Monday, 27 July 2015

λόγος and Logic

"In the Beginning was the Word".

And so John appropriates the first of the three Genesis creation myths and makes it all about Christ. And weaves the beginning of the world into the story of salvation. All the way from the back to the front.

I heard someone refer to the story of our lives yesterday as a "poem". That makes sense - the "Word" is interacting with your life - sustaining you, describing you, surrounding you, defining you - because how can anyone be described except in relation to another? The Word spells out your life - turns it into a poem. It's not simple narrative - because there's so much in there that you don't understand, can't describe. It's too multi-threaded. Too much you don't actually know about yourself. And when you can't quite put your finger on what's going on, poetry is what describes things so much more precisely than prose. It doesn't need to get it nailed.

And then the Word doesn't just tell the tale of your life. We are, after all, not individualists here. The Word tells the story of everyone's life. And there's a poem there for all - from the shortest ode, to the length of an Icelandic Edda, but each one formed as the Word sings to everyone, upholds them, takes the measure of their life and sets it to the lyrics of the universe. 

The Logos goes beyond just "word". The Logos is the truth underlying reality - the log-ic of life. The logic that sets out the rules of physics - that holds the stars in their paths, not through some bizarre rending of the law of Physics as an alien entity, but rather defines their paths, through velocity, mass and gravity as the most natural thing in the universe. The Word speaks the rules of life, the presurre of a light beam, the way four hydrogen atoms combine and glow as they step their way towards helium, If, as in Tolkien's Silmarillion, the story of the universe is a song, then the Word provides the bass line - and the baseline - forming the structure of the song, keeping the melody in place, shaping and driving forward and holding it all together.

And the Logos takes the music of the universe, and the poems of our lives - all of them, from the shortest to the longest - and weaves them into the song of Creation. All the highlights, all the dark, slow passages, From the frequency of gamma rays as the top notes down to all the depths of the darkness of space, All the joy, beauty, tragedy and lost-ness, yearning and love stories woven together into a symphony. Each of us bringing our own meaning and picking up our own lyrics.

And then the maker of the rules of sound became the lead soloist in the symphony he created. His melody picks out your line - highlights it - weaves around it and fits your words. Even the notes you fluff and the words you forget. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

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