Monday, August 16, 2010

Letter to an Invisible Church: No. 9

Dear Church of the Holy Abstraction:

I just don't get it.

I don't get why some people reject faith because it's not logical. But I also don't get why so many of your parishioners and authors try to answer their doubt by appealing to logic, like explaining Jackson Pollock to a group of eighth graders. It's just a bunch of dots, they say. Any five-year-old could do that.

And so: let's give the brush and the pulpit to five-year-olds.

The young do not rely on logic because it hasn't all added up yet. They survive on intuition. I have been afraid of children for a long time now, and it's more or less because of this very reason. They don't apply logic to their thoughts and actions, and words fall out of their leaking brains as fast they enter. 

The young, then, are sleep-walkers. 

When N sleep-talks, I start sweating with fear, thinking that the vulnerable person beside me is not the person who, in her logical mind, married and vowed to never punch me in the face. But who is she in dreams? I could be a moth she is trying to burn, the murderer she is trying to escape.

So: I am afraid of children and sleepers, though I resemble both.

But what if fear is just a discomfort with the laws of intuition? People are not afraid of what a logical brain will say, do, but they are frightened of people who bypass thought altogether and simply move.

Christ said that prophets are never accepted in their hometown, and the Jewish Scriptures give plenty of examples of citizens-turned-cave-dwellers due to their unabashed, inspired views of the future. Maybe it's not that they are telling the future, but that intuition lets them look back on the present.

It's not about getting it, I would tell that imagined group of middle schoolers. Rewind to their unwired ages, and they will more than likely respond to Pollock without first trying to place its logical method with its artistic worth. In the splatter they will see the images of the mind in technicolor. Teach them about cause+effect, the scientific method, economic trends, and they will cease being able to trace the shapes borne of the soul. Teach them about the irrefutable law of entropy, and they will stop acting as if death wasn't the end, that intuition was/is the key to eternity. 

So, when Christ said that heaven wasn't for those who had not "turned and become as the children," he wasn't saying that you must be childish, but that you must retain the capacity to glance at spilled ink and walk away changed without worrying why.

Waiting, Always,
a sleeper

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