Friday, January 21, 2022

Non volo peccare


Back in July 2021, William Wildblood wrote a post about the birdemic pecks titled "Non Volo Peccare," ending with this: "Note: I translate the title I Do Not Want to be Pecked but it's been a long time since I studied Latin so that may not be entirely accurate" -- a pun on our code-word peck and the Latin peccare, "to sin." Noticing that peccare is even closer to peccary than to peck, I left a comment saying that his title actually meant "I don't want a javelina pig." Then William, taking advantage of the double meaning of volo ("I want" or "I fly"), said that the real translation was "Pigs don't fly."

Today it occurred to me that, leaving aside the whole "peck" angle, it's quite appropriate that Non volo peccare, "I don't want to sin," can be punningly mistranslated as "Pigs don't fly." The pig is proverbially unclean, debased, and addicted to earthly pleasures, and "when pigs fly" means "never." To want to ascend to Heaven ("fly") whilst remaining a "pig" is to want the impossible.

But behold, your days of probation are past; ye have procrastinated the day of your salvation until it is everlastingly too late, and your destruction is made sure; yea, for ye have sought all the days of your lives for that which ye could not obtain; and ye have sought for happiness in doing iniquity, which thing is contrary to the nature of that righteousness which is in our great and Eternal Head (Helaman 13:38).

One also thinks of this story.

In the Hindu tradition there is this story: The God of the Universe became curious about how it felt to be a pig. So he entered the body of one. He found it delightful beyond compare -- how good the sty smelled, how sweet were the slops, how desirable were the female pigs. But the universe needed tending. There was work to be done. So the helpers and handmaidens went and said, "God, you must come out of there. The universe needs you." God said, "Who are you talking to? I am just a pig! Leave me alone!" So they killed the pig, and God came out, and refused to believe he had ever refused to leave (Whitley Strieber, The Key).

2 comments:

Sergio said...

I regularly check your blog although I do not comment verte often. Just recently, I had an experience of unconscious precognition or unconscious telepathy similar to those you have written about (the whiteboard drawings, pineapple and apple pie). I had a dream last night in which I was walking through a park close to where I lived. In my dream I remembered that you had written in your blog that sometime in the past you had visited my city and had been at that park. I also remembered that you had written recently about a symbol which was the combination of an e (small, not capital) and an o. Then, I saw that symbol carved several times on a rock or a wall. Other things happened in My dream which I don't remember. When I woke up, I wondered what could be the meaning of that symbol. I looked at your blog, to see if I could find an answer (but not really counting on it). To my surprise, I saw the image of the winged peccary surrounded by the red forbidden sign. Then it jumped to me, the forbidden sign is a combination of a small e and an o. And in the context of your post, the message was clear: do not sin, wanting to go to heaven is not enough, pigs don't fly.

Sergio said...

The forbidden symbol (a circle, with a line drawn across its diameter), rotated, is the alchemic symbol of salt. Browsing in wikipedia I find that, according to Paracelsus, salt represents the body, or the principle of non combustibility and non volatility. Which seems consistent with the pigs don't fly message.

White sands, red sun

Bruce Charlton recently posted on C. S. Lewis's Law of Undulation . For me, the undulation tends to be between thinking and synching. I ...