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Legacy (Timothy Patitsis)

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Why do we so easily forget where we come from? Dr. Timothy Patitsis joins Henry again to chat about the affect of legacy on our lives through the language of standards, language diversity, being a melting pot or mosaic, legibility, Jane Jacob's tripartite society, algorithmic control and agency, sanctification and faith as an adventure. Michael Polanyi says that "a society which wants to preserve a fund of personal knowledge must submit to tradition". (48 min)


Conversations may be edited for clarity. (edit)

I'm from there 7,000 years ago

00:00 🕐Timothy: Yesterday was, the day after Julian calendar Christmas, so called old calendar, which is still the calendar kept in Bethlehem. So that's where they're celebrating Christmas. And I happened to be at the star market here and the guy behind the fish counter was chatting with me. It was very friendly. I said, where are you from? He said, where are you from? So my dad's from Greece. He said, I'm from there 7,000 years ago.

00:00 🕐Henry: Oh!

00:00 🕐Timothy: What an answer. Huh? I'm from there. 7,000 years ago. I said, Whoa.

00:00 🕐Henry: That's not something you would expect to hear

00:00 🕐Timothy: from your fishmonger. That's an old word. But anyway, yes. So tell me all about that. And he said. Well, we're Palestinian. And was it Sampson slew the Philistines? It's the same word the F and the pH. He says, but were Minoan civilization from Crete, which I think is older than the Greek civilization, it's not Greek. The European peoples all came from the North shores of the Caucasus flexi area, kind of Ukraine, Russia. Then the Greeks came through Hungary and then they came down and different waves and each wave spoke a different dialect and settled in different parts of Greece. And they learn from what was left of Minoan life and civilization. But that locked them into a conversation with the really old civilizations in the middle East. But yeah it was incredible that in that part of the world, somebody wants to locate their identity 7,000 years ago,

00:00 🕐Henry: Hmm that they would even think that way. That's true.

00:00 🕐Timothy: And I've sort of learned to think that way, but I think Greeks think that they do that. But I think compared to the actual middle East, like Syria, the persistence of subcultures is much deeper. And then if someone's like India, where the persistence of languages is much greater. It's the rainforest of human cultural diversity.

00:00 🕐Henry: The where are you from question.

00:00 🕐Timothy: Americans catch that. And what about Chinese, by the way? I've heard that until recently, even in one city, there could be three or four spoken dialects of Chinese, even though the written language is the same.

00:00 🕐Henry: I am probably not the best person to answer. From my understanding there can be multiple spoken dialects in different cities. Any city has its own thing. The written is either the simplified or traditional characters, and I guess the government had to do something. A standardization process happened, which I guess ultimately was better for everyone because then it's like you can actually communicate with each other. From that point of view.

Legibility and Fractal Societies

00:00 🕐Henry: There's a concept called legibility that I've been learning about recently. There's a book called seeing like a state. Um, and the concept is viewing culture, society from the state, the government point of view and how that causes them to create policies or just act in a way that is in their interest, so that it's easier to see things from a big picture, but might not be always good. It's just one view of how society works.

00:00 🕐Henry: And so one of the examples, I think it was talking about the forestry industry, getting wood from the trees. In the regular forest, there's like a diversity of different tree types, plants, animals and the whole ecosystem. Then you get the wood from that, but then from an engineering point of view because it made it efficient to get the wood, oh, what if we started planting trees in a grid or something? This is similar to like the high modernist view of cities. But it was not very resilient because some disease happened and all the tree, cause they were the same type of tree, they all died.

00:00 🕐Henry: It doesn't mean it has to be a machine. Sort of like in the last podcast City as Liturgy, right? As a biological, dynamic thing versus a static.

00:00 🕐Timothy: I've heard that about Turkey. At a Turks, the father of modern Turkey that he aspired to create the first truly modern state in the world, by which my professor meant there'd be no fractal quality to society.

00:00 🕐Timothy: There would just be the individual and the state. Yeah, no middle layers. And so of course the big act there was to abolish the use of an Arabic style script for the writing of Turkish. Cause that meant with a stroke of an act of the parliament, all subsequent Turks could not read anything of their own historical inheritance.

00:00 🕐Timothy: Even to this day, when I'm in Turkey with my students and we have a local Turkish guide, although he's a Orthodox Christian, when we're in ancient cemeteries, simple Turks from the hinterlands will come to him plaintively and say, can you help us read what's on these tombstones?

00:00 🕐Timothy: Cause it's all in the Arabic script and no one has learned to read that. It's interesting this people are so worried about the loss of biodiversity and ecosystems. They say what cures to cancer may we lose? Or with the loss of species around whatever medicines, but languages are vanishing. I don't know if we've talked about that last time.

00:00 🕐Henry: Yeah, they don't understand why things exist in a certain way until they decide to kind of destroy. Once those people are gone and they didn't pass that down, then we're never going to be able to understand it, it'd be a very difficult.

00:00 🕐Timothy: Their thought worlds will become, it's like I experience the shift from trying to speak modern Greek. What that brings out in my personality character versus if I'm speaking Russian or German or English. And as I go through those languages, a different side of me that comes out. I mean, that's just four languages, but they used to say 25,000 languages in the world and we're down to 10,000 so what, what are we losing? Where's the urgency about recording those or somehow capturing.

00:00 🕐Henry: Going back to this thing of legacy, right?

00:00 🕐Timothy: Yeah. Like the seed bank up in Norway or something like that. The Lake Toba eruptions in 75,000 years ago, when they say produced this a thousand years of global cooling and almost exterminated homosapiens down like a thousand of us in Africa, and they broken into groups, didn't know about each other and all that.

00:00 🕐Timothy: But just even from that point till now, it took us 75,000 years to develop those 20,000 languages and they're going to be wiped out. And Marx was very wise on this. He saw this would be this extrapation of human cultural diversity and through capitalism.

Melting Pots and Mosaics

00:00 🕐Henry: In tech, you focus on future, not really caring about preserving the past. A new interest in open source and maintenance as a concept is related to this idea of archival and in this case, trying to preserve it forever. Not just like keep it around, but how do we make sure that we can continue to have access to it. We don't really think about that cause they're always trying to push to the next thing.

00:00 🕐Timothy: I know there's different kinds of emotional anxiety, but at least on some metric, Canada is a less anxious society than the United States. There, instead of the melting pot, their metaphor is mosaic. Government resources are available. If your church is a German Lutheran church and you want to establish a German book library that there's federal resources for that, they want to keep the mosaic alive.

00:00 🕐Henry: And then the melting pot is basically we're all kind of one

00:00 🕐Timothy: I can't trust anyone who's different. I've got to obliterate the difference, and then we're good.

00:00 🕐Henry: Assimilation to this ideal, but we don't really know what that is. I would hope that's true in the church, like we all preserve our individualism, but then we all have that shared something, right?

00:00 🕐Timothy: Right. I mean, that's the miracle of Pentecost and Babel. All those languages was confusion, but in Pentecost, so many languages, but somehow,

00:00 🕐Henry: everyone understood in their own language, right?

00:00 🕐Timothy: Yeah. Somehow the diversity was coincided with unity, whereas in a fallen world that look in the world of the state, like you said, the legibility. Diversity is the threat to unity.

00:00 🕐Henry: It's funny that I work on a project that's named Babel, so it's ironic that we're doing this.

Responding to Fences

00:00 🕐Henry: But I also read that the legibility concept doesn't have to be applying to state. It could be applied to a market or anything. Another concept that I've liked is Chesterton's Fence. So Chesterton wrote about this idea that you can apply it to any tradition or just something that was already there, like the fence.

00:00 🕐Henry: It's kind of like you're trying to go forward and you see there's a fence in your way. You just go through it, right? Why is this fence here? And so his point is that when you want to reform something, institution or culture, instead of simply getting rid of it, you should understand why it was put there in the first place before you get rid of it.

00:00 🕐Henry: That way, I know why this was there and I still choose to remove it because I've understood the original intent.. Realizing it was there for some purpose and maybe the negative would be that it was actually really good and you actually cause more harm than good. Maybe you could have gotten rid of the fence without knowing it turned out okay, but it's kind out of ignorance, right?

00:00 🕐Timothy: Yeah.

00:00 🕐Henry: so I guess this concept is more of like an active hutility that like I might not be right. Maybe be careful about it before I decide change change something, cautiousness.

00:00 🕐Henry: Facebook actually used to have this phrase called move fast and break things. It's interesting that we've embraced that kind of thinking.

00:00 🕐Timothy: Creative destruction.

00:00 🕐Henry: Maybe it's something we've embraced because of the digital space that we're in. There are no limits on like physical constraint, right? You can store as much as you want. Infinite disc space. That causes us to feel like we need to move faster or apply that to people instead of just machines.

00:00 🕐Timothy: Well Jane Jacobs by the the last 20 years of her life, she hit upon this ancient idea that all sides were tripartite and that there were three sort of modes of being in any society that actually had ethics were opposed or complimentary.

00:00 🕐Timothy: For commercial life, for trader ethic, you should be innovative. You should not respect authority or traditional. But she thought that governments should have this countervailing impact. And certainly then the church is something else entirely where hopefully religion can be enlisted almost anywhere as a force for compassion. Certainly that isn't necessarily the case.

00:00 🕐Henry: It doesn't have to be the case. We'd like it to be the case.

00:00 🕐Timothy: Wait a second here, let's preserve this subculture or this language. Let's not be so hasty. But we've created a system with no firewalls and their integrity is being overwhelmed, I think.

00:00 🕐Timothy: I mean, of the fence against pornography for example. Right? Very hard to maintain because there's so much you know, desire for it. And there's so much money at stake. Having obliterated that fast. What's the impact on family formation and just mental health?

00:00 🕐Henry: I guess there could be a fence that is really hard to take down that lot of people want to. And then also no one even realized there was a fence before cause it's been so long.

00:00 🕐Timothy: We'll see. So yeah, these things are gone now, and in what sense are we better off? You know, it's hard to say.

00:00 🕐Henry: I used to, it's easy to see things always black and white, but even the changes that have occurred in society, there's always finding that reason, not that it's, everything's always all good or all bad, but trying to present a positive approach forward. Cause we can't really go back to the past, right. Like technology, even though a lot of us are realizing kind of the down sides of it, it doesn't mean we should like get rid of it entirely. In some sense we can't, it's all there. In infrastructure, in our minds, in our habits, and how we use it in daily life. Do we need to help people develop better self-control, discipline, virtue that thing? Or do we create technologies that help us not use technology? Um, maybe we need all those approaches.

00:00 🕐Timothy: Traditionally Christians have had, whether they were Calvinists or certainly Roman Catholics or Orthodox Christians, to go back Lutherans, they had, whether or not they use the word, asceticism. Everyone knew that you had to train yourself in self-denial and self-restraint. You would just shipwreck if you didn't. Um, where is that training to come from?

00:00 🕐Henry: It is very difficult now cause there's the aspect of do what you want to do, which is good, the freedom to choose. Um, but then that has its own anxiety. There's so many choices, you don't know what to do and then you don't do anything. You get paralyzed. Maybe it's just hard to think about what self-improvement means in this modern life.

00:00 🕐Timothy: Or repentance. But certainly parents and educators, we're not looking at these things in the abstract. We just know that if they cannot discipline themselves and that they will just, they'll crack up.

00:00 🕐Henry: But I think it's like for modern day, we need to understand the outlets for that now to be able to

00:00 🕐Timothy: outlets for self-discipline.

00:00 🕐Henry: or not I guess where it's not showing up. It's hard for parents to understand what's going on cause they're not immersed in what are kids doing in the day to day? Easy example would be maybe video games. Why are these kids wasting your time doing this thing? They didn't grow up with it. It's like why are they turning to this? How do we explain that there are, there's reasons for why that's happening, positive and negative and then using that to move forward. It's hard. Part of it might be, you create other games that help you with these types of things. Or learning to have self control. I guess it's difficult to relate between generations, how do we connect?

Outsourcing our thinking to data

00:00 🕐Timothy: Reading this Edwin Friedman, A Failure of Nerve. He says, what we're addicted to, what we're hiding behind, so we don't confront ourselves is data and information. We want more information to make the decision for us.

00:00 🕐Henry: That's funny. I've been thinking about that a lot too

00:00 🕐Timothy: but it really doesn't

00:00 🕐Henry: We see this in this internet age. We have these recommendation systems from all the companies. Netflix, like every movie we watch, it helps the algorithm tell us what to watch next. It's like, are we even making the decision at that point? That's kind of legibility too. It's like they only know what movies we watched. That doesn't mean they know us. Does that represent who we are? Over time, everything is just a recommendation. They were doing that before, but now it's what we feel like is some extreme.

00:00 🕐Timothy: So they're not even showing me the movies that I might be interested in because the algorithm, Netflix is junk. But it's funny though, how I will find surprising things. Like I have this turn about spies in the American war of revolution. It wasn't recommended to me, but there it was and I just couldn't stop, it was great. And then I just binge watched recently cheer about this community college. Um. 10 time national champion, collegiate cheering squad.

00:00 🕐Timothy: The legibility obstacle there is, I would have to not only watch that, but sort of explain what I'm seeing. To me, it's a drama about kids, families of origins, and it's a story about discipline. It's a story about leadership. But someone else might think, has an interest in cheerleading or something.

00:00 🕐Henry: But that's not why you wanted to watch it. We have our own vocabularies and like machine learning is interesting because that is a black box. The engineers that work on the algorithm, they might even say like, I don't want to be responsible for what happens. They can kind of just be like, well it's the data and it's correct. But now I think people are arguing now that's the people that make the algorithm have their own bias. We're all biased in some way. It's all the way down. I don't know if you can pretend this thing is objective? This is the right way.

00:00 🕐Henry: Like what you were saying, that we want more data. Right? Cause it feels like then we can make a better decision.

00:00 🕐Henry: Now in order to buy something, you need to be sure it's the good one. It could be at something as simple as like a a pencil or toothbrush and it's like, it doesn't even matter. If it was expensive or not, you don't need a smart toothbrush, right?

00:00 🕐Henry: Everything is like you need to spend like a whole day on, right. Do all your research. I'm going to be informed.

00:00 🕐Timothy: I mean, that's true, but is it a bad thing? Maybe that will drive the evolution of better toothbrushes or something.

00:00 🕐Henry: Yeah. But I think that it's not bad to spend time thinking about these things, but I think that when it leads to the anxiety of making sure that I did the right thing, I think that's what I'm concerned about. Now you're worrying about it. It becomes part of your identity, maybe I need to show people that I'm smart and I can find the right things, or for myself to just be like , I spent my time wisely. I think that when it becomes very emotional, almost existential. And that seems kind of absurd, but I feel that happens to us a lot.

00:00 🕐Timothy: That seems not absurd at all. That seems exactly right. It not only prolongs adolescence, but it almost returns you to it after you've left it. You go back to this state where the whole world is new, there's new things to explore and discover. Everything's open and indeterminant again.

00:00 🕐Timothy: And it seems like maturation is about a progression to determinacy. And then finally, the determinacy of death, like people will be watching a great show with their last eyes as they're on their death bed. They'll be like, Oh, I wish I could live another 15 minutes to see how it ends.

Amusement, Novelty, and Jacob's Tripartite Society

00:00 🕐Timothy: And now they're looking for all their novelty through these channels. And it seems like the content creators are getting better at delivering it. And I think once we get to a real virtual reality experience where I can, not only study about the Himalayas, but I can smell and feel the cold and it's told in some compelling way. I mean, people will just refuse to die. We'll just do great.

00:00 🕐Timothy: Where's a hundred years ago? I mean, eventually you get bored, you've sort of seen it all, you've done it all. And it was just like, okay.

00:00 🕐Henry: Oh, that's interesting. People are bored all the time now still. So you'd think that there is literally an infinite amount of things to see or even just learn, right. And yet people don't know what to do.

00:00 🕐Henry: My friend was reading a book, it's called amusing ourselves to death. And it was mentioning in 1984 and brave new world. And how both of those things happened where we have this influence of information and not knowing what truth is, because everyone's broadcasting everything. So there's abundance of data and then lack due to censorship.

00:00 🕐Timothy: By the way, those two books. A student in mind pointed out that they illustrate Jane Jacobs understanding of the tripartite society very well. One is a dystopia where society becomes nothing but guardian control. The state is everywhere. And then brave new world is the opposite dystopia where pleasure and self-gratification has absorbed everything. There is no state in a way. There is even room for research and brave new world you can, let's sort of move to Iceland or something if you want to think freely, but everyone else is slave to the pleasure.

00:00 🕐Henry: What was the tripartite? What are the three parts?

00:00 🕐Timothy: So the two basic parts that she noticed are, she called the trader syndrome. Yeah, the commercial syndrome of innovation, and in a world that's not perfect, decisions are made consensually.

00:00 🕐Timothy: And then the other is the guardian world where it is a realm of force and hierarchy and tradition and authority and Solzhenitsyn in his, a Harvard address in 1978. He had a similar idea. He thought that mid evil Roman Catholic civilization had become accessibly guardian ISED and that since before the reformation we'd gone to the other extreme of, anything that's consensual is moral.

00:00 🕐Timothy: Whereas, the guardian view of morality is no, it's the law. Jacobs thought that you need in some form these two realms, these two syndromes. The definition of a civilization is just a reasonable kind of symbiosis of these two worlds, a functioning government, a functioning Commercial sector that was not starving to death. She thought they could only be reconciled under the influence of love, the third force. She used words like art, gift, or creativity for that.

00:00 🕐Timothy: Essentially what I did with her work is saying, it's a vision of society as if it were a wedding liturgy. And that's why I did my dissertation about a Greek Orthodox Christian Holy week, because the whole week is cast as an encounter between the bridegroom, Christ and Jerusalem which is a failed encounter. But then he marries the New Jerusalem through his death or the church or heaven. So certainly that idea of society as a wedding liturgy, the two parts getting married under the influence of third is, seems to be more or less a human universal. I mean, it's everywhere.

00:00 🕐Timothy: All the Indian casts, except the untouchables, come down to some version of those three, the priests, the warriors, the different tradesmen and Japanese society. I think it's just existential. You cannot avoid, it just is reality.

00:00 🕐Timothy: You know, when I wrote Jane Jacobs a letter about it, she said, while if something's true, which a child, many places like in religion and math and well, yeah, it is.

00:00 🕐Timothy: And like you're saying, we seem to have sort of the worst of both worlds in some ways. We have the tax collector and the harlot because I think in gospel terms, your fallen guardian is the tax collector and your fallen commerce person is the harlot. And even a lot of technology is driven first of all, by the demands of porn. Porn needs this, it's a market for porn. When the Soviets collapsed, the first thing that you could buy was pornography. So there's our fallen human nature.

The beauty of Knowledge

00:00 🕐Henry: You mentioned aesthetics, maybe we could talk about that. Actually last time I think we talked about like beauty and about cultural engagement as a Christian and how to talk about our faith. And one way is through beauty, right? In this post-modern age, we've been trying to talk about faith as like it's God's story, and that is more appealing or presentable.

00:00 🕐Timothy: So what would a Christian apologetics of beauty look like? You know, I think it has to do too with asking different questions.

00:00 🕐Henry: I like that because we're always looking for the answer, right. And maybe that has to do with having so much data. I must have the answer.

00:00 🕐Timothy: It's a compulsion. It's an addiction. It's maladaptive.

00:00 🕐Henry: Seeing knowledge a little bit differently. I keep talking about Michael Polanyi, but his work is around personal knowledge.

00:00 🕐Henry: One thing I liked was trying to see that knowledge in his view, always from the perspective of somebody, whether it's you or someone else, meaning it's always personal. And most of us would say that is a negative because subjectivity is bias. Like it might not be true because it's just your belief. He's just saying, how can you ever claim certainty, and that truth has to be kind of embodied and lived out through people rather than this abstract. And then the more real it is, the more complicated it gets.

00:00 🕐Henry: If knowledge is just a bunch of pieces of data in a list that you add onto, you might think that the more you learn, the less there is to know, like it's kind of finite. You know something is true when you're able to kind of see all the possibilities that come out of that truth. More knowledge expands the universe. It only gets exponentially greater. You feel a sense of even humility.

00:00 🕐Henry: Maybe that pairs with this idea of asking more questions. Because once these possibilities come out, you might feel overwhelmed and start asking these questions.

00:00 🕐Timothy: Yes. In the Orthodox church, they don't look at theologians as of particular importance to the doctrine of the church. To think that it really comes down to the saints from Abraham forward. It really is because it is so personal. We want to know what kind of person believed this. It's not the smartest kid on the block.

00:00 🕐Henry: Integrity, right?

00:00 🕐Timothy: Yeah. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. Right? That's who your theologian has to be.

00:00 🕐Henry: Imitate me, right? So it's not enough to just have it all in your head.

Tradition as recovering what was lost

00:00 🕐Timothy: And Saint Paul said, imitate me as well, so there's a chain of invitation. But that doesn't mean you don't have also immediate access to God. Many times it's not so much that you learned from the tradition as that you have the immediate experience of God and then tradition helps you either to interpret it or to filter it. It's canonical.

00:00 🕐Henry: Yeah, even though I usually think that like tradition is the thing that holds us back. But as in science and in any institution, it's actually the thing that makes us move forward. And going back to legacy, it's like without the past we're just going to make the same mistakes over and over, and it's like having a stable base allows people to kind of experiment. And maybe there's a real sense of reformation, and I think. Reformation. They had that phrase like a simple reference. It's like always reforming, right? That it doesn't mean that I'm every single new thing that someone comes up with, we have to kind of figure it out and see and just start over and like completely destroy the thing.

00:00 🕐Henry: But the opposite would be never changed. Right. But it's like you still change, but like, I don't think you could like. And I guess go back and forth all the time, right. Without like, not even like, when are you anymore? Right. At that one,

00:00 🕐Timothy: Luther self understanding was that he was trying to recover something that was lost.

00:00 🕐Timothy: It wasn't inventing a new religion, but he was trying to recover something that. Well, from an Orthodox Christian perspective, we would say really was sort of being in danger of being on us. You know, we certainly thought there was something going on over there in the Latin church, so it was just become unmoored.

00:00 🕐Timothy: Um, but forgive me, Roman Catholic listeners, but yeah, so, but, but that's, I guess it's. I think, I think for that, for tradition to mean something, there has to be a personal experience that that repentance is, is both a return and a Prague. A progression that, that you know that, okay, here I am at age, whatever I am now and and in repenting of my sins today are my sins this past year.

00:00 🕐Timothy: Then in a sense, I'm recovering some purity I had a year ago. But I'm also now that's but now I'm also developing, I'm maturing and I'm ready for the next adventure. Whereas if I don't so I think people need to have that existential experience that, right. Yeah. That repentance is somehow the path forward, that there's, there's some development possible, you know.

00:00 🕐Henry: Yeah, like the saintification I guess

00:00 🕐Timothy: signification. Certainly um you develop wisdom, you develop better instincts in your spiritual life. You develop, you have experience, and you know, that you didn't have, and

00:00 🕐Henry: yeah. And it's, I think it's like the narrowing of theory and practice

00:00 🕐Timothy: as one.

00:00 🕐Timothy: Right. And you're, yeah. and intuition and conscience. You know, a lot of things are getting purified and refined and, and you know, you're, you're not . Yeah. Just the baby and the faith that you were something more, right?

00:00 🕐Henry: Yeah. Like what does maturity look like where it's me talking about like having weight, but also having traveling faith, but then. Being mature and not needing the spiritual milk, whatever. So yeah, cause I, I don't know, I think about how when you get older, any, any sense of that where you get jaded, right? So like,

00:00 🕐Timothy: um,

00:00 🕐Henry: I gave a talk here in Boston with some college students and it's like really great to talk to younger people just because they see the opportunities, right? They are. Motivated and like excited

00:00 🕐Timothy: and just

00:00 🕐Henry: full of like wanting to learn. Um, and you can say that's like naive or something, but like that's one of the JD point.

00:00 🕐Henry: It's like I'm thinking it's important to kind of remember that cause like after you, I just, I don't know, you work or you are in school for a long time and then everyone around you just doesn't want to do anything anymore.

00:00 🕐Henry: Not looking for what's next. Where's your hope coming from? Right? Why don't you wake up every day, those questions.

00:00 🕐Timothy: So I, I think, I think Hanukkah, the first Sonic Kevin, whenever that was one 87 BC, one 70 I don't know that the years there, but you know, it was, it was the Greeks that, that. Yeah. Since the time of Alexander had controlled Palestine and Hellenized everything, and lots and lots of people spoke Greek and the elites were becoming, I mean, they said even in a time of Christ, that in Copernum they were doing the plays of ESCO and stuff like that.

00:00 🕐Timothy: And it was so Hellenized and, and then, and tigers, whoever it was, he turned his ticket all the way just completely obliterate the local worship and people. What if they hadn't rebelled. What if they hadn't where would the Messiah come from? And if you didn't, if you had Greeks working in, produced the Messiah.

00:00 🕐Timothy: I mean, they're pretty soon a lot of things, but you know, so so it's a such a danger of that, that without globalization makes us legible. Everyone spoke Greek, whatever it was there, but it doesn't where's the, where's the, where's the local diversity that. You know, could potentially spark a new path of evolution and development down to save the world.

00:00 🕐Timothy: And yeah, I don't, I don't know. It's hard to see what's happening to our world. I mean, you see like. In something like political correctness it's like a modern day position have you thought, have you spoken in a way that offends the dogma of today and you must be burned at the stake and fired from your job and all that.

00:00 🕐Timothy: But yeah, the, you know I don't know, how do you, it doesn't seem like a human thing. It's not a human capacity to make diversity in unity coincide. That has to be an act of the Holy spirit. Oh. Or this paradox of how the return of repentance becoming more childlike is actually the key to your adulthood.

00:00 🕐Timothy: It's not just, I'm not saying that a true adult is a baby. What we're saying that true, a truly mature adult has a certain, has recovered a certain period of openness of heart or whatever softness of heart vulnerability. So these all these paradox, these coinciding of opposites don't seem to be merely human achievements.

00:00 🕐Timothy: At least for most of human history, they've thought to be miraculous or faith

00:00 🕐Henry: itself is dependence on the spirit anyway, so it's like it makes sense and maybe all the gifts we've been given, everything reminds us that is telling us that we can be self sufficient, I guess. Right. But with technology, you're going back to technology makes us limitless, right?

00:00 🕐Henry: Um, we can get whatever you want, so all your desires are answered in that way. But then, but then I guess because of all the issues that we have, like we have everything and then we still feel empty. And I guess that's where there's something there is that, I mean, I'm sure people would talk about like, the.

00:00 🕐Henry: Yeah, I guess me might say there's that God shaped hole in their heart. Right. Um,

00:00 🕐Timothy: look, I think this is the, this is the been the mistake in apologetics. The mistake has been that we are trying to

00:00 🕐Henry: fit in and create an artificial

00:00 🕐Timothy: doubt.

00:00 🕐Henry: Yeah.

00:00 🕐Timothy: And then provide an artificial certainty, right. Artificial doubt about your salvation and artificial certainty about its solution, but, but what, but what the real question of it of faith is something much more like.

00:00 🕐Timothy:You know, the chaos or boredom or meaninglessness of your own life and then matching. Is there an adventure? Is there an adventure that lies ahead of you that is only accessible through face? And is there a journey that's possible? And is that, is there, is there something beautiful about that thought or something beautiful that you, I get to through that adventure.

00:00 🕐Timothy:And, and this is the issue people, instead of trying to look at, okay, I fed the sinner's prayer, now I'm on the safe team, and then what I'm safe to do is condemn those who haven't said it, but no one's inspired by this. Everyone,

00:00 🕐Henry: I mean, three forest,

00:00 🕐Timothy: I, I'm, I'm momentarily inspired

00:00 🕐Henry: to lemon.

00:00 🕐Timothy: I'm terrified.

00:00 🕐Timothy: And then I'm, I say it and then I, there's a certain certainty and peace. But it hasn't launched me in any direction. I think it could. The right person was saying, they mean the right church, the right context.

00:00 🕐Henry: We're not, it's not guaranteed,

00:00 🕐Timothy: but it's not. It's not really intrinsic. It's really is an intellectual problem.

00:00 🕐Timothy: You know, sorry, to kind of, it's an intellectual solution to a problem that doesn't have to first create in the person.

00:00 🕐Henry: Okay. I see. You mean? Yeah. It's not the, the, the, they have the existential upon that's not being answered, you

00:00 🕐Timothy: know, that's a whole nother thing, right? I mean, death I think is enough.

00:00 🕐Timothy: suffering the suffering and loneliness or, yeah. You're, you're the your awareness of your own center. Just getting disgusted with your own

00:00 🕐Henry: certain meaninglessness and yeah.

00:00 🕐Timothy: And so, or you have this adventure that you know, and that produces, that produces all these crazy paradoxes like unity and diversity, like freedom and obedience, like, um to be, to find your feet and your total freedom at the same

00:00 🕐Henry: time, responsibility.

00:00 🕐Henry: And. And having agency. Right?

00:00 🕐Timothy: Yeah. So maybe these things are,

00:00 🕐Henry: yeah, I like that. Cause it's like, it does come from the, the acknowledges that each person has this maybe, I mean, they're all different wants or desires or something that they're need help with and that they on their own are like seeking something.

00:00 🕐Henry: Right. Some desire. And that, that could be a journey to finding. Something that can change how they're looking at life, right. Different perspective or something. Oh, yeah. I've been telling people that I was reading about how knowledge is there. Knowledge is physically some kind of insight that you can get about anything can be similar to having a conversion experience.

00:00 🕐Henry: So, which is a very interesting way of thinking about learning. But his point with that was saying that new knowledge is, and this is basically just saying that knowledge is a lens to which to view the world. And each piece of thing doesn't have to be an individual data point. But it's like kind of colors how you see life.

00:00 🕐Henry: And so maybe that's similar thing. It's like, well, I mean, you can literally have the conversion where it's like, Oh, I, I now I know God is, and then now I can see life and like my life and the universe differently. But just learning something new, right? Discovering something has that similar kind of feeling potentially.

00:00 🕐Henry: Um, and then someone else said that that also. Link. It's similar to also getting a joke too, like before those words that someone said, it's just a bunch of words. When once you understand that Joanie place, it means something. Right. Wow. Right. Before you can also, you can't go back to, you can't really, you can't be like, Oh, I don't get it and say, no, you just get it now.

00:00 🕐Henry: Right. You can't not see it that way.

00:00 🕐Timothy: Which I think is interesting. Do you have a favorite joke now?

00:00 🕐Henry: I don't have finding. That's a good analogy. So

00:00 🕐Timothy: jokes are nice. Him in the sense that they're often

00:00 🕐Henry: humor in general.

00:00 🕐Timothy: They often has that. There's often a kind of like a creative resolution of of tension or something.

00:00 🕐Henry: Certain expectations and then they don't match what you thought. And that's the surprise.

00:00 🕐Timothy: Yeah. Yeah. Like you're more of a person for having gotten it like, cause you can see this multiple, can I tell you my favorite joke that's from 1968 69 it was, I think a few months after we put a man on the moon and Bob hope was addressing.

00:00 🕐Timothy: American troops, maybe in Vietnam or something, and his joke about the moon landing which is the space race with Soviet union and all that. The whole world wanted to know who would get there first. And they apparently they did shoot they landed on the moon with the robots, whatever. But he said this, the moon landing proves once and for all, to me, entire world.

00:00 🕐Timothy: But our German scientists are smarter than their German side,

00:00 🕐Timothy: you know, because it, it kind of by making light of this, I mean, talk about existential struggle. I mean, we were threatening to destroy all life on earth with all these tens of thousands of nuclear warheads each reach at 20,000 or a heads. I mean it's. Um, it's, it's humbling these two big

00:00 🕐Henry: powers

00:00 🕐Timothy: of clay or something.

00:00 🕐Timothy: But I think, I mean, there's a reason why I, that the late night shows to, to the comedy, right? Like you can go to sleep now, you can kind of let you sort of, it's about handing things over to God or to a force greater than you can. Your conscious mind can understand the world is. Has paradoxes and surprises them.

00:00 🕐Timothy: Okay. That's, that's reality. Go to sleep. Okay.

00:00 🕐Henry: Yeah. Actually, yeah. I mean, sleep is, interestingly, it's a, that's a, like a, in some sense of liturgy of helping us depend on God, right?

00:00 🕐Timothy: Yes.

00:00 🕐Henry: Um, that I lot of times don't appreciate, but then like we are very vulnerable. We can't do anything of knowing what's going on.

00:00 🕐Timothy: and just have to just hope that

00:00 🕐Henry: tomorrow will still be there. The world's

00:00 🕐Timothy: their image of death, sort of dying into our hands are committed by

00:00 🕐Henry: spirit. Anything. It sounds sense. It's funny that that's kind of like a, I mean it's like a habit that we have to have, like God, I guess put that in place for us, right?

00:00 🕐Henry: For us to have to sleep and. You know, I think about like phrases like FOMO, like fear of missing out, and it's like, well, you have to sleep. You're going to miss out something. Right? And, and maybe that's why the practice, those practices

00:00 🕐Timothy: or spiritual practices of like,

00:00 🕐Henry: I don't know, silence and, or just prayer and being alone, it can be helpful for us

00:00 🕐Timothy: because we are

00:00 🕐Henry: too connected or loud or whatever it is.

00:00 🕐Henry: Um, and sleep is.

00:00 🕐Timothy: Oh, is there, would you, what do you think is it that makes people not, why do people not conceive a faith as an adventure, or do they? Hmm. Why, why

00:00 🕐Henry: is it good? Um,

00:00 🕐Timothy: I mean, in, in, in contemporary Orthodox you have this concept of if an elder or someone who, some Holy person, and so you're like, Oh, that person has.

00:00 🕐Timothy: A way of looking at the world that is not accessible to someone who hasn't really grown through it.

00:00 🕐Henry: Okay.

00:00 🕐Timothy: And so that's an adventure, like that of possibility. Like, Oh, that's, but

00:00 🕐Henry: okay. I mean, just from that, I think that would mean that there aren't people in their lives that they

00:00 🕐Timothy: look up to the art of faith.

00:00 🕐Timothy: Maybe.

00:00 🕐Henry: Or they don't know. I mean, that's, that's there's one, that's one too. And then maybe, I also think that maybe in people's minds, faith is the end of his

00:00 🕐Timothy: search

00:00 🕐Henry: rather than the beginning. And then it kind of made sense to me. I think it's like, Oh, I'm certain, and I think maybe people of faith for us, we need to kind of admit that we, there is no certainty and we're on this journey.

00:00 🕐Henry: We are starting on this journey. You're still on this journey. Yeah. It's not the end. Is it also like if it wasn't and then like once the, there's no, yeah, there's no link. Sense of length, joy. You're like anticipation or,

00:00 🕐Timothy: I think, I think Bon Hartford for me is there's a Saint of like I, I like feeling about what I like about him is to feeling that I will never equal him. Okay. Yeah.

00:00 🕐Henry: To go

00:00 🕐Timothy: like, Oh that's I can't say I'm there cause I'm, that will never be there. I mean, that's it. That's not ever happening. And I think another thing I like about faith is that although Jane Jacobs was not a person of faith, I feel that I am not a person of her intellect, let's say.

00:00 🕐Timothy: And that for me, if there's going to be any. Any sort of development and my connection to her, it would partly have to come from I don't know how to put it. I don't even know what I mean. But somehow. I feel if I became a holier person, I would understand her better. And certainly having met her in

00:00 🕐Henry: person,

00:00 🕐Timothy: I always felt like, like when I was with her and talking with her, or if there were other people in the room asking your questions at our house, I always felt like, Oh, not only is she, or the reason she's smarter than us is because she's.

00:00 🕐Timothy: Pure or more moral than us. So it was never, it was never just the intellectual insight. There was always a moment of repentance when she would weigh in on something that we all messed up and the feeling like, yeah, not only did I not see the answer, but the reasons in my character

00:00 🕐Henry: that

00:00 🕐Timothy: blocked me from seeing it.

00:00 🕐Timothy: I mean that knowing is that personal. Yeah. I mean, that's terrifying kind of thing.

00:00 🕐Timothy: Hmm.

00:00 🕐Henry: It's like when you meet, I mean, you meet someone and you realize how like just different, or I want to say like they're hiring, but just like how far apart you are and you could translate that to wholly and to gardens and stuff. Right? It's like when we finally realize how far we are from God, it's like any, you could say, I mean, you might say like, Oh, then you'll run away.

00:00 🕐Henry: But like in this case. It causes us to run toward that, right? That we want to understand them more or be liked and to imitate them, whatever it is, even though we know we can't attain it. Um, so somehow the difference in character, whatever it is, causes us to desire and

00:00 🕐Timothy: sort of funny to go full circle to this question of genealogy.

00:00 🕐Timothy: I think it's either within some qualification, right? It's like, it's like healthy to think about our own ancestors that way.

00:00 🕐Henry: Like, Hmm.

00:00 🕐Timothy: You know, like I feel certainly about my father that I will never equal him like that. That it's, I, I've done, I've made too many mistakes and miss too many opportunities to ever kind of be the man that he is.

00:00 🕐Timothy: Um, and also I live in different circumstances. I mean, he was born in the depression. I think he was five on the Nazis occupied, occupied his village in Greece. I mean, that's a whole nother world. yeah. Yeah. So, so I think that's one reason why a person wants to think that, Oh, we Palestinians came from. You know, the Minoan civilization 7,000 years ago.

00:00 🕐Timothy: They want to have some sense that, I mean, I don't even know where the man picked up that 7,000 or I'm just saying, because

00:00 🕐Henry: knowing that

00:00 🕐Timothy: you'd like, there's some sense that your deep ancestors, you can never equal them, and there they are. That memory is like an

00:00 🕐Henry: advanced memory now

00:00 🕐Timothy: to to . It's the only way you approach them

00:00 🕐Henry: cause you can't actually talk to them.

00:00 🕐Henry: No. So I mean, and so I don't even know if I mentioned this in the beginning, but I brought this up because I was thinking about family history and how I don't really, I feel like I don't really know any of it honestly. And also like it's, it's hard. It's sometimes it's hard to appreciate. You one of your parents did for you, man.

00:00 🕐Henry: It's like your family conflict and those kinds of things. And so it's like, when I do hear those stories, it helps me to empathize better. I was like, okay, I understand what you went through, you know? Yeah. I can still get annoyed at what people say, LA LA, but you know, like just getting a better sense of like their lived experience and, and the fact that like, you know.

00:00 🕐Henry: Maybe if you know, and then my grandparents, if they're not around, then I can only know about them through my parents essentially. And then if I don't talk about this recorded save, it's like we're never going to get it. And just personally, it'd be good for me to have it, even if it doesn't get shared or anything.

00:00 🕐Henry: Um, and yeah, I guess knowing where you come from is humbling. It's like, good. And yeah. And then we were depending on them, like we wouldn't be here if it wasn't from the tip. So regardless of how they are now. Yeah.

00:00 🕐Timothy: And what if it turns out that one of your ancestors was a fee for it.

00:00 🕐Henry: Well,

00:00 🕐Timothy: but you know, they're the reason you're here. So I think that also is humbling because you know. You know, who are we to judge human beings. And we can't judge the people around us, you know? And I mean, who knows? Maybe one of our ancestors sacked some city and that's how they survived. And you know, that's, they're terrible crimes.

00:00 🕐Timothy: But we know all we can do in that case is kind of repent for them.

00:00 🕐Timothy: Yeah, I think, right. I mean, in Christ genealogy, I don't know if it's in Matthew or Luke, but David steel was that you, you arise wife and the child he had through her was the ancestor of the Messiah. So,

00:00 🕐Henry: yeah, I mean, and then also just more generally, God uses very weak people and people that don't have morals like to eventually in the to Christ. And I guess that's true. Be an encouragement for us, for any of us that have cause we've all seen and to know that, that God can use us for good or even use our faults for good. And of course meaning that doesn't mean we purposely do those things. But. One of the things that we have done that we can, that is redeemable, right? Yeah.

00:00 🕐Timothy: Isn't that kind of the greatest of the Lutheran paradox is, you know that we are, we were, we were to come face to face with us ourselves as sinners, while also seeing ourselves as sanctify, loved him, justified it, and not to try to resolve attention either way,. And it's not an intellectual thing. No, it's the Holy spirit thing.

00:00 🕐Henry: It's just like a wrestling. Maybe it goes back to the answers thing. Maybe we always want these like complete answers and maybe not that the answer is no answer. Just like we're living through it and somehow being okay with that.

00:00 🕐Henry: Maybe that's a good place to stop then.

00:00 🕐Nadia: Thanks for listening. If you'd like to continue the conversation, you can find us on Twitter, @left_pad or @nayafia, or on our website, hopeinsource.com.

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