I have this one memory of me as a ten year old boy analyzing the cornerstone of our church and thinking how absolutely perfect that corner was. I believed that there were good and competent adults in complete control of all aspects of the world, and this cornerstone, exemplified this. I thought all streets were perfectly built, with a precision that I assumed was total. The imagination of a child found the imposed structure not divinity, but rather the most common human aspect; these builders and deciders I never imagined as a physical presence, but rather simply as faceless humanity, committed to perfection, expressed as symmetry. This is not a story to get somewhere else. This was the closest I ever got to faith.

To me there is still nothing more beautiful than symmetry, but now I don’t look for it in corners and pillars and marvels of engineering. Rather, with the inevitable loss of faith I found consolation in the purely formless. Now it feels to me that in the abstract the impossibility of perfect symmetry is acknowledged and consecrated, made the holy of holies. Because God cannot be imagined or attained, we pray through a man, we worship a stone.


Anonymous said...

I stumbled in on this and couldn't help but chip in.

Kant thought that the reason we like symmetry in nature is that it makes it appear 'purposive', as if it were designed ('as if' because Kant thought it was in fact nevertheless purposeless). Which obviously leads us straight to God. And I guess we strive for order and symmetry for it makes us feel as if life were meaningful.

Where am I going with this? This is very personal. I had a mental breakdown over the chaotic state of our household just yesterday. As always, it leads to a desire to organise, throw out old clothes, toys, books, cds, which then conflicts with the desire to hold on to all the stuff (memories, past, money spent on the shit), which ends up in me sitting on the couch with a Sudoku after having smashed the vacuum cleaner.

It is easy to say that God is dead. It is difficult to live it. Bought a new vacuum cleaner today. We crave order, because the truth - random suffering, chaos, disorder - is unbearable.


hein said...

I like that: It is easy to say that God is dead. It is difficult to live it.

The realization of random suffering is unbearable, but once the realization occurs it is impossible to go back. But buying a new vacuum cleaner, I must admit, does indeed help.

Yet, and in defense of the realization (and I don't care what the po-mo's say): truth exists. Even if there is only more and less, its still exists. And that is worth getting lost for.

Thanks for the comment

Anonymous said...

For years I reluctantly believed in a deterministic universe. I doubted many things every day, but I accepted my reality.

As an apostate I am elated at the discovery that this suffering was after all just random...because the cruelty of this supposed meaning or purpose was just too hard to take.

Now I fill my life searching for a more sensible truth, and I know it is out there.In fact there are probably infinite possibilities and truths for everyone of my alternative universes.

I just do not wish to be prematurely satisfied again as I was in the past. This time I will reserve my judgement until I have seen all the evidence.

Still, cleanliness is next to godliness.


iv said...

every one

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