Saturday, January 14, 2012


Heresy is in the ear of the listener—not the beholder, for one who cries, 'Heresy!' is precisely not beholding. If orthodoxy in early Christianity is about maintaining the paradoxes, then the concept of heresy is itself heretical; linear doctrinal statements destroy the paradoxes. It is absurd for one group to claim that its own provisional, linear, distorted and self-referential doctrinal statement is less heretical than that of another group, for neither can presume to represent the very different epistemology in which grace works. They are a different as a tabloid newspaper and a live holograph. The diagram suggests why the paradoxes must be sustained, for they provide connections between the mind's two epistemologies, between self-consciousness and deep mind. A patristic or medieval writer might say, 'Paradox opens the gate of heaven.'

Christianity in all its forms is today probably more heretical than at any time in its history precisely because it does not sustain the paradoxes, and the paradoxes must be sustained because they serve as descriptors, catalysts, transponders, passkeys, portals, and more. Evagrius' saying, 'Who prays is a theologian and who is a theologian prays' is empirical, observed: for him, as for other patristic writers, doctrine grows out of, and is interpretation of, the mind's work with silence, and must continually be yielded to it.

Any doctrinal statement is virtual: it flattens (and today's language is getting flatter and flatter) the polyvalent insight of the deep mind into two dimensions and kills it; this is one of the insights that fuels objections to credal statements. It also illustrates the absurdity and destructiveness of inserting credal statements into liturgy such as Eucharistic Prayer F in Common Worship. Doctrinal statements, like experience, are necessary but provisional and subject to revision.


Anonymous Henry Burke said...

You have a good way of talking. I'm looking forward to the book.

3:59 pm, January 15, 2012  

Post a Comment

<< Home