East and West In Christ

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Uncertainty and Mystery

As I was watching and reverencing the elements of consecration during the Great Entrance of the Divine Liturgy on Sunday I suddenly was aware of the meaning of Heisenberg's Principle of Uncertainty. An odd thought, you may wonder, given the context. Actually, I was remembering a discussion with Dr. Hawksteeple as to exactly when the elements are transubstantiated. He had made the wonderful point that it was very Western to ask "when"; he offered the uncertainty that the transubstantiation could have "already" occurred by the epiclesis.

The problem is the paradox I create by trying to apply a (Western) filter of sequential time to an eternal event that is viewed through transubstantion. This is similar to the paradox Heisenberg uncovered, except he was thinking of location--that hitting an atomic particle with a photon (to "see" it) changes the position of the particle, so I can not be certain where it is even when I "see" it.

Part of my "breathing with both lungs" is learning to view the world in other ways than the Western way of locating things in four dimensions, which frees me to "see" the eternal in this world. I find this difficult because I don't like to feel uncertain about the world I construct around me--a poverty, no?

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