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The hyperbola of Babel

August 13, 2007

A shift in our cultural algorithm toward the hyperbolic has been readily observable for some time. The commonest things are marketed, or explained as, or simply perceived as, “extreme” (or its mutant form, “X-treme,” demonstrating the compliance of language with the shift). “Ultimate” for the same purpose remains in misuse. Jack in the Box advertised the “Ultimate Meal” a while back, which, for some, it might have been, given the chain’s e-coli problems around the same time.

In China, a toy manufacturing CEO commits suicide, probably to avoid execution, because he distributed toys containing lead. Suicide is a fairly extreme response to error, as is execution. But in a culture founded on nothing that promotes right action and nothing prompting repentance of wrongdoing, suicide becomes a thinkable error adjustment.

So perhaps our perception of ourselves and our works and accoutrements and the pride of our eyes and lusts of our flesh must be extreme if we lack the necessary foundation that prompts right action and repentance of wrong action.

If we fail in the required right action of honoring the only true holy, sovereign God who governs the universe He created according to His power and for His glory, we turn ourselves over to the hyperbole of godless extremity. This is as close as it is possible to come to the infinite, and it is remote in the extreme.

My pastor said if there is something very important we need to get across, and explanation is futile, we should draw a picture. Well, I don’t have the Draw gene, but I might have a fragment of the See the Graph gene.

My memory of these things is not fit to go public, but in geometry, the rays of a hyperbola point away from its orthogonal axis. Consider God as the orthogonal axis, and see the hyperbola aiming its rays away from God. Applied to astronomy, a hyperbola expresses the orbit of an escape trajectory. A body, such as a comet, takes a hyperbolic orbit as it departs from the sun. I am thinking in terms of a hyperbola’s application to a culture, sunken in spiritual failure, aiming its material and linguistic expressions away from God.

The Tower of Babel represents man attempting to reach God through his own efforts and prove himself worthy of occupying God’s domain. The attempt met with failure. The hyperbola of reference to extremity represents man attempting to displace God with his own constructs, pretending they are of equal value. But “extreme” is not divine, and the attempt is a very foolish deception to entertain. Godlessness is very foolish and very self-deceived.

The failure to construct the Hyperbola of Babel is obvious, or will be.

hyperbola.png

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8 Comments
  1. August 13, 2007 10:31 am

    Where the x-axis and y-axis intersect is traditionally called the “origin.” Hyperbolas always want to flee the origin. Their trajectories only appear to become straight as they get farther away from the origin.

    I think you are on to something.

  2. August 13, 2007 10:34 am

    Yes, the existence of an origin is a nagging reminder of the Originator, and something indeed to be fled if one’s destination is the outer darkness. Reminds me of the final scene of Chidhood’s End.

  3. August 13, 2007 10:38 am

    That final scene scared me like no other. I understand that some people thought it was peaceful. That is even scarier.

  4. August 13, 2007 7:57 pm

    Wow. Xtreme reflexns! But the hyperbola dazzled me.

  5. August 13, 2007 7:58 pm

    Oh, I should also add that through all my time in Arizona I avoided Jack-in-the-Box sedulously.

  6. kamelda permalink
    August 14, 2007 2:35 pm

    “If we fail in the required right action of honoring the only true holy, sovereign God who governs the universe He created according to His power and for His glory, we turn ourselves over to the hyperbole of godless extremity. This is as close as it is possible to come to the infinite, and it is remote in the extreme.”

    This dazzled me.

  7. August 14, 2007 2:37 pm

    I’m the penultimate dog.

  8. August 14, 2007 2:38 pm

    Oh dear; this means there is another?

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