Saturday, November 15, 2008

But You Say

But you say, Bill! Bill! I thought you understood language better than that. I thought you were sensitive to the actual meanings of words, unlike so many others writing about God and man today. Writing about the nature of God and the nature of man and the nature of their relation today.

Or if it isn’t you, it’s someone.

So let’s say someone, who will remain nameless, says, Bill! Bill! I am disappointed in your careless use of language. Your sloppy slovenly slatternly slothful slinging around of ideas. Your callous disregard for our linguistic contract, one with another. Your fraudulent synonymous use of contradiction and paradox. It is immoral. It is reprehensible. It is indefensible. It breaks our linguistic contract, which is really our social contract, one with another.

But let me explain. I must admit to having a little fun. I must admit to playing a little fast and loose with the words. A little bit of a slight-of-hand with the words in my head. My head-hand. A little logical loop-de-loop. A little bit of a semantic shell game. But it’s all in a good cause. Really. Trust me. Really.

What I’m trying to get at here is that real contradictions are all around us. True contradictions. Everywhere we look. It’s not like one or the other pole of all these contradictions is true and the other false. What I’m saying is that both are often in some sense true and in some sense not true. Both are planted firmly in the ground, and both are planted merely in space—in a gas that is somewhat clouded by particulates.

And what I am saying adamantly and ambiguously is that these true contradictions merely appear to contradict one another. The poles of this truth/not truth continuum merely appear to be at odds with one another. Seem to want dominate one over the other or eradicate one another or falsify one another.

What I’m saying is that the contradiction is apparent. Merely apparent. And real.

I am bringing the logic of quantum mechanics to bear upon the logic of larger life. The logic of the quantum world to bear upon the spiritual world. The life of spiritual ideas about the world. The life of ideas about God and man and the relation between them.

I’m importing the experience of the mystic. The experience of the marvelous. The experience of the sacred. Of the holy One. The experience of the possible Impossible, the spiritual but material. Into quotidian Christian discourse.

Oh that sounds presumptuous, doesn’t it? Absurd. Ridiculous. Silly. Unlikely. Doomed.

Maybe. Likely, perhaps. But one really has no choice in the matter. One is given nothing else that seems. Oh. So possibly useful as this. To do with one’s time.

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