Some Comfort, Apparently

  • “The Scriptures tell us to redeem the time (see Ephesians 5:15-16). Time and life go hand in hand. Both are very precious. Often when I’m driving my car I’m tempted to put on some music that makes me feel good. Some secular music can do that. Instead, I tell Siri to pull up the Psalms on YouTube, and I listen to God‘s Word instead. That does more than make me feel good. It taps me into the eternal, and redeems precious time. (Ray Comfort)”

Ray is an apologist who sometimes goes on a street corner and tries to convert people he meets. In this case, he interestingly talks about listening to something that “does more than make me feel good. It taps me into the eternal.” Unfortunately, there is no such animal. Feeling contact with the numinous is very real, in that you are experiencing something, but it is a trick the mind is playing on itself by reaching out and finding itself, not contacting a divine Other. If we play a favorite gospel song over and over we note that it goes from presencing numinously to presencing irritatingly merely through repetition. This led Nietzsche to conclude we killed God. Something similar happens in boredom when we experience boringness as a trait of the book like plot, setting, theme, and characters, even though we know the next person need not experience it as boring. The Greek poet Homer expressed this when he said the gods don’t appear to everyone in their fullness (enargeis). And so, the mansion may be presencing beautifully to me, but gaudy to the next person. The mind actively reaches out in this way, and so if I hear a living thing at my feet only to look down and see it is rustling dead leaves in the wind, we see that this mis-taking shows our everyday relation to the world is the mind taking-as and reaching out and finding itself. Ek-static or being outside of oneself was a common Greek word: ekstatikon

Still, good for Ray for finding something that redeems his precious time!