Monday, June 27, 2011

"Life is [just] a Test[?]"
"The Iliad is only great because all life is a battle, The Odyssey because all life is a journey, the Book of Job because all life is a riddle...It is significant that in the greatest religious poem existent, the Book of Job, the argument which convinces the infidel is not (as has been represented by the merely rational religionism of the eighteenth century) a picture of the ordered beneficence of the Creation; but, on the contrary, a picture of the huge and undecipherable unreason of it. 'Hast Thou sent the rain upon the desert where no man is?' This simple sense of wonder at the shapes of things, and at their exuberant independence of our (from our), intellectual standards and our trivial definitions, is the basis of spirituality as it is the basis of nonsense. Nonsense and faith (strange as the conjunction may seem) are the two supreme symbolic assertions of the truth that to draw out the soul of things with a syllogism is as impossible as to draw out Leviathan with a hook. The well-meaning person who, by merely studying the logical side of things, has decided that 'faith is nonsense,' does not know how truly he speaks; later it may come back to him in the form that nonsense is faith.
Chesterton, "A Defence of Nonsense."

Interesting application, to my mind, for OTDers of the Ashkenasi "rationalist" bend, or those drawn to and then away from religion via ostensibly "logical" propositions that often lead them at 'best' to leaps or forking roads of supposed-"faith", however short - having missed reason and faith all along. Also a good religious 'excuse' for Python-esque silliness and paradox in general! - as well as of course Science Fiction, Fantasy, surrealism in the arts, etc, etc.


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