, I had met a Filipina this week who was a bus trip away from home. Only she was real. She was 18, and she could not afford the twenty-five dollars to make the trip for Christmas. Her father had died within the previous 11 months. Yesterday, I gave her the twenty-five dollars to get home. She was stunned.

Christmas. Most of us absolutely desired relationships that stirred something from within. Those gifts within that most people had not figured out yet what was inside.

Real events. Amid all the stresses, there is the gift of human life. Amid all of the stress of those with whom we shared intimacy. Somewhere inside…there is proportional acceleration from holiness. With a spiritual physics, that these people were holy — or tried to be. The attempt to find some holiness, even if for a short time.

When the practice is over. About Handel’s Messiah. Real significance came when The Hallelujah Chorus was sung with a reverence by those human voices sounding so divine to an audience that had the same reverence for the meaning. The excitement was now, with others who had somehow in this world shared the same purpose in the Hallelujah Chorus. For people most dear to me. To those with whom I shared belief – that my life in the gravity ridden world has significance.

In the world outside my window, I found an excitement in the law of reciprocal actions, in an accelerated propulsion from holiness toward other people who had somehow in this world found the same meaning – that these people tried to be holy, even for a short time. When so many people, like heavy objects, like rocks, wanted to be at rest. Amidst all of the stresses out there over relationships, the mystery while undergoing an equal change based upon the law of reciprocal actions. The law of motion combined with the law of universal gravitation affected real human lives, communally in the Hallelujah Chorus, but also somewhere inside. In this whodunnit, slowly unwrapped at this time of year.

The realness, not sensed from an artificial intelligence, like on the internet or on television. The impact amidst all the stresses humbly affecting human lives, in this shared intimacy. Newton showed how laws of motion, combined with his law of universal gravitation affected real events, when heavy objects like rocks –or like me — wanted to be at rest. The excitement amidst all the stresses in this setting from those with whom we shared intimacy was in this story. Yes, the excitement was now.

Merry Christmas from Saint Paul, Minnesota.

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