Sunday, March 27, 2011

Liturgically Dominated Synapses misfirings.

So maybe it's the organic chemistry or boredom or maybe it's the thrill of 2012, all I know is I sat there thinking, doing my level best to stop, but my brain had other ideas. Several at once. Jumping around like I had nothing better to do. Sometimes I wonder if our brain is like a room full of unruly toddlers, all in potential danger, not heeding anything you say and all going in different directions. But for some reason, amongst the varied thoughts of: my O-Chem lab partner becoming the next Chemistry professor @ ASU, a loosely formulated plan to hike (yardwork) on South Mountain, wondering whether or not (I need new shoes) to get a coffee, contemplating SN1 and ("Friday, Friday" by Rebecca Black sounds like "Baby, Baby" by everybody's favorite Beiber) SN2 reactions and considering if it was too early to (chocolate muffin) return a phone call; the following thought occurred to me: if you say "get a coffee", as opposed to, say "get some coffee", you are probably going to get a foo-foo drink. Think about it, “I'm gonna get some coffee.” Your going to just have coffee. But if you say "Let's go get a coffee", you have a little more specific aim.

Okay, that's actually not the thought I was having at all. I mean it was, but not the one I was talking about in the first place.

The thought was, if I can remember it: In cultures in which reincarnation is prevalent, there is also a caste system. You are stuck (I just googled for like 20 minutes and then came back to this spot) for your whole life. Hope is that you will come back in a higher level of the caste next time. Contrast that with a culture like the United States where there is a concept that all are equal at birth, but can achieve hierarchical success through one's own skills, talents and pursuits (whether you believe this idea is exactly true or not is up to you). This is the same culture that produced the church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints. Make your own conclusions.

Unamended Christianity, or at least sects of Christianity old enough to be witness to the genesis of America, have similar concepts of one’s personal skills and pursuits affecting the afterlife outcome (save Calvinistic branches - which could be seen as a bridge between the previously stated Christianity cultural impacts and the ramifications of reincarnation religions in caste systems). This leaves me with a "chicken v egg" conundrum.

You can easily suppose that the various religions and cultures work to reinforce and evolve each other, in some cases the religion propagating cultural concepts and in other cases, the evolution of the culture giving birth to the religion (ie., LDS). One could certainly see the ideals of Christianity in the US Constitution: "All men are created equal" trumping the early Jewish notion that the sins of ancestors have a direct and proportional affect on the life and afterlife of the present generation. As ideologies sanctified by (or less condescendingly put "advocated by") the Republican party self-perpetuate notions that one’s lot is caste solely by their own action, you can see the reinforcement of the Christian ideals. One could also imagine, as human society left to this Christian/Darwinian ideology will inevitably develop its own hierarchy, that a religion born and steeped in this culture would emphasize its connotations into its own framework. Here I return to LDS which supposes an afterlife hierarchy otherwise missing from the Christian canon (or at least not so prominently featured).

In conclusion, I would like to say: coffee is delicious. I hate O-Chem. And I like turtles. Anybody want to go hiking?

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