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The Eschatology of Everyday Life

A Hillel Schwartz essay, originally written in the late 1990s, when millennial thoughts had a calender-driven appeal, and had become enmeshed in a technical issue concerning computer dating, has the title I've provided for this blog post.

Schwartz starts off in a self-conscious and jokey manner. It takes him awhile [a while?] to settle down and warm to his own topic. When he does settle down he says that eschatology is....

Image result for alchemy symbols

apparent in the fairy tales of Charles Perrault and in the Penny Merriments collected by Samuel Pepys, so many of which have to do with acts of inversion, mistakings of low for high and high for low, and the triumph of a youngest child (like Perrault) over elder siblings. It was apparent in the alembic by which alchemy subsided into chemistry, where hermetic procedures became basic laws of often inverse relationship among qualities (volume, temperature, pressure) and states of matter, such that liquids could suddenly if more explicitly transmute into gas or solid. It was apparent in the fens of archeology, where stony or bony remnants stood as guide both to endurance and to difference.  

Lots to think about there. BTW, the above illustration is of alchemical symbols.



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