O definiție

(Am găsit undeva, în nor, textul de mai jos, scris acum ani. E de o jenantă barbarie filozofică, dar are farmecul lui. Și, în miez, o interesantă observație lexicologică. Am povestit altundeva cum, atunci cînd mi-am dat seama că sînt ateu, cel mai greu n-a fost să renunț la vreo convingere, ci să întrerup „monologul tembeloid”. Exercițiile spirituale sînt un drog puternic.)

După cum sugerează şi etimologia termenului, scepticismul este un mod de a privi. Scepticismul nu poate ignora faptul că nu cunoaştem nimic din interior – nici măcar pe noi înşine (de unde şi eşecul raţionalismului). A cunoaşte presupune fatalmente distanţa dintre subiect şi obiect, precum şi recursul la intermedierea imaginii (a reprezentării) sau a limbajului (inclusiv a celor abstracte, de pildă logica şi matematica). Metoda ştiinţifică nu este decît o sistematizare a privirii sceptice. Iar victoria definitivă a scepticismului asupra oricărei alte epistemologii este intrarea în vocabularul ştiinţific a „teoriei” – privirea contemplativă, cu acces la esenţe, ba chiar la Dumnezeu, e azi modelul mereu provizoriu şi neapărat falsificabil pe care ştiinţa îl propune pentru a descrie realitatea, inclusiv pe aceea a subiectului cunoscător. Teologia nu e decît antropologie apofatică, iar misticul nu călătoreşte decît în sine. 

Aşa cum folosim şi astăzi limbajul preştiinţific al „apusului de soare”, deplin conştienţi că mişcarea de rotaţie a Pămîntului este cea care face Soarele să „se mişte” pe cer, recurgem încă frecvent la expresii precum „mă doare mîna”, mai puţin conştienţi că mîna care doare e doar reprezentarea corticală a mîinii rănite şi poate durea inclusiv cînd membrul a fost amputat. Trăim cu impresia că sinele e ceva distinct de corp, că identitatea noastră e doar accidental legată de trupul pe care îl „locuim”. Ne percepem organismul ca pe ceva exterior. Sîntem siguri că ne transcendem corporalitatea.

De aici, din modul în care ne situăm mental faţă de noi înşine, se naşte ideea de „spirit” – fantezia minţii care nu depinde de vreun corp. Or, nu am găsit încă software care să existe în afara unui hardware. Dumnezeu e doar prietenul imaginar al minţii înstrăinate de corp – consecinţa firească, deşi deloc obligatorie, a apariţiei inteligenţei. Nu există îngeri, nu există preexistenţă, nu există nimic dincolo de moarte, în afara unei fragile posterităţi.

Toată tevatura religioasă – slujbe, imne, rugăciuni (produse ale raționalismului de sorginte platoniciană) – sînt doar zgomotul cît mai intens care trebuie să acopere tăcerea impenetrabilă a zeului, tăcere care nu ascunde altă taină decît pe aceea că zeul sîntem noi. Vorbind despre Dumnezeu nu vorbim decît despre noi înşine (ceea ce poate fi util, atîta vreme cît nu uităm că stăm doar în faţa oglinzii). Vorbind către Dumnezeu monologăm tembeloid.

12 Responses to O definiție

  1. vpnz says:

    . Exercițiile spirituale sînt un drog puternic
    Interesant ar fi dacă ar exista pe undeva un antidot la fel de puternic ,cel puțin,care ar neutraliza efectele exercițiilor religioase în timp scurt.
    Mie mi a luat citiva ani buni tranziție

  2. polihronu says:

    Ca orice detox. E ok ca e asa. Biologia are ultimul cuvint.

  3. polihronu says:

    Tocmai mi-am dat seama ca mai publicasem o bucata buna din textul asta acum 10 ani: http://adventistderomania.blogspot.com/2011/12/rasfringeri.html
    Sint utile comentariile de acolo.

  4. Interesant ar fi dacă ar exista pe undeva un antidot la fel de puternic

    Alise ti-a raspuns anticipat.

  5. polihronu says:

    My favourite gay believer writes:

    When I finally head back to church this weekend, after a year of Covid-avoidance, it is going to feel a little strange. These past 12 months constitute the longest stretch of time I’ve been away from Mass since I was a toddler. And, I’m not going to lie, part of me rather enjoyed the sudden plague-mandated dispensation. I became used to the lazy, empty, gently unfolding Sundays, that came with a bonus: no guilt for missing Mass! They’ve grown on me, I have to say. Getting my lazy ass out of my apartment and to the Cathedral each week was always an effort — and I had begun to skip it more often than I used to anyway.

    I’d had periods of withdrawal from church before. During the AIDS crisis, a homily so enraged me I couldn’t return for a few months. It happened at a Mass on the weekend that the quilt, commemorating so many victims of AIDS, was being displayed down on the Mall. I’d spent much of the day there — so my feelings were raw. The Gospel reading that day, amazingly, was on the ten lepers Jesus healed, of whom the only one who thanked him was a Samaritan. Its relevance to me at that moment was overwhelming: a person stigmatized by the culture and then stigmatized by disease was the one who morally stood out.

    And then the homily began: “Today, we have no real equivalence to leprosy and its stigmas, so perhaps we need to analogize to cancer.”

    I barely heard the rest of it because my heart was beating so fast, my mind reeling, my heart re-broken. I went up to the priest afterwards, and said to him, with a snarl: “Have you heard of AIDS, father? It’s in the papers.” He looked at me blankly for a moment and then said: “Well, I didn’t think we’d have many people affected by that here.”

    Years later, when the sex abuse crisis hit, I also had to take a breather. My parish had once been led by Cardinal McCarrick, one of the worst abusers, and then by Cardinal Wuerl, who was, at best, an enabler. I took some months off to let my rage at the hypocrisy and pathology dissipate a bit. When I returned, I stayed in the side-chapel for Saint Francis for the Mass for a few months, and only emerged into the nave for communion. Weird, I know. But it helped me create a barrier between the rottenness of the institutional church and the sacraments I still needed.

    I know many of you will be rolling your eyes at this point. Why on earth are you still grappling with this stuff? Why didn’t you leave years ago? Become an Episcopalian or something. And stop writing about mumbo-jumbo. I remember my first, temporary departure from Mass had Christopher Hitchens extremely excited.

    So why go back?

    When I ask myself what exactly I’ve missed, I realize it sure isn’t a weekly revelation. I don’t expect to feel something profound every time I go to Mass — because most of the time, I don’t, and rarely have. Every now and again, grace appears. But it’s rare. And it isn’t necessary. The one thing Catholicism teaches the bored and distracted church-goer is that your own mood doesn’t really matter. The consecration will happen regardless. Your inspiration is not the point. And what makes this all cohere somehow is physical, communal ritual — and that, I realize, is what I really miss.

    I miss the silent genuflection; the chanting in unison with others; the simple standing up and kneeling down and standing up again. I miss the messy democracy of the communion line, and the faces I recognize from decades in my parish, and the faces I don’t. I miss enacting something ineffable with my body, using words I never chose myself, and using them uniquely in this space. I miss the irrational, collective order of it all. I miss the liberation of submission to something far larger than myself.

    And, beneath all this, only poking above ground every now and again, I miss the weekly reminder of what I deeply believe within the folds of my consciousness: the command of universal love; the fact of life after death; the radical truth of experiential mystery; and the centrality of the Gospels to eternity. Many atheist or agnostic friends sometimes ask me how they too can have a leap of faith. And the truth is I have no idea. I have never leapt anywhere. I have trudged, stumbled, meandered, persisted, and resisted all my life. But to have one part of my existence directed to the timeless and the mysterious just once a week all my life has given me something priceless.

    I couldn’t say exactly how this counter-rational aspect of my life affects the rest of me, but it definitely stabilizes things. It gives perspective. It makes the awfulness of the world less intolerable, it momentarily breaks what Michael Oakeshott called “the deadliness of doing”. It makes politics less fraught, because the religious person knows that the ultimate questions can never be resolved on earth, and it is foolish to try too hard to achieve things that humans cannot achieve.

    Jean Cocteau once described smoking opium as an interlude in the rush of existence. “Everything one achieves in life, even love, occurs in an express train racing toward death,” he wrote. “To smoke opium is to get out of the train while it is still moving.” I feel the same way about religion. It is about removing oneself from life while still living it: a pause, a grace-note, a moment when nothing is getting done.

    It is good to get out of the addled brain for a while, to live in the soul and the body alone. And I wish I were better able to convey how life-giving this is. Maybe it’s primarily a relief for those of us who live in our heads too much, who live very online lives, or who use words of our own all the time. But I see the calm it gives others too: the repetition of little acts, the recitation of the same words, the unity that such rituals can give a life over the decades. I saw it in my Irish grandmother — rattling through the Rosary like a freight train.

    And when this space disappears in a society, you can see people find ways to replicate it elsewhere. Last week, Gallup put out a poll that shows for the first time that affiliation with a church, synagogue or mosque no longer defines a majority of Americans. In the two decades since the turn of the Millennium, religious affiliation has gone from around 70 percent, where it had stood, more or less, since the 1930s, to a mere 47 percent. Among Millennials, only 36 percent say they belong to an organized religion.

    But what we’re witnessing, it seems to me, is not a collapse in the religious impulse as such. The need to transcend, to find meaning, and purpose, is eternal for humans. The soaring popularity of meditation and yoga, and the greater acceptance and use of psychedelic drugs to replicate the effect of practiced spirituality helps reveal the need. And fake religions — like the Prosperity Gospel — spring up where tradition and theology have already surrendered to greed.

    But the most dangerous manifestation of the collapse of the old religions, with their millennia of experience and honing, is the conflation of religious impulses and politics. The fusion of evangelical Christianity with the Republican party blasphemously climaxed in the Trump cult. I’ve written before about Christianism, precisely to distinguish it from Christianity. And it was hard not to notice classic wooden crosses raised aloft among the crowd that invaded the Capitol last January 6. They jostled next to Confederate flags and Trump merch. Some, like Eric Metaxas, have completely lost the plot. And if the contemporary GOP is, for many, the most visible symbol of organized Christianity in America, how can you blame them for despising it?

    And in wokeness, you see a similar tragedy. The transcendent has been banished in favor of a profoundly atheist view of the world as merely the arrangement of power structures. But the zeal of religious faith propels the ideology. It is Manichean — seeing the world only as good or evil, antiracist or racist, with virtue attached, horrifyingly, to skin color or gender. It can brook no compromise. It denies the individual soul. It seeks to punish and banish sinners as zealously as it insists on a total psychological re-birth for everyone who joins up. It demands confessions of sin; it requires the renunciation of the self in favor of the identity group; it urges, as so many sermons do, that people “do the work” every day to bring about the Kingdom of Anti-Racism.

    These pseudo-religions will fail. They are too worldly, too rooted in contemporary culture wars, too baldly tribal, and too shallow in their understanding of the world to have much staying power. But they can do immense damage to souls and our society in the meantime. They lack the one thing that endures in religious practice: something transcendent that makes the failure in our lives redemptive, and sees politics merely as the necessary art of attending to the imperfect.

    It took centuries for Christianity to begin to model that kind of humility and conviction, and to reject earthly power as a distraction from what really matters, what really lasts. And it would be a terrible shame if America threw that glorious inheritance away.

  6. „Iar victoria definitivă a scepticismului asupra oricărei alte epistemologii este intrarea în vocabularul ştiinţific a „teoriei” – privirea contemplativă, cu acces la esenţe, ba chiar la Dumnezeu, e azi modelul mereu provizoriu şi neapărat falsificabil pe care ştiinţa îl propune pentru a descrie realitatea, inclusiv pe aceea a subiectului cunoscător”.

    „The word contemplation is derived from the Latin word contemplatio, ultimately from the Latin word templum, a piece of ground consecrated for the taking of auspices, or a building for worship. The latter either derives from the Proto-Indo-European root *tem- („to cut”), on notion of „place reserved or cut out”, or from the root *temp- („to stretch, string”), thus referring to a cleared (measured) space in front of an altar.[1][2] The Latin word contemplatio was used to translate the Greek word θεωρία (theōría)”.

    Deci „teoria” trece de la templu si altar la „nu va ramane piatra peste piatra”.

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