Sunday, January 25, 2015


Most of what you'll read here is from my good friend Tom Sullivan.  He is doing good work for the people of Western North Carolina and more specifically for Asheville through his leadership and service in the Democratic Party in Buncombe County.

Tom was part of that "house church" group I wrote about a couple of months ago.  He and I also were housemates in those days in the late '80s when I was becoming an Episcopalian.  He loves me and I love him.  Our callings have varied -- Tom is an engineer -- but our hearts are often right in line with each other.

Tom wrote an interesting article that gets to the matter of our culture's struggles with work, sabbaths, Sundays and rest.  Here's the link and I've quoted most of it below:

Are we not Ubermen?
. . . In its obsession with turning everything on this planet into the Precious [think Hobbit] (other planets will come later), the Midas cult has turned its sights on sleep because “sleep is the enemy of capital.” Thus, sleep must be abolished. From caffeine-laced Red Bull to topical sprays to marshmallows, “perky jerky,” and military experiments with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), Newsweek  looks at how we are waging the war on sleep:
For those looking to sleep less without drugs or military tech, there’s the “Uberman” sleep schedule: 20 minute naps taken every four hours. That’s just two hours of sleep in every 24 hours. Uberman is based on the theory that while humans experience two types of sleep, we only need one of those to stay alive. Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is the stage in which we dream, and it also has been shown in lab tests to be critical to survival: Rodents deprived of REM sleep die after just five weeks. Then there is non-REM sleep, which itself is broken down into four separate stages. One of those is short wave sleep (or SWS). Scientists aren’t really sure what function SWS serves, and Uberman advocates argue that it may not be critical to survival at all.
We spend only 20 percent of our sleeping time in REM sleep, and, usually, we need to work our way up to it, going through non-REM sleep first. But according to the Polyphasic Society, a segmented-sleep advocacy group, that’s a waste. They say the Uberman and sleep schedules like it can force the brain to reconfigure its sleep cycle to avoid the non-REM sleep and jump straight into REM, saving a handful of precious, precious hours every day. The disadvantage? Physical stress, even to the point of lifting heavy objects, can cause Uberman sleepers to unexpectedly “black out.”
That's nice.

Before you think I'm screaming conspiracy theories or fashioning tin foil hats know this:  I believe it was and is meant for the whole planet when God commands those words that help to form a nation: "Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy."  I believe that was and is for the whole planet that on the seventh day God rested -- read slept -- and as a creator was silent.

There is a holiness intended by God in our Sundays, our sabbaths, our silence, and our sleep.  It is a holiness meant for the whole world.

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