Monthly Archives: December 2010

Life in the desert

Everything that theology has thus far become must now be negated; and negated not simply because it is dead, but rather because theology cannot be reborn unless it passes through, and freely wills, its own death and dissolution. […] A theology that is open to the future must first exist in the present, not a present which is an extension of the past, but a present which is a culmination of the past, and hence for us a present which is a moment of vacuity and meaninglessness. […] Ascetic virtues can arise from the nausea and the ennui of life in the desert; a new ascetic may arise whose very weakness will give him the strength to say no to history. If our destiny is truly one of chaos, or if we must pass through chaos to reach our destiny, then we must abandon completely the cosmos of the past.

– Altizer & Hamilton, Radical Theology and the Death of God

A conference with demons

Writing is a conference with demons, said Kafka. What does that mean? You’re not living, so you write, or you write because you don’t live. Somehow the two are intertwined, writing and death. And with every word you bite deeper into the apple. Writing begins to surround you, as you realise it always has. So you look around for a new beginning and you realise it’s already your end.

No writer should call himself a writer. When I speak of the sin of writing about myself – it’s a sin, to be sure, but who am I? Perhaps the sin is writing itself.

This my go-between to no one. In lieu of a line to God. A substitute for the strength to write to no one. A remainder of hope, or a hope against hope: strange phrase.

Muster the strength to say: begin again, from the end. From the ruin you’ve made of your life, that has been made of your life.

Alone yet not alone. All manner of voices obstruct my silence.

I write and writing ruins me: I can’t feel my mouth, my fingers, or rather I feel another mouth, other fingers, in these words that never meet or part.

I dreamed that writing wrote me.

Not too spiritual

We praise Him, we bless Him, we adore Him, we glorify Him, and we wonder who is that baritone across the aisle and that pretty woman on our right who smells of apple blossoms. Our bowels stir and our cod itches and we amend our prayers for the spiritual life with the hope that it will not be too spiritual.

– John Cheever, Journals

Some, in our minds, sought to think without thinking, to write without writing. What matters is to live this ‘without’, they said, very mysteriously.

– Spurious, ‘Missing Thinkers’