Friday, March 11, 2005

Invisibility

While I took an airplane trip to Manila, my attention was drawn to the propeller of that plane, I noticed that once it turned faster and faster, I became invisible. At the moment of invisibility, that airplane gained the strength and the power to burst the plane into the sky.

Still wanting to increase the strength and the speed of the vehicle, man totally case away the propeller and introduced a new version of an aircraft, a jet-propelled.

The more invisible a thing becomes the more power it asserts.

I remember in a Philosophy class, a philosopher asked this question, “How many angels can dance at the tip of a needle?” At first sight the question seems a joke and nonsense. But today that question is not a joke; it is valid, relevant question because in the discovery of the microchip used n the computer, a thousand volumes of books can be placed and stored in a tiny disc of a computer.

A huge volume like a library when reduced to invisibility by microchip can fit into a tiny disc of the computer.

The invisibility factor is the substratum of all forms of existence—in nature, in Philosophy, in the sciences and in religious life.

In nature, there are elements which are invisible to the naked eye, and being invisible, they are the source of power, speed and development. Some can be mentioned here: the air, the solar ray, the vitamins, the sound wave, the electric wave in the atmosphere, the magnetic force, the X-ray, the laser, the fertilizer, the atom, the microchip of the computer. All these are invisible, constant, renewable, ubiquitous.

Invisibility is a discipleship-demand of Christ: “If you want to follow me, deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me. For it you choose to save your life you lose it; and if you lose your life for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel, you will save it.” (Mk. 8:34).

Self-denial, bearing the cross—all these will amount to losing our life and when done for his sake and for the sake of “Thy kingdom Come” we gain invisibility, the power to pass through the “narrow gate.”

Of the married Christians their vow of “until death do us part”, losing and saving. Of the priest, they vow of “you are a priest forever…according to Thy will be done” is losing and saving.

The plants too are not exempted; they have self-denial or build-in control system. If the corn were to grow without stopping, it the trees grow without limit, if one season the rice would choose to bear eggplant, what a calamity it would be, greater than that of the earthquakes.

When Christ compared us to a “salt of the earth” He means that we should humble, be mixed, get lost, be invisible for this is the only way to give taste, to give salvation. Again when He said we are the “yeast” he means the same: When He said that “when our right hand is doing good, don’t let the3 left hand know,” He means, be invisible for the “Father who knows in secret will reward you in secret.”

I the salt and the yeast were to insist on holding back their visibility, they would not do any good. If man were to insist on his visibility by self-serving style of salvation, by egoism, pride and greediness, he is worse than unused salt and yeast.

In fact man in insisting on his visibility; by egoism, pride and greed he grows towers, antenna, missiles, cities, “tower of Babel” on the mountains rather than a forest. On the meadows, he weeds the grasses and the flowers, and plants pistols, revolvers, armalites, land mines. And our rivers run dry, deadly silent. And the crocodiles have to come out to seek places in the offices. The monkey, without the vines cling to take refuge in the casinos, in the pleasure-relax-entertainment centers. And the little birds and the eagles have to leave the sky to give way to the flying machine: the fighter planes, the laser beams, the satellites, the cosmonaut, the astronaut. The beautiful galaxies of stars will become the setting of the deadly Star War.

The visibility of egoism, pride and greediness will result to procurement of a wider area of matter or increase of material possession. The wider the area of matter acquired, the wider will be the contact-surface for friction and resistance. The wider the friction-resistance, the wider target-area it becomes for vulnerability and corruptibility. No wonder, in a materialistic society the “state security” by building up weapons of death is a doctrine. Within this doctrine, the nation, through education/cultural system and the mass media is mobilized to guard as a security police of a corruptible materiality. It is in this line of thinking that a very fat budget is apportioned for the manufacturing of war machines.

Christ was once visible by incarnation, but His invisibility was completely opposit4e to that of man. He was humble, self-emptying to the point that He was misunderstood, betrayed, denied and nailed to the cross. Indeed his visibility was powerlessness.


But once Christ assumes His invisibility by resurrection and ascension. He asserts the Absolute Power to save mankind and assured us of his continued protection, the way he meant when he said, “Behold I am with yiou all days until the end of time.”

Christ must continue His invisibility—His power to maintain the flight of mankind toward eternity. One way, is the continued presence of the Invisible one—the Holy spirit. The other way is by SIGN—the Sacraments.

The Holy Spirit and the Signs are the essentials of the believing community—the Church. As Exupery puts in his book The Little Prince, “What is essential is invisible to the eye.”

2 comments:

Lucie said...

Thank you, I enjoyed this post, it made me think. I like your image of the propeller becoming invisible as the power increases.
I also think that growing as a Christian mostly means making more space for God, becoming smaller and more invisible. And even if I know this, it can be very scary, and I resist, unfortunately.
All blessings, and thank you for blogging.

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