Oh, but let’s keep babbling instead.

December 11, 2013 § 1 Comment

Dear________,

Regarding the matter of faith, I agree with you — what else could it possibly be built on but inadequacy. Where we may part is my emphasis on the inadequacy even of this need (for what’s outside ourselves). The greatest faith, I wonder, might be that which doesn’t know what it lacks. It is instead struck somewhat dumb, nearly inarticulate — but, and I think this is crucial, it babbles on anyway. For this is what a body does, isn’t it, from the damp earth of the womb to that of the world, it just keeps babbling in various ways, incantations and modulations. The body, I contend that it must groan, a form of babbling, even in death.

I’m suspicious of the pure transcendence I sense you’re hinting at, the sort that gives your lot comfort: a divine set at too far a remove from the world, such that all else is inadequate to it. It seems, though, more appropriate that the inadequacy be far more immediate or intense than that. The Christian religion too long ago missed a great opportunity to incarnate God in its practice and expressions of faith — to ennoble its god with the same inadequacy as the world. Because there’s a nobility, isn’t there, or at least a flawed beauty (what beauty is perfect, really? who would dare mar such a cheek with a kiss, such purity with passion — would we dare lust after it?) in the inadequacy? To put it baldly, I don’t want an insurance on the far side of my experience somehow rectifying things. (Oh, but now we’re back into the language of desire, aren’t we? Maybe the Buddhists are right — we’re fucked.) Isn’t all this just another sneaky belief cutting in through the unlocked basement window of faith?

Oh, but let’s keep babbling instead.

B.

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