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Topic: Why do we label.....

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Subject: Why do we label.....
Date Posted: 12/24/2008 8:51 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2007
Posts: 9,989
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that feeling....the feeling when our hearts sing, when we know there is something greater than ourselves, when we see the laws of nature at work and the beauty of all creatures astounds us--from the amazing flight of the hummingbird to the tricky, freaky looking fish at the bottom of the sea.  What is that label?  Is it religious?  God?  Divinity?  Or is it something random? 

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 12/24/2008 11:56 PM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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I think it's wanting there to be something more than just physical existence.  I think people have to name it to make themselves feel better.  They do so for many reasons - so they don't have to feel in control all of the time, so they can let go of responsibility, so they don't feel "alone", for comfort - so many reasons...

Date Posted: 12/26/2008 3:55 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2007
Posts: 527
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I think we do it in an attempt to better understand it. (Italics because the attempt doesn't mean you succeed.)

Date Posted: 1/5/2009 12:30 AM ET
Member Since: 12/25/2008
Posts: 79
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After the famous "for everything there is a season..." stanza in the Book of Ecclesiastes, the author talks about what he saw to be a mystical and un-nameable yearning that we experience when examine ourselves and see how finite we are as we exist in our routine lives, eating and working, and yet are surrounded by such a creation that begs to be named and understood.  Attributed to King Solomon, he says that God placed "eternity in our hearts" that we would desire to know more, but at the same time frustrated us in our finitude, that we must be satisfied with living out our daily lives always longing, but never capturing or possessing it...

Ecclesiastes 3:11-14: 

He has made everything appropriate in its time. 

He has also set eternity in their heart,

yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end. 

I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one's lifetime;

moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor--it is the gift of God.  

I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it,

for God has so worked that men should fear Him.

Date Posted: 1/5/2009 2:48 AM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2005
Posts: 5,091
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Why do we label it?  Because it makes it a heck of a lot easier to talk about than trying to write a paragraph about how it felt to look up into the sky watch SR-71 Blackbird make a low pass over the building, turn, fire the afterburners and soar away, making the most beautiful display that has ever been accomlished by any man-made object in history, presenting a spectacle that until that moment I had truly believed was limited to only natural objects like storm-created waves or redwoods or bolts of lightning, lifting me out of myself, making me cease to be aware of my own existence and instead focusing my mind outward to make me realize that I was a part of that airplane that was more than just an airplane just as I am part of that wave that is more than just a wave and part of that bolt of lightning that is more than just a bolt of lightning, an experience so moving and powerful that I remember it vividly after 20 years and think it was a crime that the SR-71 was retired from flight because more people should have that experience and remember that for all our flaws, humanity is also capable of making something so beautiful that it takes your breath away, so beautiful that the only explanation for it is that Kelly Johnson was touched by the same source of inspiration that Michaelangelo was touched by when creating David, that Da Vinci was touched by when creating the Mona Lisa, that Shakespeare was touched by when writing his sonnets, inspiring him to create something so beautiful that it cannot be expressed in words but only in a heart full of emotion and eyes full of tears.

We label because the preceding is not only an unmanageable run-on sentence, it's also just too darned much to say in casual, or not so casual, conversation.

Last Edited on: 1/5/09 2:52 AM ET - Total times edited: 1