I like the questions that come up in hearing someone talk passionately about something, I like learning and asking and thinking thoughts that I had not thought before, and wondering, and exploring.
And so when I see a quote like this, I try to see the original context and intent, to disagree with it as directly as I can, if I think that is interesting as a way of exploring, or agreeing with it as much as I can, if that is interesting (sometimes it is both at once) and sometimes to share.
With that said, I think these down the page are great fun big questions to think about. And in reading, I like to think, it is interesting to ask these questions of oneself or of someone else, expecting that they can do these things, at least metaphorically. Because really, “Have you commanded the morning?” reminds me of “time blocking”, of saying, “This morning I will do these things, I will be in self-control, self-directed, I will make these phone calls and accomplish this task of _________ for this purpose of _____________.” And “Have you entered the springs of the sea?” I would love to be asked that, expecting that there is some way to do that. Even in day-to-day life, how I can enter the springs of the sea? What does that mean?! “Have you comprehended the breadth of the earth?” ”Have the gates of death been revealed to you?” “Has the rain a father?” Take sides for and against. Discuss!
Seriously and not-so-literally, these might make great conversation topics for personal growth and philosophy.
“Can you hunt the prey for the lion?” You can, but probably better to let the lion hunt for herself.
Via the Old Testament, God asks Job:
12 “Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
And caused the dawn to know its place,
13 That it might take hold of the ends of the earth,
And the wicked be shaken out of it?
14 It takes on form like clay under a seal,
And stands out like a garment.
15 From the wicked their light is withheld,
And the upraised arm is broken.
16 “Have you entered the springs of the sea?
Or have you walked in search of the depths?
17 Have the gates of death been revealed to you?
Or have you seen the doors of the shadow of death?
18 Have you comprehended the breadth of the earth?
Tell Me, if you know all this.
19 “Where is the way to the dwelling of light?
And darkness, where is its place,
20 That you may take it to its territory,
That you may know the paths to its home?
21 Do you know it, because you were born then,
Or because the number of your days is great?
22 “Have you entered the treasury of snow,
Or have you seen the treasury of hail,
23 Which I have reserved for the time of trouble,
For the day of battle and war?
24 By what way is light diffused,
Or the east wind scattered over the earth?
25 “Who has divided a channel for the overflowing water,
Or a path for the thunderbolt,
26 To cause it to rain on a land where there is no one,
A wilderness in which there is no man;
27 To satisfy the desolate waste,
And cause to spring forth the growth of tender grass?
28 Has the rain a father?
Or who has begotten the drops of dew?
29 From whose womb comes the ice?
And the frost of heaven, who gives it birth?
30 The waters harden like stone,
And the surface of the deep is frozen.
31 “Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades,
Or loose the belt of Orion?
32 Can you bring out Mazzaroth in its season?
Or can you guide the Great Bear with its cubs?
33 Do you know the ordinances of the heavens?
Can you set their dominion over the earth?
34 “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds,
That an abundance of water may cover you?
35 Can you send out lightnings, that they may go,
And say to you, ‘Here we are!’?
36 Who has put wisdom in 1the mind?
Or who has given understanding to the heart?
37 Who can number the clouds by wisdom?
Or who can pour out the bottles of heaven,
38 When the dust hardens in clumps,
And the clods cling together?
39 “Can you hunt the prey for the lion,
Or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,
40 When they crouch in their dens,
Or lurk in their lairs to lie in wait?”
* * *
“Have you entered the springs of the sea?” I have seen where waterfalls start as streams, I have felt the tides and currents pulling me along in Coney Island or pulling against me in the Danube, I have explored how some things start… I might like to go deep sea diving sometime. It’s interesting to think how the sea might flow from springs, how water here might get here from there, and where does a drop of water travel, and how does this relate to my work? maybe how does one person get from here to there. And that inspires me with visual images, it might give me interesting dreams tonight, it might inspire communication systems of some kind. For maybe 15 minutes each day, I’d like to command my pre-bedtime time of eve, thinking like this.