Eschatological Laundry List
I stare at it, eyes narrowing, imaging I can coerce the word into revealing its meaning through a hard-gawk. (And before I know it I’ve lost several minutes of my life, a serious allocation of the seconds I have left) Perhaps, in the end, proving only that I still believe in magic.
In olden times we used to have to haul out the tome-of-wordy-wisdom I drawl, my children regarding me with an air of cretaceous-ness that may, or may not, be deserved. Obviously its easier these days I continue. Still, I like to make a prediction, (as to its meaning) since I usually have context.
And one day I might even get it right.
I try to soothe my ego by reminding myself (and sometimes those around me) that English isn’t my first language. Ha ha. Which, although technically true, (I spoke German before I spoke English) the franca lingua of my mind has most certainly been (through blunt force trauma) anglicized.
Although yesterday I fumbled and smashed a mug from the drying rack and clicking my fingers at my wife (as one does) it suddenly dawned on me that only the Teutonic word for what I wanted would come to mind. “Scoop-thing-with-the-brush” is the best I could eventually do. (In German its a ‘Handfeger und Schaufel’).
‘Dustpan?’, comes the arched eyebrow riposte, ‘YES!’, ‘Dustpan!’. Which… when I think about it… is a much more economic effort with ones alphabet. Germans, notoriously austere in every other aspect of their lives, like to get really crazy with their word-salad. Probably why we lost the war (Panzerkampfwagen for example, versus the much slimmed down and efficient ‘tank’) … and also kicking things off by bifurcating Poland, which you know, upset everyone.
In any event. Eschatology
the part of theology concerned with death, judgement, and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind.
… not really in the lexicon of common usage or pub vernacular.
Last night I picked up and paged through my dog eared and well worn copy of ‘If you Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him!’ by Sheldon B. Kopp. It’s a book I’ve often copied paragraphs from, although its not a book I’d ever recommend; it’s heavy on the Judaeo-Christian psychobabble, and the authors syntax and font choice really grind me1… BUT there are parts of it I REALLY like.
 more so even than the liberal use of the Oxford comma irritates me, I mean as superfluous grammar goes, that’s got to be right up there, surely?
On the final page of the epilogue before the Chapter notes is an ‘Eschatological Laundry List’. Its actually pretty good.
I record it here for (my own) posterity.
- This is it!
- There are no hidden meanings
- You can’t get there from here, and besides there’s no place else to go.
- We are all already dying, and we will be dead for a long time.
- Nothing lasts.
- There is no way of getting all you want.
- You can’t have anything unless you let go of it.
- You only get to keep what you give away.
- There is no particular reason why you lost out on some things.
- The world is not necessarily just. Being good often does not pay off and there is no compensation for misfortune.
- You have a responsibility to do your best nonetheless.
- It is a random universe to which we bring meaning.
- You don’t really control anything.
- You can’t make anyone love you.
- No one is any stronger or any weaker than anyone else.
- Everyone is, in his own way, vulnerable.
- There are no great men.
- If you have a hero, look again: you have diminished yourself in some way.
- Everyone lies, cheats, pretends
- All evil potential vitality in need of transformation.
- All of you is worth something, if you will own it.
- Progress is an illusion
- Evil can be displaced but never eradicated, solutions breed new problems.
- Yet it is necessary to keep on struggling toward solution
- Childhood is a nightmare.
- But it is so very hard to be an on-your-own, take-care-of-yourself-cause-there-is-no-one-else-to-do-it-for-you grown-up.
- Each of us is ultimately alone.
- The most import things, each man must do for himself.
- Love is no enough, but it sure helps.
- We have only ourselves, and one another. That may no be much, but that’s all there is.
- How strange, that so often, it all seems worth it.
- We must live within the ambiguity of partial freedom, partial power and partial knowledge.
- All important decisions must be made on the basis of insufficient data.
- Yet we are responsible for everything we do.
- No excuses will be accepted.
- You can run, but you can’t hide.
- It is most important to run out of scapegoats.
- We must learn the power of living with our helplessness.
- The only victory lies in surrender to oneself.
- All of the significant battles are wages within the self.
- You are free to do whatever you like. You need only face the consequences.
- What do you know… for sure… anyway?
- Learn to forgive yourself, again and again and again and again…
I mean if you’re going to have the hubris to make a list about all things Eschatological (I copy and paste this from the top of the post, since I CBF to try and spell it) this list ain’t bad.
Its also one of those words that I’d be weary to say out loud.
I hate mispronouncing words. Gut-punches me right in the limbic system. I am constantly amazed that America isn’t mocked more for their butchering of words like ‘Aluminum’. And ‘Herbs’ by speakers of the original dialect.
I mean its’ probably because they’re scared of being carpet bombed. I laugh at my own joke. But you know, on the inside. So Alexa can’t hear me.