“Modern man must descend the spiral of his own absurdity to the lowest point; only then can he look beyond it. It is obviously impossible to get around it, jump over it, or simply avoid it.” Vaclev Havel
Much of what I believe has become absurd, or seemingly so. I’ve come up against the limits of reason where one can do nothing other than embrace the absurdity. Is that not faith itself? To embrace the utter strangeness of the gospel, its inherently radical nature.
And maybe that’s why Christians are so obsessed with having a rational explanation because we have to defend ourselves against the attack of atheists. But is this not the absurdity of the gospel? That we don’t defend the validity of our beliefs because they cannot, in fact, be defended. This is not to say they’re invalid but rather that the so aptly called ‘Christ-event’ is absurd and as such cannot be explained.
But once more we encounter an absurdity. By realizing the absurd nature of reason and going onward in faith we embrace absurdity once more. Absurdity is given up for lack of power and replaced by an absurdity of power in weakness: the cross.
Walk into the sunlight
watching the car
pulling into the driveway
across from you. Observe
and watch and learn
as the woman clambers
out. Breasts singing as
they go up and down
with each breath. Observe
and cross the line. In
the soul everything goes
a-flutter. Something is
I am a Christian. I pray like crazy. And I grew up being told to listen in prayer. I’ve tried listening but nada. Exactly what is entailed in listening to/for God? The still, small voice? How does God speak? Through his word? Sure, but that’s its own dilemma right there. So, I prayed and tried to listen and God was silent. What now? Silence, just silence.
-“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”-
I use apologetics to give reasons, primarily to myself now, for my faith. Yet, God escapes me. “Jonas, you need to have heart knowledge, too!” Well, how? Like stated above the silence is frightening and overwhelming. Apologetics is all well and good till it isn’t.
-“Pointless, because it seems to me like an attempt to put a grown-up man back into adolescence, i.e. to make him more dependent on things on which he is, in fact, no longer dependent, and thrusting him into problems that are, in fact, no longer problems to him.”-
I accept unknowing, the lack of certainty. Or, rather, I try to. I think hard and think well, attempting to use my mind to get somewhere with the unknowing and lack of certainty. But it’s very obvious what I am doing. I’m finding certainty in the use of my mind to be uncertain. Oxymoron much?
-“The eternal silence of these infinite spaces frightens me.”-
See the sky, see the pavement
wet and moist. Pleasantries exchanged
between the rain and the dirt. So
my imagining goes. Smell the birds
and smell the sounds they make.
Fresh, aren’t they? Biting in a good way.
“Generally speaking, women aren’t very promiscuous. Males, by contrast, are extraordinarily slutty. And if that’s the case, then why are women rather than men called sluts?
A psychological study in this regard. A group of researchers had attractive assistants approach men and women of the opposite sex on a college campus. After a few minutes of chit chat the assistant would sexually proposition the student. The question was, what percent of women would agree to have sex with an attractive man after a few minutes of conversation? And what percent of men would agree to have sex with an attractive woman after a few minutes of conversation?
Seventy-five percent of the males agreed to have sex. The women?
Generally speaking, women are choosy and discriminating when it comes to sex. Men not so much.
In short, from an empirical standpoint men are the whores.
And if that’s the case, why are women always cast as whores, even in the bible, as the sexually insatiable ones?
It is a product of Freudian projection. Throughout history, religiously conservative males have had to confront one of the greatest sources of their moral failure: the male libido. The male libido–the fact that men are sluts–is a sore spot of any male community wanting to pursue purity and holiness. And what has happened, by and large, is that rather than admit that males struggle mightily in the sexual realm, males have externalized the blame and projected their libido onto women. Rather than blaming themselves for sexual sin males have, throughout history, blamed women for being temptresses. The Whore was created to be the scapegoat to preserve male self-righteousness. Rather than turning inward, in personal and collective repentance, men could blame women, blame the whores, for their sexual and moral failures. It’s not our fault, the men say, it’s the whore’s fault.
Examples of this sort of projection are too numerous to list. Christian campuses and youth group talks are full of this sort of stuff.
But let me bring this back to whores and brides in Revelation. Given the problematic nature of this metaphor, how are we to approach these images in the bible?
I’ll tell you what I do. For me, I don’t read the Whore as a woman. I read it as the Freudian projection it is. The Whore is the male libido projected onto women.
More simply, when I see the Whore in Revelation I don’t see a woman.
I see a man.”
Flick the lighter and watch as the sparks give rise to flame. The flame moves fluidly, from blue to yellow, left to right, back and forth, always in motion. Feel the warmth on the hand. Feel it as it moves from warmth to pain. Then let go and the flame dies a sudden death. Put thumb to the metal roller and feel the skin sear and seemingly melt, only to be left with a tingling feeling, one of pain and humor. Flick the lighter again again again.