Brian’s Reflection: Monday, June 27, 2011
The rule is, jam tomorrow
and jam yesterday –
but never jam today.
The White Queen to Alice in “Through
the Looking Glass and What Alice
Found There”. Author Lewis Carroll
(Charles Dodgson) was born on this date,
1832, in Cheshire, England
“Nunc” and “iam” both mean “now” in Latin. So, the White Queen’s words to Alice (being the rules under which Alice would come to work for the White Queen) are a pun by Carroll on a mnemonic, which Carroll either invented or was existent in contemporary culture for remembering which is used when. [ In Latin, “nunc” is used only in the present tense, and “iam” - sometimes in English spelled “jam” - only in the past and future tenses.]
Now: don’t you just love knowing things like that!
Alice’s response to the White Queen is, “It must come sometimes to ‘Jam today’. To which the Queen responds, "No, it can't; It's jam every OTHER day: to-day isn't any OTHER day, you know." To which Alice responds, "I don't understand you; It's dreadfully confusing.”
It is. Confusing. Life, I mean. And so wonderfully challenging, and fascinating. Do you know the show that Morgan Freeman hosts on the TV channel Science, called “Through the Wormhole”? I highly recommend it. The one on the nature of the “Soul” is a delight.
In my present 65-year-understanding of the Universe and of the figure of God, there is no Yesterday or Tomorrow separate from Today. To put it another way, there is nothing - either in the state of mind we call Yesterday or Tomorrow - that we can’t have Today. This includes the gifts of Hindsight and of “Heaven”.
My advice: in the Journey of Life, and especially in the “spiritual” Journey of Life, never go to work for the White Queen!
The quoted phrase is often used these days to describe a variety of unfulfilled political promises ….. and I would extend that to unfulfilled religious/theological promises.
The “God” I know is not the White Queen. With the God I know - provided one learns and applies the Great Truths - it always Jam Today.