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Day 44

The sanity on the borders of insanity-

A thought that has been ringing in me, as if it were true.

The more I think about dying, the more I am willing to tell the truth. In this case, it means living along the borders of truth; it means not sitting tight in one religious language. Thank God He is multi-lingual, that She doesn't flee from the sound of salat, that He doesn't rain fire on the pagans. To know this is the beginning of freedom; to trust your own God-instinct is the beginning of love-led spirituality.

But spirituality without religion is like silence without language. It's true that the most important moments transpire in silence, and translation into language is always rough. But language is created to preserve, transmit, and even resurrect: it grants us immortality. With the utterance of a single prayer or poem, the dead rise to sing hollow-bellied from the crypt.

Religion, too, aims to offer immortality, aims to flay itself open as a vessel for the transcendent to gather and congeal, to fester and proliferate. It offers many language-bodies for the divine to take up and dance, and these language bodies are always expressed in symbols, myth, and ritual (the only nouns and verbs which are effective in the face of the ineffable God). As the multi-lingual speech of God, it never shuts up and it never stops singing from the graves.

A language, yes, and a social one. We are social creatures, after all, and as Wittgenstein said, there can be no private language. Spirituality must have a language of religion, and religion is woven by people.

So which language am I to speak? The one that is big enough for all parts of me, the one to which God calls me. But the one that will be best for my daughter too, and there is the complication. Children's minds- simple, dualistic- cry for simplicity and religious certainty. She also needs a community of people with high standards, which values women, and which preaches a God of love and justice for all.

The sanity on the borders of insanity-

This has nothing to do with ecstatic visions or supernatural phenomenon. It has to do with bodies grounded in real-world resistance. It is resisting acclimation to evil, and perhaps even more radical, resisting acclimation to joy.


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