an epistemological epiphany about life and legacy

My mother named me after St. Paul. (Perhaps she knew something!) I’ve always had a kinship with the Apostle; one of his words long being a touchstone for me: Now we see in a mirror dimly…Now I know only in part.[1]

It never ceases to amaze me how much I don’t know. About anything. God. The creation. Others. Myself. In this daily state of conscious ignorance, I also always am amazed when an epiphany, especially about myself (which, of the four aforementioned things, I think I should know most well, but oft do not!) dawns. It usually happens in a moment of sheer serendipity, verily, from that proverbial realm “out of nowhere.”

It happened today. I was in conversation with a friend, Carolyn. Our subjects of interest, covering a wide range – meditation, prayer, God, eternal life, reincarnation – had a common core of spiritual beliefs and practices and, even more, epistemology, and that, still more, in its most basic sense concerning how we know what we know.

I spoke of my life as a writer, mostly sermons, but also poetry, novellas, and my blog. I told Carolyn that usually I never know where the words will take me until I arrive at an “Aha!” moment of deepened self-awareness.

William John Abernathy

As an aside, I referenced my blog post of yesterday – at some point (thinking ahead, thinking back)… – a personal reflection about my father, which Carolyn had read.

And then, it happened. “Aha!”

For years, truly, so long ago that I cannot recall my first awareness, I’ve loved history; the chronicle of human life in time and space is a principle lens through which I perceive reality. And as a philosophical and theological existentialist, I long have been enamored by the questions of identity and destiny; constantly asking myself who am I and who am I becoming as a person, as a creation of God?

PRA 6-19-16

In yesterday’s blog post, I wrote of my father’s largely vain pursuit of his history and identity. And it wasn’t until today as Carolyn and I talked that I realized that I bear in my blood and in my bones my father’s legacy. I now know that I, on my father’s behalf and for myself, live to fulfill his quest.

 

 

Footnote:

[1] 1 Corinthians 13.12

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2 thoughts on “an epistemological epiphany about life and legacy

  1. That discovery IS an Epiphany moment Paul!!! I’m so happy for you!! Living to fulfill your father’s quest / legacy!! Doesn’t get much better than that right?? Good luck on your quest, you’re doing a great job thus far! I believe your love of history even rubbed off on me a few years ago, and I thank you for that!

    Much love!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Loretta, this – that I bear in the body of my life and living my father’s quest – is an epiphany. I pray I fail not in fulfilling what I discern was his unrealized dream…

      Funny – not hilarious, but rather ironic – I’m not sure it’s possible for me to know whether I succeed, for the resolution of questions of identity and history, I think, always are beyond us, incapable of being grasped and contained.

      This said. I am clearer now about this crucial, central part of my life’s calling; one that I embrace wholeheartedly.

      Love

      Liked by 1 person

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