Monday, April 04, 2005

Its all heresy anway.

I catch myself talking out of both sides of my mouth, out of my past and my nostalgia, out of my fright, out my bruisings at the hands of persons who showed much less learning than me yet never doubted their own rectitude gave them authority. I was doomed, born for heresy and confusion because once I took history in the 8th grade and the teacher laid out Greek mythology it was like she was teaching history but I was learning comparative religion and at a very impressionable age. So rather than struggle with the unlikeliness of the sacred texts I was offered on Sunday I just put it in a pigeon hole next to the other unlikely stories. It was decades before I came to value sacred texts again. They do teach. Each generation has a chance to hand down reverence, hand it down by example far more than wordy exhortaions or even pleas for belief. I watch the way the same words get interpreted for the needs of each age, a wheel revolving, from corruption to beneficial doctrine to irrelevance. But if the reverence stays in the community, the hub turns smoothly at the center, and both community and doctrine will be renewed. I am not seeing it as belief in the text then but in belief itself and in the processes of worshipful deliberation. I am in awe only of things that work. Only while they work, only where they work.

Revere the sacred text not for its stories but for the reverent community it keeps. Where ever it came from, it is an unfinished canvas to be painted the color of the life that community lives.

Its a love-hate relationship I guess but neither of those is disengagement.


cul said...

I've always held that bullshit is what you can't apply at the moment.

GreenSmile said...

There are probably a hundered shorter ways to the usable truthes that do apply to a particular life at a particulart time. Shorter that is than unpacking some ancient text whose authors would scream or laugh their asses off at the delicat dance being done around their words. However, with the same bunch of savants and my plowboy self set down to chew on the same texts and at the same table fortnightly for 18 years, you pick up speed. And you politely avoid saying "I don't believe this stuff!" most of the time. This is an experience well outside the mainstream.

Lotta stuff I write has been BS except for the time when I got smacked for not knowing it.