catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 7, Num 1 :: 2008.01.11 — 2008.01.25


Ten epiphanies for year 2008

  1. “Everyone has sudden flashes of perception and insight. Writers have a name for them—epiphanies.” (Bernard Richards, from The English Review)
  2. “Though I scarcely realized it at the time and subsequently only very slowly and dimly, this episode represented for me one of those deep changes which take place in our lives; as, for instance, in adolescence, only more drastic and fundamental. A kind of spiritual adolescence, whereby, thenceforth, all my values and pursuits and hopes were going to undergo a total transformation—from the carnal towards the spiritual; from the immediate, the now, towards the everlasting, the eternal. In a tiny dark dungeon of the ego, chained and manacled, I had glimpsed a glimmer of light …” (Malcolm Muggeridge in Chronicles of Wasted Time)
  3. From 1900 onwards James Joyce produced 71 epiphanies, of which 40 have survived in manuscripts at Cornell University and the University of Buffalo in the United States. These have been reprinted by Richard Ellmann, A. Walton Litz and John Whittier-Ferguson in James Joyce: Poems and Shorter Writings (Faber and Faber, 1991). The different kinds are represented. Some are snap-shots of real life, mini-dramas that encapsulate banality and vulgarity; in others, elevated thoughts or perceptions occur in banal surroundings, and are so powerful and so indicative of some higher reality that they take on the character of mystical vision. (Bernard Richards, from The English Review)
  4. Epiphanies of sudden comprehension have also made possible forward leaps in technology and the sciences. Famous epiphanies include Archimedes' realization of how to estimate the volume of a given mass, which inspired him to shout "Eureka!"—"I have found it!". (
  5. "Epiphany" means "to be made manifest," and Epiphany observances emphasize the manifestation of Jesus as "Light to the Gentiles" and the "Glory of Israel" to Simeon when Jesus was presented at the temple.
  6. The manifestation of Jesus as God’s beloved Son at his baptism.
  7. The manifestation of Jesus to the whole world as represented by the Wise Men of the East.
  8. For the philosopher Emmanuel Lévinas epiphany or a manifestation of the divine is seen in another's face. Lévinas derives the primacy of his ethics from the experience of the encounter with the Other. For Lévinas, the irreducible relation, the epiphany, of the face-to-face, the encounter with another, is a privileged phenomenon in which the other person's proximity and distance are both strongly felt. "The Other precisely reveals himself in his alterity not in a shock negating the I, but as the primordial phenomenon of gentleness."(from Totality and Infinity).
  9. On the Fox television series House, M.D., main character Dr. Gregory House has an epiphany in almost every episode.
  10. God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see (1 Timothy 6:15b-16a). “…Whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God" (John 3:21).

May we experience the seasoned days of Epiphany living in the divine tension of approaching and experiencing this kind of light.  Blessings in the New Year.

your comments

comments powered by Disqus