Sunday, June 26, 2011

Chasing After the Rainbow--A Parable

Naming in order the  seven colors of the rainbow, our columnist in the Catholic Times recalls from his school days that if the light waves were either longer or shorter we would not see the beauty of the rainbow. Each color has its special  place in the rainbow but its relationship with the others is indistinct. How far do the colors extend is impossible to determine but they all make up the rainbow.

The writer  gives us this as a  parable  of our present 'reality' and  'ideal' relationship. The colors of the rainbow melt into each other and yet are separate.The writer wants us to see our present reality and ideal  relating in this way.

Reality and the ideal  are joined together as the colors of the rainbow, in a way that each has its own domain. As a writer he has to prepare his manuscripts if he is to make his living; take the children to school for their exam; these actions are part of the here and now.  In the mix are the thoughts that precede these  actions. Thoughts may be part of the near or distant future, but they are moving and giving direction to the  present reality.

When giving a brief talk at a celebration or a memorial when numbers or quantities are mentioned the audience does not seem to be paying attention, but they are all ears. If he mentions how much he makes  during a month, the audience begins comparing the figure to what they receive: "I am doing better than he is."Hearing a figure larger makes the listener want  to do something to change the reality. On the other hand, when you say something  that can't be refuted, concerning a  model for  good living that fits reality and hits home, everybody is apparently listening  but nobody is interested, and they forget quickly. A defense reaction takes over--people don't like to be taught.

When we very minutely look at some reality, one of its kind, according to the subjective mentality of the individual the boundaries of  what is being viewed seem to oscillate. When we go back into history this is even more evident.  Imagination comes into play and we often see a  mirage.

Present reality, actuality, present condition, real life are items  opposite to  desire, ideal,  dream, myth, and fiction. Concerning the boundary lines between them  he quotes a poet who  said that ' what is real begins to become myth and  lies become history.'

The writer asks the readers, whether the parable  of the rainbow as an explanation of reality and the ideal, succeeds. The parable of the rainbow is beautiful  beyond dispute. Living is difficult, cold, sad, living with pollution, contamination facing death, and yet we are taking one step at a time towards the  beauty that is beckoning us. The ideal directs reality, the ideal that is rooted in the present. He concludes with the words of another poet, Wordsworth in his  poem 'Rainbow':   'The child is the father of the man.'   

Translating this vague and philosophical article  was without  doubt done poorly, but since there were certain thoughts the writer expressed which were interesting and primed the mind, it appears above with apologies to the columnist.

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