A Blog by James Bennett
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Behold the Miraculous!
(December 1, 2023)
I once had the pleasure of reading a captivating book titled "In Search of the Miraculous." This autobiography chronicled the journey of a man who yearned to experience a metaphysical perception of reality. Recently, I found myself reflecting on this book and questioning the author's premise, which seemed rather lofty given its title.
In my opinion, the pursuit of the miraculous does not require an arduous search or the study of obscure teachings, as if there were a secret key to unlock its wonders. Instead, all we need to do is open our eyes and pay attention to the awe-inspiring miracles that surround us.
But what exactly constitutes the miraculous? This blog aims to explore that very question.
We'll begin by examining an example of the miraculous that is right before your eyes - the words you are currently reading.
Allow me to elaborate.
Before your eyes, my thoughts are meticulously encoded on your screen through a series of alphanumerical characters. As you decipher these markings, you are able to comprehend the thoughts I am thinking. I find this form of communication truly miraculous.
The written word holds a sense of wonder because it has taken countless centuries for humanity to develop this remarkable and versatile system of communication that we now possess. It is crucial to remember that reading and writing enable us to connect with one another, regardless of geographical or chronological distances.
Thomas Carlyle eloquently stated, "Certainly the art of writing is the most miraculous of all things man has devised."
Writing is not merely a means of conveying information; it is also a vehicle for artistic expression. It allows us to tell captivating stories, imagine fantastical worlds, deliver inspiring sermons, and recite beautiful poetry.
Consider, for a moment, the evolution of the Western alphabet. These twenty-six characters possess a rich and multifaceted history that dates back centuries. They have been shaped and refined by countless individuals, each contributing to the development of this extraordinary tool of communication.
The origins of writing can be traced back to the earliest forms of mapmaking and record keeping, which utilized symbols that evolved into pictographs. These pictographs eventually developed into a rudimentary form of written communication.
However, it is important to note that the earliest known formalized writing system, cuneiform, despite its simple design, was not the first form of writing. Certainly, many writing styles preceded cuneiform.
Following cuneiform, the Egyptians introduced hieroglyphics, which were later succeeded by the Phoenician alphabet. Subsequently, the Greek and Roman alphabets emerged, establishing the foundation for the letter forms we employ today.
Moreover, the early Roman alphabet gave rise to various offshoots, including the Hebrew, Celtic, and Cyrillic alphabets. These diverse writing systems have played a significant role in shaping the history of writing, mirroring the development of civilization itself.
The font utilized in this blog is called Arial and is one of the core fonts for the web, having been created specifically for its legibility.
Renowned calligrapher Donald Jackson aptly stated, "The marks that have endured from mankind's earliest experiments with the alphabet not only serve as tangible evidence of human ingenuity and skill but also provide an intimate connection to our hearts and minds, much like the handwriting of a dear friend. The evolution of letter forms is, in essence, the narrative of humanity."
Indeed, the evolution of writing closely parallels the broader history of humanity. It encapsulates our collective journey and sheds light on our present state. This historical account reveals a remarkable aspect of our nature – an unwavering drive, as Jackson refers to it as 'ingenuity,' that propels us forward in a grand adventure towards a more enriched existence. This adventure is characterized by an ever-increasing mutual understanding of our identity and our place in the world.
In conclusion, the history of writing not only serves as a testament to human progress but also unveils our innate desire for growth and comprehension. It is a testament to our relentless pursuit of a more profound and interconnected life.
Behold the Miraculous!
170 pages containing
72 Metaphysical Essays with
34 Full-Color Illustrations,
Authored and illustrated by James Bennett.
Click the photograph to see full description.