An icon from an evening in glas and apocalyptic writings


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michael bolerjack on his way to meet goliath in a revised version of the critique of the catholic apocalypse

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An icon from an evening in glas and apocalyptic writings

  1. 1. An Icon from anEvening in Glas and apocalyptic writings Michael Bolerjack
  2. 2. Copyright © 2012 Michael Bolerjack
  3. 3. Table of ContentsFaith creates beingThe Treatise on LogicThe AccountThe FormThe Logic“Say that Jerusalem is”Arts RestAll Saints Day“…a limit on infinity…”That dice thrownGod-Church-WorldSymbolswill have been a book/interruptedPreface to Paradise ThroneParadise ThronePPSearch for the AbsolutetombAn Icon from an Evening in GlasSalted With Fire
  4. 4. Faith creates being,that is, acknowledgment turns potency to actuality. We are not real unless webelieve. Believe the Lord is in us. It has been said by all who believe that we arecreated by God. Let it be said also that you are not real unless you believe. If you arein doubt, or turned away from the light of faith, His Face, you only seem to be. Aswe have learned in our era, though Parmenides showed us long ago, most of theworld most of the time is mere semblance. By being in relationship with the real,one becomes real oneself. This relationship is one of faith. Faith is not of this world.The world is now deconstructing. Deconstruction is not nihilism, a philosophy ofnothingness, as existentialism was, with its question propadeutic to philosophizing,to be or not to be, the question of suicide in the face of the emptiness at the heart ofexistence. No, deconstruction is not a philosophy of nothingness, as with Sartre, orof being, as with Heidegger, but of sheer semblance, glamour, the milieu ofNietzsche. The opposition of being and nothingness has been deconstructed andwith it faith, which must be in either the fullness or the emptiness of God. There isnow only a faithless seeming-to-be, the time of opinion, of interpretation, ofperspectives, of a world in which there are no longer not only values of high andlong standing, but not even mere facts. There is no actuality. With too much going
  5. 5. on, there is no action, but the pose of glamour, the system of artificiality, in whichthe natural is valued only for its effectiveness as a sales tool. We desire, we attend, weare interested in, that which we love. Which can now only be represented, notpresented. There is no present, no presence, only presentations. There is no longerdirect unmediated contact with life. In fact, the mass of men and women are notreal. They have simply ceased to exist, though they still seem to. The only way backto being is the act of faith, a will to believe in God, the really real. At the momentyou say yes to God you begin to be. Without that you never even were. There areonly two ways, the world of reality and the world of opinion. As one once said: donot seem but be. When you believe you come to stand. Only by standing can youunderstand. Then you arrive. The highest reality transcends both metaphysics andethics. It is a moral and spiritual reality. To be in relationship with the Spirit is to bereal. Everything else is material to be bought or sold. As Christ said, you must beborn again, that is, being in the world does not make you real, but being inrelationship with God. It has been said that each of us has their own reality. That istrue for versions of semblance, of which the number is indefinite. To be definite, tobe free, to be real, is to be of one mind, the mind of Christ. Only by keeping Christin mind can you lose the separate reality of the show and find the one true good andbeautiful. It is as Parmenides and Paul said, perfect. We are required then in allseriousness to be perfect, to have the mind of Christ, to be real, to love reality nomatter how painful, preferring it to the intoxicants, that is, to be nothing for show.In this world that seems to be impossible. But semblance is in error. The one truthsimply is the Lord Jesus Christ. This will never change. The City of God is whatAugustine called the real world that I here declare, opposed to the glittering vices ofthe pagan diabolical city of semblance. Rilke said “you must change.” I second himand add: You have a choice. You must choose. Choose reality. Faith is the meaningof being. At the mass the priest stated the position of faith: God does the impossible.Now, for reason the impossible by definition cannot be done. Yet, the Church hasever taught, on the basis of the authority of Christ, that for God, and for one whohas faith, nothing is impossible. Faith, then, understands more than cool reason
  6. 6. comprehends. When Hegel said the real is rational and the rational is real, heattempted to rationalize faith’s basic character of higher realization throughirrationality, into a system in which the sublation of difference and contradiction asabsolute knowledge can be the all in all. Hegel also said the whole is the true, butothers have posited infinities, supplements and traces that exceed the whole, thusexceeding truth. Truth, to be true, would have to include the lie, or seeming-to-be.But this cannot be. They do not change the truth through that displacement. Theycan, as one has said, deny or ignore the truth, but they cannot change it. Truth to betrue cannot be an historical process but is immutable. Human history is a lie, spokenagainst the truth. The Church is able through faith to have both the truth and all itscontradictoriness, by mystery, by the assertion of the dogmas of God as both threeand one, of Christ as both God and man, of the death of God on the cross, of achurch both sinful and holy, of a sacrament both bread and God, of God bothimmanent and transcendent, of a human being who was completely free from sin, ofa papacy which is infallible, of the good of suffering, and much else. The Churchboldly asserts the incomprehensible, things which are not mere paradoxes of thefaith, but real contradictions that the logic of Aristotle cannot admit, though he saidHeraclitus said such things without really thinking them. I have at various points inthe scope of my Transubstantiation said and shown the truth of contradictionwithout contradicting the truth, yet He was contradicted as prophesied by those whoput him to death, even with the cross of human reason. But Truth lives again.Resurrection itself, without which our religion is to be pitied, is perhaps the greatestcontradiction, though some say such things as the virgin birth to be. Anyone whoclings to reason will find a stone of offense to stumble on in scripture and thechurch’s teaching. And yet, while asserting the necessity of both faith and reason, theChurch presents us with impossibilities to believe. God asks nothing but theimpossible. Be perfect. Your faith has saved you, do not sin again. The Church givesus models of perfection in the saints, who by the grace of God did the impossible. Itis said the great thing is to dream the impossible dream, and one has said the onlything worth attempting is the impossible. Faith does this. But without Christ we can
  7. 7. do nothing. Knowledge will fail, but love will go on. We love each other despiteour contradictions. By faith and love we suspend the judgments of reason,transforming even the critical faith by which we are reformed for an ever-greatertruth we know by love and not by reason. My life has been one love, no blot it out,my life has been one chain of contradictions. But they are one and the same. We arepresented with something greater than we can understand, but we believe, we love,we obey, and even not despite but because of the contradictions. These of the faiththat the Church presents to us are the greatest spur to and test of our faith, and thusour faith is proved. Logic had its scapegoat, the scandal of the contradiction, yet faithhas won out. “Being” doesn’t empty faith, but is substantial subsistent faith.
  9. 9. As I told a friend in April, 2010, at Easter the Lord gave me a big thing to say.Altogether, the telling of it took over three months. The results are disconcerting foranyone who thinks in the accustomed tradition of the mainstream of philosophycoming from Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas. The essays I wrote take as theirstarting-point the Hegelian assertion of the truth of the whole, coupled with thegospel assertions concerning how God thinks, which is very different from that ofthe world. In the end, a logic was produced that reconciles all oppositions, to thepoint that in retrospect, having watched an hour of news on television, I commentedthat, if it doesn’t make sense, it must be true. My logic both describes the illogicalityof the world today and shows a possible path to the unification of the competingclaims of the various religions and philosophies under the banner of the allowancethat all are true as a whole, and only make sense as part of the whole. The world,now fragmented into many parts, each part thinking it is the true one, or that all areequally untrue, or that all are true from their own perspectives, each in their ownreality, is actually true when grasped in its innate contradiction, and that thiscontradiction is the truth, and must be, for the truth not to contradict itself. It is notthat we agree to disagree, but that our very being depends on faith in a God whoencompasses all differences. At any rate, so it seems to me.
  10. 10. THE ACCOUNTIn the following I will give both a general and special theory of accountability, that is, in thelatter case, a restricted economy of the account of the genesis and order of the ideas ofthe work, with some relevant history on the author, his life and the present age, and in the formercase, an analysis of the account as such, both in the logos and in terms of a total count in themaking, opposing teleological closure, our happiness and promise of joy, to the pleasure ofseriality, the indefinite, semblance, our anxiety of desire, our insatiable pleasure, our fear of theend. In order to do this I will make use of the complexity of the logos-logic-logistic-logisticsconstruction, showing on the square or in the space of the idea as such the relations of these fourterms to each other and to the regimes of religion and finance, as well as to their deconstructions.This will be worked out with the thought of Christ in mind, the problem of the contradictions oflife in Christ and of life in the World, of the comprehensiveness of the totality of the logic ofGod inherent in the notion that God does the impossible, the relation of this belief to faith andreason, to the mercy of God as I think it is to be understood, to the theory of reading the Biblethat gives rise to the comprehension of contradiction, as well as the secular application of thislogic in literature and philosophy, in ethics, politics, finance, and in the interrelation of the faithsof the world, showing a way to peace through an emphasis on wholeness, understanding,forgiveness and the abandonment of the subjective perspective as such, however multiplied, forthe unity of one objective dramatic self-effacing release of power for the love of God and thelove of neighbor, alluded to at times in the works I have written by the words arrival, realdialectic, catholicity or the Catholic Economy. A textuality will obtain in the working-through ofthe general and special theories, in the sense that the account of the restricted textual economy of
  11. 11. the individual works is set in the account of the general text, and my text itself in that indefiniteever-greater text that simulates the infinite. We will see the interplay of the sign-world oftextuality, which is constantly deconstructing, with the true frame of things found in number,which needs no translation and cannot be deconstructed. The cities of God, seen in theUltrastructure or Metasignification as I posit it, and of the World, seen in textuality, areintertwined, as the wheat and the tares, but as the deconstructing world falls away, as Joyce saidaccelerating at 32 ft per second per second, into the abyss, the altogether pristine will emerge,which the Bible calls measure, weight, number, a fact Andrew Marvel commented on in hispreface to Milton, though all now seems lost without measure, weightless, a “total count in themaking.” The account of accountability I intend is meant to, in part, show the futility of thatseries, by that which is already made, from which God is seen, as Paul said in Romans. Thelogos and its logic show this as well. Truth is apparent in the words in which it is written, andyou do not have a single word without having the whole of language, metaphysics and the truthsthey contain with it, as Derrida once said in his early controversy on structuralism.Deconstruction targeted the logos and its logic, forcing it before the letter to the logistic ofreducing number to logic, thus eliminating the indeconstructible, and by postmodern parodyreducing logistic to logistics, a keyword in business today that is parallel to the use of the termaesthetics for the artificial attempt to reverse time in the aging of the faces of women, as well asthe remotivated uses of the word metaphysics today, which are not concerned with being orcause or form as such, but with the spiritual world in general, without reference to good or eviland their restricted dialectic, that is the deconstructive economy of generality against a properdialectic. Logistics, aesthetics and metaphysics are all artificial, set against dialectics assimulation is set against reality, and do not make any new thing but manipulate matter and spirit
  12. 12. in magical kinds of ways, attempting the impossible, promising the impossible, but ending onlyby destroying actuality, suspending the really Real, a term from Gregory of Nyssa for God, anderasing meaning as such. One of the cornerstones of the present work will be to see theimpossible as something that only God can do, that is the definition of God in a way, whichinvolves not the resort to the paradox, which is based on seeming (characteristic of contemporarylogistics, aesthetics and metaphysics), but on the impossible, which really is the reality of thatwhich is, its contradictoriness, its wholeness, its truth. What has happened is the setting back ofactuality to mere possibility, this step back freeing play, eliminating the truly serious for thesemblance of gravitas, and as the fall away takes place, the seeming elimination of gravity, at thesame time a real and an inexorable and unbearable gravity which is causing the fall but cannot befelt in the time of the abyss. Material is feeding the pull of this gravity, the increasing materialityof culture, seen in the new importance of logistics, of aesthetics to defeat gravity and time, ofmetaphysics to defeat any notion of absolute truth. There is still such truth, but at first glance itmay be mistaken for the world that is falling away. That world views it in the grand affirmationsof Nietzsche, Joyce, Derrida: their YES. But by eliminating the NO they will by deconstructivelogic eliminate the YES as well. It is only by conserving the negative, let your yes mean yes andyour no mean no, as Christ said, that the absolute truth emerges into view as the wholeness of thecontradiction. The very thing that was previously thought to be division is the real unity, seenfrom a height not from the leveled postmodern standpoint. God tells us this in all Bibles, andeven Heraclitus knew of it: the way up and the way down are one and the same. Aristotle couldnot grasp this truth which is not human but is divine. The hidden harmony of things is expressedby Christ as the Father who causes His rain to fall on both the just and on the unjust. Christ saidthen, be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect. And it is this command to be perfect which
  13. 13. tests the cross of human reason, and by faith, not the will or effort of man, though we are toldthat also is required, in order perhaps to be part of the contradiction, not by our wills but only bythe mercy and grace of God. Such faith is the creation of reality, for unless you believe you arenot real. The artificial world falls away while the real remains. We are judged by our works, butfaith saves, and this at once is the whole truth, which is the mercy of God greater than our sins,but also greater than justice as such or reasoning in itself. Parmenides, in the poem that sets forththe One, says that there are WHAT IS and WHAT IS NOT and that which only SEEMS TO BE.And this is the truth. The One is what is, which as One contains actually all number as One,while the nothing or what is not is the same as the void without either meaning or number, noteven the Islamic invention of the zero, while what seems to be, which commentators say is theinordinate concern of a work on the One, is the province not of the Ultrastructure but of the text.The sign only seems to be. The oracle does not speak or conceal but gives signs, as Heraclitussaid, which is to say, there are only the revelation of the One, the occulted nothing and the realmof interpretation. Plato, in his dialogue on Parmenides, subjects the One to the first logistic,reducing the Ultrastructure of the unity of number in the monad to the logic inherent in thatunity, which inspired deconstruction, a move that results in the equation: both this and that,neither this nor that, the fourfold of logic I wrote on in 1988, and which became the basis fordeconstruction’s double blow or affirmation, which is a mere paralysis, not the whole truth butthe interdiction of the arrival of truth, as I point out at various places in the work. The logic ofthe One as one thing and its opposite both at once is the positing of contradiction as the truth, butwhich is only part of the strategy of deconstruction, which then eliminates the contradiction by aDionysian YES, by the leveling of hierarchy in Nietzsche’s logical deduction concerning thehistory of Being as the history of an error, a history in which being is overcome by sheer
  14. 14. appearance, which cannot be appearance any more if it has no Being to oppose it in a binaryopposition, and many say they are the same, this deconstruction of the space of logic based onthe contradictions that feed the dialectical work of the word and the grand gesture of theaffirmation that is a vicious circle without egress. But they are not, though they seem to be. Theway to discern the truth of contradiction from the contradiction of truth involves looking at thefruits of the logics. The contradiction of truth is done on the one hand to free interpretation,signs, the text, generally, to excess, as a kind of pleasure of the text, as Barthes said, the same assexuality, but displaced upward. The truth of contradiction on the other hand humbles humanreason and its significance and tells us there is something that cannot be thought, the impossible,that man cannot do. Derrida said that only the impossible is worth attempting. Actually heattempted to deconstruct the impossible itself, by the elimination of act, the creation of purepossibility, and by way of simulation, through the imposition of a pure possibility, makingactuality impossible. Every act became an act. Acting, but no action, the pure act is theelimination of all acts. But the truth of contradiction is not this act, but the actuality ofwholeness. This whole is the One. It is reality. The truth of contradiction indeed says both thisand that, neither this nor that, or rather every statement and its opposite are true. If God is goodand yet as we know there is evil, there is in God’s world, the world we inhabit, both. There hasbeen much theodicy from theologians and poets to justify the ways of God to man and explainthe existence of evil, and I do not wish to place the goodness of God in question. One can saythat evil is only an illusion, as in the East, or that creation itself is an evil, the Gnostic way. Letus say neither of these. But at the same time let us say both. The world is evil and it is only anillusion. Rather that is what it has become in the hands of the logic of deconstruction, which wasalways potential in the tradition of metaphysics, but which did not come into play until the last
  15. 15. 100 years. The world is now the multiple, the sign, and this is the illusion, and semblance is theevil. What is real? Buddha said suffering was an illusion, but Christ showed us suffering anddeath are both real, though His love is more real. As Sophocles said, we suffer into truth. This isto suffer the contradiction. The contradiction of truth is to posit the absence of meaning as theonly meaning, an effect, that is, as Derrida said in an interview in Positions, “writing literallymeans nothing,” but the truth of contradiction is to accept the cross and what put Christ on it,which was the human reaction to the all-embracing nature of God’s mercy. You will love yourenemy but they will not love you, you will be peaceful while they make war, you will becontradicted as Christ was contradicted. The truth of contradiction however is not thiscontradiction of the truth, the world against the truth, but the mercy by which God is free, notbound by human reason or will, in that He may affirm both the just and the unjust, both saintsand sinners, loving He said especially the sinner, but rejoicing when he repents of sin. In thismetanoia or conversion is the birth of faith and reality against the paranoia of human fear, greed,denial, desire, self-love, and perhaps most of all the pride of the goddess of human Reason. Thewisdom of God transcends mere reason and does this in a way more than we know. There is tosay it again, because it bears repeating, what is, what is not and what only seems to be, and inthis logical matrix we are placed in the moral problem of our good and our evil. Is evil nothing,merely a lack of the good? Or is it an illusion, seeming to be only? Or does it really exist? If itexists, it is then true, in a way, but I think a truth that perpetuates itself only by falsehood, bydenial, simulation and terror to quote Badiou, that is, by being the contradiction of truth. Somewould go beyond good and evil, neither moral nor immoral, rather amoral, as one would speak oftruth and falsehood in an extra-moral sense, as Nietzsche did. I prefer to go on to the conclusionof the logic, to the fourth term of this equation, the other that completes the moral hierarchy,
  16. 16. which is mysticism. The mystic knows good and evil, that they exist, does not negate themamorally, but in another way, through a transcendent love, turns from evil to the good. Thisturning is the conversion, the being born again, the new man, the repentance, the turning awayfrom the world to God by the renewal of the mind in order to be perfect, that is, to know what ispleasing to God, to think as He does, in a sense, at least as we can do that in this life, in spirit, ifnot in deed. When this happens, all things become possible, the impossible can be done, by Godand in faith. Thus, I, who was not real, become real. The world which was real is known to beunreal. Everything is true, but as the lie which it was. The contradiction is accepted. One doesnot say YES to everything morally or mystically, and yet at the same time one does, loving as itis said the sinner but not the sin. As God does. To love both neighbor and enemy is to refrainfrom judging sin. It is to separate existence from essence, truth from error, that we are good fromwhat we say and do, recognizing that everything that lives is holy, to echo Blake, because part ofthe whole, which is true, the Hegelian view, but that much of what we think is in error, that weare as Kierkegaard said basically wrong before the Truth, or as Luther said, incorrigible, and thatGod does the impossible literally in saving us who are evil, and so to recognize this generally,but not particularly, and thus we can say all religions are one, as Blake did. We must love Godunconditionally, I say, but the reverse is not the case, as some people say, for God requiressomething from each of us, as is spelled out in every religion, every morality, every wisdom, andthough this differs in cases, the fact is this: the forbearance of truth. We are in error, in debt, tothe truth, which still loves us in order that we may yet turn to love Him. The truth is forbearancethat defers the debt, and even, in jubilation, foregoes what is His due, contradicts His justice withan ever-greater mercy that forgives us anyway. Though mercy and justice are opposites they arebut one act, one action that shows that the left hand of God is somehow not aware of the justice
  17. 17. and wrath in the right, and in what is the impossible, the incomprehensible, forgives. Even bearsand forbears the impossible, the truth contradicting itself, the heart of contradiction yet notcontradicting the heart, for our sakes. Thus, God does the impossible and in a way or we mayhope that in His mercy He denies what is His right and His prerogative, lets go, releases,renounces all out of love for a creature undeserving of this Almighty grace which shows us self-denial and asks the same of us: love one another as I have loved you. Simple, they say, hard andyet not hard, bright yet dark, smiling yet impassive, simple, yet with the absolute complexity thatwe cannot understand of a love that contradicts everything except love itself. The truth does notdeny itself, does not lie, but just as love fulfills the law, justice is good, yet it is completed,fulfilled, by an absolute mercy that suffers contradiction on all sides, out of mercy. This is ourhope. It is a hope against hope. As has been said, God is love, and we are saved in hope, and thetruth itself is a charity that gives even itself away. It cannot be denied. The contradiction is alsothis: that in giving we receive, that only by being empty are we full. At the wall of truth, to echoCusanus, the opposites at last meet, the coincidence, and contradiction contradicts itself, andunity is achieved beyond what human reason can know. This is the truth of mercy and the mercyof truth. The contradiction both is and is not at the same time. I do not know, I cannot know, yetI believe, I must believe. One must believe. Be perfect. Believe. Faith makes it real. I am madeby God, but in faith I become real. Faith is a gift, and if I say I give something to God, then Imust be contradicting myself, yet I believe He needs us even as we need Him. Therese said: Howmuch Jesus desires to be loved! We know more than we understand, and we are told to inclinenot to our own understandings. The mercy of God can be seen in relation to the previously givenaccount of the logic of the philosopher Parmenides and the dialogue by Plato about the talk thefirst great logician in the West had with the young Socrates. If there is a secret, it perhaps is this.
  18. 18. If you take the logic, any logic, perhaps, which deals with truth, or any logic problem where youhave the answer but have to supply the steps to prove it, on the one hand, and on the other hand,a problem from mathematics, say, simple addition, for example, then when we speak of the factof the world, the truth of being, the meaning of things, or the mercy of God, and assert thecontradictoriness of them, the truth of contradiction, the answer is that the world, truth, meaning,being, what is our ultimate concern, is more like a math problem than a logic problem. One doesnot reduce math to logic as in the famous logistic of Russell and Whitehead who spent much inkin “proving” that two plus two equals four. No. One does the reverse of the logistic, and convertslogic into math, the truth into a number, as I show in the Metasignification about the arrival,completion and fulfillment of man and God. This reversal can be seen in that, instead of sayingtrue and false, both and neither, and conclude that they cannot all be true, one says “four timesthree equals twelve.” Or simply add up everything, being-in-the-world, and arrive at theconclusion of the new summa, the sum total of the all in all. Which must be One. AbsolutelyPlato and Parmenides were right. The One is what is, minus what seems to be, setting aside whatis not. The entire fourfold of the logical square is true all at the same time. I may seem to beagreeing with seriality and Sartre by indicating a summa or summing up, that the answer is atotal count in the making, as a poet said, but I am not. Semblance is that, and it is growingindefinitely. The truth is One. When you add up all faith in the world, the thing that makes usreal, and subtract all doubt, all reason, everything that is not faith, that is, the multiplicity, youarrive at One. If the truth is One, what would the Zero be? Zero is pleasure, a kind of sensualnihilism. Pleasure times anything leads to the void, as multiplying anything by zero leaves zero.To arrive at true spiritual joy, you must then not choose pleasure, but rather its opposite, pain.You must not affirm both, which would negate the One and affirm the Nothing. Pain or
  19. 19. suffering, the cross, is something we accept, the fact of it, and also the good of it in the wisdomof God’ providence, trusting Him. Christ says two things that may contradict each other, yet bothI think according to the theory may be true. Come to me all you who are weary and carrying aheavy burden, and find your rest, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Deny yourselves,take up your cross and follow me. But the cross is not easy and light, or it would not be the cross.The cross is full of every kind of pain and contradiction, humiliation, suffering, and to suffer isnot easy. But at least it is real. Pain and suffering are two criteria of reality, which as one poetsaid, is not something the human being can stand much of. Love hurts. God died on the cross, apainful death, because of His love for the Father and for us. If He calls us to the cross, to bear itwith Him, how can it also be light and easy? Because at least it is real, which is not somethingthe pleasures of life give. Pleasure is the zero, and the more it is multiplied, the more there is ofnothing. Numbness is worse than pain, to feel even pain is better than not being able to feelanything at all. The cross is in a sense both hard and easy, because real, because the opposite ofpleasure, because in this, despite human reason, and what appears to be our own self-interest,there is a true joy that the world cannot comprehend, peace that the world knows nothing of, awideness to mercy, as the hymn says, a forgiveness, an understanding, a wisdom, which is theMind of Christ. Subtracting pleasure from this will not diminish it, for pleasure is the zero, but ifyou multiply pleasure times any good thing that seems to be good in itself and may be, thoughtruly God alone is Good, then in the modern calculus of utilitarian hedonism, you not only maybut you must lose everything. To arrive at the One, you add up all faith, faiths of every kind,believe everything, all things as it is said, and subtract all doubt, all reason, all sin, for whateveris not of faith is sin, and most of all subtract all pleasure in the world, though it is really onlynothing, and then you get the One. What is the number of Spiritual Joy? Christ indicates that it is
  20. 20. 70. Why 70? Because human understanding forgives seven times, divine wisdom does 70 timesseven times. And it is for this reason that Christ sends before Him 70 disciples to all the towns inIsrael he will visit in his life because they are to bring the gospel to the people, bring them thegood news, the joy of the message of peace and forgiveness and healing from God. The goodnews which is One contrasts with the void, all that simulates peace, but does not provide it, suchas vacations, rather than vocations. We have the One and the zero. What is the postmoderncontext? The computer is the universal adding machine, which connects everything throughalmost, but not quite, infinitely long and complex strings of Ones and zeros. This is the totalcount in the making, ever indefinite, not able to arrive, or be computed. The computer hascomputed something it cannot compute. In a way, it seems to have made the world into a kind ofOne, one world. The ideal has become real through technology. Instead of this great truth of theReality of the Whole, we have instead the Hole of Unreality, the abyss into which the city of theworld is falling. This unreal city is currently in a crisis, and this crisis will not pass, a crisis offinancial meltdown, political deadlock, unending distortions of the truth by denial, simulationand terror on all sides. To contradict the truth, clearly and simply, would be to arrive at theWhole, by dialectic, but to again use Badiou’s terms, truth is being destroyed not bycontradiction, which is dialectical, like all truth, at least in the West, but through deconstructivesimulations and the many forms of denial that humans are known for, and the variety ofterrorisms at war in the world today, even on computers themselves. The zero, the nothingness,which is really a less than zero, a simulated fraud, in order to deny it is what it is, or is not what itseems to be, requires constant stimulation. The financial world requires great stimulus packagesthat only delay, defer, deny the problem of an economy based on credit rather than faith,capitalism rather than the catholic economy of the charity of truth, two different forms of belief
  21. 21. and trust, the former an illusion, the second an ideal, and which increases the national debt ofalmost all countries in a kind of unreal multiplication that is as big as the strings of ones andzeros that have made the internet. The stimulants that keep us going, legal or illegal, moral orimmoral, sane or insane, give us an illusion of energy and vitality, like the picture of DorianGray, that is, with a huge price we are in denial about. The corruption of the world is the fact andthe result of our being in denial, a corruption seen in the murder of the woman of Juarez by drugcartels fed by American addictions, in the large amounts of money that fuel politics andgovernment today, and in the horror of the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. Thenumber of this corruption is something like the Google. It is the opposite of the One. It has beencreated artificially, stimulated by advertising, sex, power, all desires, all pleasures, and is amonster, a beast, anti-Christian, if I may refer to the prophecy of the end of the world withoutseeming to be something I am not. God has promised to heal the world, as he ends it, to shepherdthe people, give them good pasture to lie down in and rest, to bind up all our wounds. But he alsopromises to destroy the sleek and the strong. This is not a popular message, but it is in Ezekiel.People like to watch movies about the end of the world, simulations of it, or deny that theprophecies apply to the future, are far rather about ancient Rome, and we cannot fall back on theold phrase, history will be the judge, because after the end, history will be no more, it will havebeen an illusion, an error of the human judgment, corrected by the divine judgment, which we allhope will be merciful. That all this huge apocalyptic mistake of a world is the all-timecontradiction, where some people have so much, and some so little, is the fact. Accountability iscalled for. What we have is an illusion, what we need is an ideal that we can still make real if webelieve we can love. I believe we can. Criticism and complaint and the long litany of opinion arethe order of the day, and there is little room for thanks and praise, for trust and mercy, for
  22. 22. meditation, for stillness instead of stridency, and we all are too unilateral, too partial, toofragmented, unlike the God I have evoked so far, as He is to me, Who is so all-embracing, One,whole, complete, that He includes everything and its opposite, and so much so that we cannotunderstand Him as He is, or really know ourselves, and thus seem to pursue our careers, ourloves, our lives, our faith or our fate, with slackness or sleekness, apathy or determination, due tocontingent rather than essential reasons. Absolutely, God is the reason for our being, but He isnot limited by reasons. Love is the reason for the world and for us, and it is what can still hold ustogether, and I believe will, and really does in God, despite our unbelief, our lack of care, ourfears. He said: You will have trouble in the world, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome theworld. We have been given temptations: to sins of the body, mind, spirit. Yet we are temples,lights in the world, cities on a hill. We all are called. We hear this call not with our ears, but withour hearts, not by sight, but by faith, with love, and we do not say that He is being unreasonable,that He asks the impossible, which He perhaps does, but we rejoice in being called, in beingchosen, in being created, in being renewed, in being granted a few years to be a part of the world,to learn to love, to choose joy and hope, not despite suffering, but because it is His will, theinscrutable, which I have described as a kind of contradiction, not merely a paradox, acontradiction seen chiefly in Jesus Christ Himself, being both true God and true man, the factwhich was a stumbling block for both Jews and Islamists, His death on the cross, what Heendured in solidarity with each of us and all of us. To be called by Him is to be called to account,and he makes us accountable, in that we really do count, are not nothing, yet are not somebody,but are One, once we leave the world of seeming-to-be for what really IS, the contradiction oftruth for the truth of contradiction. When I am called to account, made accountable, I must turn,either toward Him Who calls, or away from Him. If I think I count as somebody, I turn away. If I
  23. 23. turn toward the call, I begin to count to Him. If I think I count, I will enumerate the reasons. If Ionly begin to count, I do not count higher than One, though God can unfold out of the Onenumbers such as the trinity, or four-square arrival, the gnomic five, the completed seven of Godand man at one with each other, or in fulfillment arrive at the twelve, three times four, God timesman, what is called the All in All. We ascend through a few steps, hard steps of arrival andcompletion, and in the next life by His mercy we will be fulfilled, not by an addition of God butby a great multiplication, as He multiplied the bread and fish, as He said, be fruitful andmultiply, as He said, not seven times but 70 times seven times. God’s action multiplies, it doesnot divide. Yet it does. He brings not peace but a sword, and a person’s enemies will be his ownfamily members. The Church is persecuted and persecuting, both, holy and sinful, both, anddespite denials, often contradicts Scripture. We might view this as hypocrisy, but I do not think itis, yet I do not think it should be ignored either. The truth is contradictory, is exemplified by thisChurch professing love, but burning heretics, or silencing those who disagree with Rome. Ibelieve God loves each of us, as well as the Church and the World, not despite ourcontradictions, but because of them. It is we who find ourselves unbearable, judging one and all,condemning sinners, other faiths, critics, even our closest friends. But my conscience judges onlyme, it is me I am to give an account of. My faith says this, love would have it so, but I dream ofreasons, most quite good, why the other is wrong and I am right. Then we are a kind of paranoid,living a delusion, thinking I am somebody, fearful of the stranger and neighbor, in love withmyself, if with anyone at all. As Nietzsche once confessed after going mad, he never lovedanyone, not even himself. To know that there are good and evil that really contradict and thatnevertheless we are not to sin or do evil, that to know the good and not to do it is a sin, that weare therefore, again, to be perfect, means that although contradiction is forgiven, that is not a
  24. 24. license to sin. And perhaps the greatest sin is to deny the truth. John Paul II once said that themost important word in the Bible is “truth.” In denying the truth we deny God Himself Who isthe Truth in a person. The truth is a person, not abstract, and easy to love, with a real heart, reallytempted like us, suffered and died like us, had a mother, was just a worker in wood, never wrotea book, never married, had a brief career and would have been forgotten, if He had not been God.And because He is not forgotten, neither are we, though we seem to be, after only fifteen minutesof fame. Most of us never get even that much, thank God. But because God loves us and wantsus to love Him, as Therese said, we will not only not be forgotten, but live forever. Eternity wasthe great point of departure for me when I was first called by God in 1989, and my conversionwas the immediate fruit of a paper I wrote on the distinction I drew between eternity and theInfinite, departing from Levinas, on the one hand, and Nietzsche on the other, Eternity for me isa religious notion, the Infinite mere philosophy, all against what I once studied, Nietzsche’seternal return, that infinite circle without exit, and the ethics of Levinas which posits the Infinitebut not its limitation by Eternity. The circle that I had been in for five years was in 1989 for me,as Derrida said, “effracted,” the economy broken, my debt paid, I was redeemed and freed, andyet bound to God, though not bound essentially anymore to sin, as I set out on a journey, whichat times was painful, boring, mad, mystic, full of love, and filled with the attempt to writesomething about what I was thinking and experiencing. The basic premise of my work as anauthor from the inception in 1989, after having rejected Derrida, was that deconstruction was avery bad thing, the philosophy of the Antichrist, and that it was to be refuted. However, beforethe present work is concluded the reader will find something else going on in my relationship tothe thought of Derrida, and it will be seen to fulfill the implications of the thesis concerning thetruth of contradiction. While the work, on the one hand, has to do with my coming to terms with
  25. 25. my twenty years in the Catholic Church, and what I found out about the apocalypse, on the otherhand it involves a working-through of Derrida and deconstruction, my position changing over thecourse of the years, under the pressure of the time. I came to see it is not that we contradict eachother, but that we cannot logically accept that fact of existence, and so we live a little crazy, indenial about reality, which just cannot be true, as it is, yet we find it may really be the truth,WHAT IS. And so in the end, I have made my peace with deconstruction, while still opposing it,that is dialectically appropriating it so as not to be deconstructed by it, but have allowed thecontradictions to stand, because the whole is the true. The Bible says so many things in morethan one way, even four gospels that often conflict and contradict, that we must change the waywe think or ignore the great canonical truth that the Bible is true even when it contradicts itself,and that one must not isolate statements, but take it as a whole. One might say: In the beginningwas the Account, which is one meaning of the word Logos used as the name of the Son of God.The word for Word means more than just “word,” and is paradigmatic of the truth itself, beingalso speech, reason, discourse, harmony, proportion and account, as well as much more, as Iwrite in my work on Heraclitus. Words self-contradict, as a teacher of mine pointed out,remarking that people want words to mean only one thing, which they do not, a fact that does notapply to numbers which do not mean but one thing as numbers, though we may find symbols inthe ciphers, a fact that accounts for the plan for the temple in the book of Ezekiel. Newton saidthis plan for the Temple is the map for the mind of God, which inspired me to say that God is aBook, which is neither right, nor wrong, that is, unproven and not able to be proven, andalthough it does not seem to make sense, I say it anyway. To say that all religions are One, andyet not all religions are equally true, is valid. To say all of the Bible is eternally valid, that what itsays about something in the past still applies today, especially regarding the Church, is what I
  26. 26. think is true, that Scripture is essential Prophetic, but that any one isolated point of view is onlypartial, whether it is Catholic, Jewish, Islamic or Buddhist, and that only the totality can be thewhole truth and nothing but the truth, even though all conflict. And yet we maintain ouraffiliations with the parts, while realizing they are not the whole, which is a representation ofGod. God is eternal and infinite, and in a logical space contains all possibilities, but as Aquinassaid, what is eternal is actual, so He really is All in All already. We await our arrival, when Hechooses, and learn patience as we wait, as Joyce said, patience is the great thing. As Holderlinsaid, the important thing is not to be somebody, but to learn. And endurance is good for the faith,and faith is what makes you real, if you are real. Faith creates being and in being born again webecome real. We are in a real relation with God, not circling an impassive distant star, and yet weare also in a fixed relation, for God cannot change, which we cannot help but do in ourimmutable world filled with immortal souls. From our hearts we overcome our minds. Out oflove we do not have to have a better reason, a better theology, a better job, a better car, a betterhouse, a better wife, or a bigger and better anything than anyone else. In a sense contradiction isso democratic, so egalitarian, and dialogue so good, to be at peace so welcome, and yet to fightfor the right so necessary, to never quit or give up or in, but to keep going, to call out to eachother as we run on, “just keep going!” which Badiou said is a definition of truth. There is noother race to run and to finish is to win, to go the distance as the fighter did in the old movie, totry, and though as we die we may not know if we won anything or what our lives really meant,yet to know that if we have loved, some real thing was made, a living spiritual being that is likehaving a baby in terms of the natural world, but may be how God is born, in us, and how Hisbook came to be, for us, why he lived and died, with us, and did not give up, out of love, one ofus, and my religion was not wrong about God being love, as John said: God is love. When we
  27. 27. love each other, God is more God, I think, and we help create the World with Him, the creationbeing something not inessential or extrinsic to God, but a world He loved so much He died tosave it. He was crucified along with two others. In the four accounts in the gospels, only Lukementions that one was saved. Yet there is that one chance, that one hope, that one account, andwe accept this in a way Samuel Beckett could not, who also could not accept suffering, wholived in perpetual exile. We are not yet home, but we are not still in exile. We are on the way,and God is coming to meet the prodigal, the thief, the sinner, even the good. We do not knowwhat He will say, or even if He is a He, as in some churches which are progressive, but God willcome, we only seem to wait indefinitely, and faith being the substance of things hoped for, whatmakes the real really real, and the evidence of things not seen, the living proof, we hear the word,receive the gift of faith, and become real, sometimes right away, sometimes years later, as in thedifference between the conversion of Paul and the conversion of Augustine, not for our sakesalone but for the sake of the whole, and to be a drop in the infinite sea is a much better thing thanimagined when we spent our days on the shore playing with the shells and rocks and things thatamused, distracted, but did not help us become what we were meant to be. Accepting the truth ofcontradiction is not the way to arrive, but rather some point you reach just before arrival, how farbefore no one knows, but somewhere between departure and approach. As I said once, in a paperon Augustine and Derrida, to contradict the theory that a letter can never arrive, because of astructure of error built into the postal principle, if you set out and just keep going, you cannothelp but arrive, you will not get lost forever, and even if you lose your way, God will find you.Perhaps He can only find us precisely when we are lost. We must lose ourselves in order to befound. We lose our lives in order to really begin to live. Whether that is before or after death, oronly after resurrection, after the particular or the general judgment or a long time in the fires of
  28. 28. purgation, or if simply knowing and loving God is already to have arrived, I do not know. Ibelieve all of the above. That is the answer you give God when He asks you that one last, hardquestion that means so much. All of the above, Lord, all of the above. It may be that the questionthough will be simple and easy, as simple as “Who do you love?” If we can honestly say “Youalone Lord, you are my inheritance, all I desired in all I desired,” we will be closer to the truth.“With what is thought to remain?” John Paul II asked in his youth, and the reply he gave was“With the truth, of course.” If we sincerely seek the Truth, while not violating conscience, wewill be saved. These words of Vatican Council II, said in relation to the religions of the world,should be kept in mind when considering truth, in that neither Christians nor anyone else own itentirely, and that precisely when the truths of the world all contradict, this does not add up to thenegation of the truth, but to its very completion, just short of our true fulfillment in the All in All.It has been said we should not let the perfect be the enemy of the good, which is a theology ofpolitics, compromise, but I say, follow the truth wherever it leads, for wherever God leads you,He will provide for you, even though it be impossible, a promise which is the logic of mercy,absolute. This absolute is free, free of reason, meaning to say, at least we must not look forreasons to believe, like theologians, but allow ourselves to be created in our essential being byfaith, to have sheer faith and to leave the rest to God, whose mercy and justice are one.THE FORMSeeing the form is part of the basic requirement to know and love the truth. It is the point ofconcentration at which the work meets the world. This meeting of you who are the work of God,and any work you may do, with the world, is a kind of crisis, crux, or turning point. The world
  29. 29. tries to inform you, reshape you and conform you to itself and its purposes, which varydepending on time and place, but which universally have principles such as pleasure, desire andpower expressed today through finance and politics. We are told by Paul to be not conformed tothe world. Thus, one must not be too informed by it or of it, either. On what basis then shall webe formed? Let us say on faith, hope and love, theological and spiritual gifts that money cannotbuy. They can be simulated or denied or distorted or destroyed by the terrorisms we experience,but they yet abide by the power of the Spirit and are taught by the Church in prayer in the Word.We are thus formed. What is the Form? It has been described in a variety of ways, beginningwith Plato, as in the Timaeus, in which is posited the khora or womb, the matrix of creation inwhich or through which the god or demi-urge fashions certain actual shapes of things. Thesethings are like atoms, building blocks of the reality. Derrida, once he had carried through on thedestruction of form, turned to the khora in his later years, perhaps wanting to see the unshapedbehind the shape, as Plotinus put it, a text Derrida also referred to in his writing on the secret inthe late 90s, as well as in an exergue in the 60s. I think he went from a divided origin in 1967 togo beyond the moment of the fall to return to an original unity of all things in the greataffirmation, the YES he finds in Nietzsche and Joyce. And he may have done this, andcompleted the double movement he had promised. But, let us stop short of that speculation,basically ideal, on the source of formation, calling that rather, in faith, simply God, and lookinstead at the Form itself in order to find the truth about it from which if possible a word can bespoken about the act of formation and the One from which the forms proceed. Form isdetermined by number, the definite limit, and not by language, which is in principle indefiniteand contradictory. Music and poetry are based on number in a way the novel and the newspaperare not. Western culture has moved from the limit of number toward an undefined and indefinite
  30. 30. space, call it the abyss, the precise opposite of the womb of khora, the abyss being akin to thetomb. Specific form can be seen as for instance the unity, the binary, the trinity, the symphonicsquare, the gnomic fifth, the complete seven of the combination of the three of God with the fourof man, and ultimately the all in all of God times man found in the 12. These are the seven basicsteps in the arrival of the dialectical form. Our task is to realize the symphonic form of the four,which is our totality. Without this shape we will not fit with God. How do we thus arrive at thesquare? In a variety of ways in my works I both describe and explain it, but the work alsoexemplifies it. It does this through the logic of the form on which it was based and which itshows forth. The work takes as the basis of its logic the idea of arrival at the four, the square. Butas I say in one place, all work is completed by the reader and by the grace of God whichilluminates the mind and accords the work its reception. There is further than the text of my worka context. This context is that of God, Church and World, versus the fourth of the work in mypoint of view, a position from which the reader will in the reading of the work be enabled toview God-Church-World. The singularity of the “ I,” the subject, the work, is the essentialcompletion and perfection of that system, and it effracts the circularity of the metaphysical God-Church-World system. Thus the work by its existence, that it is, completes what it is about, justas the autobiographical elements of the works fit with the tripartite criticism of theology,philosophy and literature, the creative elements being the arrival of the criticism, and the meta-critical completing in time an arrangement in the space of the concept. Each of us must take onthis work-like aspect, and step outside the system of the world, be not conformed to it, and in away, be re-formed through a continual reformation, so as to stand in our arrival, before God, forour own sakes and for the good of the whole which needs each of us to complete the circleprecisely by breaking the circularity, call it the textuality itself, by our own creativity, creating
  31. 31. not just my life, but bringing about the whole life of real form. Unlike the context theory ofDerrida which says that the text is in the context of the world, a world which is in principle andin fact insatiable and unsaturable, the destabilizing of the text and the opening up of it, I say theGod-Church-World system is the text of which the paradigmatic work-like I is the context whichis the point of view of the reader or author or any other singularity, the word for instance, butsupremely the unique number, which at once both opens the circularity of that objective systemonly in order to complete it and close it, that is to move it from being an illusionary thing into thereal and the true which is and which does not merely seem to be. And so I must be formed as theI, and I think that enables then a real We or community, in order for the God-Church-Worldsystem to be not an illusion but be in reality. Unless I am real, it cannot be real, but if I am, itwill be as well. I do not think this is merely an “as if,” but is the actuality of the actual, theexistence of essence. Thus I must act, but only on myself, and becoming a true singularity,actually, not ideally, make real and true the world, which depends on me, on each one of us, oneach work as such, to be meta, not para, in relation both to oneself and to the whole, and wheneach is one, all will be One, every other, wholly other, for the One. We must not doubt that weare real despite the unreality of the world system which confronts us with for instance what itcalls the ultimate fact of our deaths. Death is not real, it is but an illusion, and is not the limit. Donot worry about death, for God is not the God of the dead but of the living, and Christ came todefeat the illusion of death by the truth of life. Death imposes fear on people, but the living truthsets us free. We are either dead or alive, now not later. We are either saved or we are not, thereare not degrees of salvation. You are either real or you are not, there are not degrees of reality.There are only Reality and Illusion. You must become real, because no one can do this for you, itis the journey you must make in life. Christ, some think, did it for us, took our places in an
  32. 32. economy of salvation, which he did in principle, and in fact, yet also to show us the form andbreach the circularity of God-Church-World, to arrive first and be the way for us to follow inorder to arrive later. He said deny yourself, that is to say, limit yourself, in order to arrive. Youmust be definite, not indefinite, finite, not infinite, one, not many, restricted in order to be reallyfree, obey by faith, which is specific, not generally without conditions to affirm or loveeverything in an indefinite gesture. You make yourself, you make the work, the marriage, the art,the idea, the love, the act, the end. Without Christ you can do nothing on your own, and yet withHim you can and must make your own reality as well as the reality of the whole. He does not doit without you. You have the responsibility for your own arrival, on which others depend as well,for we are in community, a family, a world, and no other, but just one. Therefore, do not judgeanother. That means do not interpret their place on the map of arrival, how near or how far. Youcannot do that until you have arrived, and after you arrive you will not want to. Mercy is a wayto arrive. Without mercy the world judges, criticizes, condemns. It is gossip and slander. I mustbe different. Some see the great affirmation of postmodernism as this stepping out of judgment,but that is but a simulation, a lack of real discernment. By affirming, some deny the truth. Thearrival of morals is found in mysticism, the arrival of time in eternity, the arrival of truth incontradiction, the arrival of the text in the context. You are the context of the world, not it ofyou. By opposition one creates the greater harmony. The creation of it depends on theproportion, a way of being that is an acknowledgment, a thanksgiving, a turning to the care of thewhole by being whole yourself. Eliot said in the end is the beginning, to know from whence weset out on our journey, and to know it really for the first time. We went unknowing, but bystepping outside the circle or system, the text or the world, by becoming one, by becomingmyself, I return not in judgment but in mercy, to see and yet not be seen, to know and yet not be
  33. 33. known, to understand and love, though I be misunderstood and unloved, to be at peace amidstrife, to be order in the chaos, to be light in the darkness, to be effaced in all this, and as is said,to be Christ, therefore not myself, to have the Mind of Christ, that is, to become a child of God. Ithink in order for this conclusion to be accepted the premises of my argument must be properlyunderstood, and that chiefly in defining the term of God-Church-World. By this implication ofGod in the Church and in the World I speak not of the God of Jesus Christ, but rather the god ofthose who denied him, the one whom William Blake said is the god of this world. That god is alie, the father of lies and would perpetuate a certain morality in the Church and an immoral oramoral attitude in the World, in order to cut off the mystical arrival on which we depend as ourgoal. That so-called god is a kind of reason which has become the reasoning of men, but whichdenies faith, and is really sin. All morality based on it is really the great sin, the judgmentalmorality, rather than the mystical forgiveness that loves and does not judge. The grandaffirmation of the postmodern is a short-circuit of the steps leading to mysticism that stops shortof true love and forgiveness and mercy by going beyond the moral and immoral, good and eviland, hesitating in the amoral, thinks it has arrived by accepting and affirming the whole. But thewhole of reality cannot be seen from this vantage, because it is that point of view is still a part ofthe circularity of God-Church-World. The real God of Jesus Christ is what others have termedthe God beyond god, Eckhart and Tillich did so, but which has been misunderstood by some intheir great affirmation as the opposite of what He truly is. Unless one breaks the system and stepsout of the text as such the truth of God cannot be seen. As long as one is trapped by languagegames and time, which we have been told are absolutes that we cannot get around, such will bethe case. Silence and eternity are words for the place outside the circularity and are characteristicof mysticism. Absolute knowledge involves the arrival of dialectic by stepping out of the
  34. 34. speculation which is theory in recent years. Derrida interdicted the step but it has been taken. Theuncanniness of the simulations of truth must be overcome by a love that casts out fear, a trust inthe mercy of Jesus that defeats the terror against the truth, what denies you, the attempt todeconstruct you. When you are, it will no longer be. When you take the necessary, impossible,yet promised step, you will arrive. In order to do this one must turn toward, not away from, thetruth of Christ, repent from evil and believe. The opposite of this metanoia is the paranoia that isall around us, in the text of the God-Church-World system, the fear you see in the eyes ofstrangers, the delusions of grandeur we sometimes fall prey to, and an alienation that simulatesthe real solitude of one who has explicated the implications of the logic of what is thedeconstruction in postmodernism, the closure of the system of God-Church-World as a networktextuality. The signs of that only give interpretations that go on indefinitely. Opposed to it is thenumber, as such, the shape of truth, the form, untranslatable as a poem is, as obvious as light is,pure like silence and quiet mediation, a mysticism that effracts the circle in the sheer ascent oflove up, out of the world, the direction of prayer and resurrection, the life of the Most High. God,by being “most high,” stops all regression, progression and aggression, by his great egression.The I AM breaks the text. To de-form the world as Derrida has done, or as de Man did in the dis-figuring of the poem, or as Bloom did in ruining the truths, is to deny the truth of the I AM of theexistence of that which is by a fruitless going-back-of the shape to get to the unshaped, the Oneof Plotinus, and simulate it in the world, to deconstruct that which is into what it is not, becausethe world, as seen in the God-Church-World concatenation or chain of implications, does notexist, only I AM real, which is to say, reality depends on the I AM of God said to Moses, andexistence, reality, is to partake of this I AM, lesser only in degree, and in the atonement to be atone with God, when one can say “I am” and really say something in fact, in deed, not as a way of
  35. 35. positing the truth, not as an assertion which is in fact a denial, but as the transcendent fact thatescapes the black hole of God-Church-World, which would trap everything which is notspiritual. The metaphysical truth which so many seek is the truth of what Blake and Coleridgecalled the imagination: the great I AM of absolute existence, the that-ness of the shape or of artor of the poem, not the what-ness which instead of defining and through definition giving limitand shape, logic and aesthetic, that is, seeing the form, actually and essentially denies theexistence in the mystery of consciousness, another term for imagination, which we experience asself-evident but which cannot be found other than in the act of being itself. It is to say I AMagainst an “I am this or that.” To say “I am this or that” is to give your occupation or defineyourself in some way, but the truth is outside the implications of your role in the world. Yourtruth must be to be One. You are defined by your relation to the One truth. Your truth must be tobe able to say I AM, absolutely, without any other meaning. This is not to put yourself in God’splace, but rather to allow God to take place and so break the closure of the text of God-Church-World, which would deny the freedom of the glory of the great I AM of God. God’s hands arenot tied, as one young man once told me at the seminary. Theology might think so, and theChurch and the World act as if it were, but you, when you say I AM in the sense God does, freeyourself from their “god,” not in order to become God, but by being what God intends you to be,free, know the truth. In knowing this truth, the I AM, aside from any essence for the world todeconstruct, then and only then will I be, then I am free and real and One and in-deconstructible.As is God. If I am free, real, One and in-deconstructible, then I am open to the faith of Christ. Tobe faithful is to be in real relation. It is to be in true relation which is a keeping in relation to thetruth. All falsehood is unfaithfulness and breaks relation with the truth. When you step out of theworld, or the God-Church-World system, you dissolve the false bond that held you in slavery to
  36. 36. all lies and dissimulation and come into the truth of your relationship to God in Jesus Christ, andthus by being outside the system of the text, become meaningful, have meaning, and you arewithout lie the transcendental signified. If you are faithful to Christ you stand on the rock whereMoses stood, the firm foundation of the truth of the gospel. From this point the world as a lieceases to exist, the truth is told, and when you become real, it becomes real, the church isreformed, and then God takes place in you, the event of the truth occurs, your own faithfulnessand transcendence being the act which converts the phantasm of the world. Truth is not theconversion to the phantasm as was thought in medieval philosophy, but against it, the turning ofphantasm itself, the illusion which is not the imagination but the distortion of truth by fancifulassociations and juxtapositions which do not create but destroy through a relation not meta butpara. The relation of para, the separate reality, which we are informed by the world is the truthabout each and every one of us, is the denial of the One that is God the All in All. The city ofGod is the meta which is beyond the world and is in a critical relation to its lie because of thefaithfulness of the meta to the truth of God. Faithfulness requires the denial of self, not the denialof truth, the taking up of the cross, not the crossing-through of the Word by a kind of erasure thatis the mark of the Derridean text, his strategy of writing, like the X placed over the word Beingby Heidegger in his later work, the crossing-out of meaning by what some called the crucifixionor passion of the Word in theologies closer to atheism than to God, and finally, as disciples ofChrist, the following of the way which is Christian, the steep and narrow pathway, the strait waywhich is the acceptance of the reality of suffering as essential to joy, its contradiction andcompletion and fulfillment, for temporal enemies are spiritual friends, as Blake said. In our day,everyone goes their own way, as in the Book of Judges, seeming to be individuals, but in realityonly fragments suspended in the vicious medium of technology and information, the IT, while
  37. 37. the faithful follow Christ, despite the world’s opinion. There are only truth and opinion, andthere are either, for each of us, the two opposing points of view, which are first, that Christ is thetruth, or second, that He is a matter of opinion. Some people think there is no longer any truth atall, but only opinion, and this has become the glory of our time, the fame of the opinion-makers.They make themselves by their own opinion superior to everyone else when in fact they haveceased to be real, are less than nothing, and are actually only as equally invalid as all others whohold to what Parmenides called the way of opinion, thinking they have done a great thing inturning aside from the existential gloominess of the concept of nothingness, which though darkactually had more truth than the semblance in the world of opinion, which is neither being nornothingness, and which was the real goal of nihilism, the abyss, which is not the nothing but thehell of a world without truth or love or any notion of the meaning of the good. As one student putit, rightly or wrongly, you decide, the good means so many things it no longer means anything.Heidegger said as much of being. If you do not know the truth about the truth, you will believethat what I am saying is simply another opinion. Thus we live in two worlds, one in which thereis truth and it is knowable through faithfulness, freedom, becoming one, being real, taking astand against deconstruction, and another parallel world that is based on the rule of interpretationthat any thing can be juxtaposed alongside any thing else, and call that connection, call thatpattern, call that order, call that truth, that there are no absolute truths but only effects like thewriting that is the counterfeit of truth which is so common no one any longer knows truth fromfalsity, that there are only opinions, and that to be truly free is to be able to express one’s opinionwhenever one likes, where there are no longer facts, even, but only points of view, and in whichall religions are like foods in a restaurant, with faith being a matter of choice from the menu. Butsuch is not the truth of faithfulness, for the faithful choose or are chosen, are given the gift of
  38. 38. faith, and do not change their minds, but live by principles that do not easily change dependingon the issue, which for the democratic voter invariably means self-interest, while in the world ofopinion one may change one’s diet as one chooses, and if one grows tired of fish one may choosefowl, that is, change as the weather, or simply change the channel on the TV. It has always beenthus. If one does not believe the truth to be possible, one will not bother to seek it. If one thinks itimpossible to be perfect, one will not try to be. If one does not think that faith and morals arebased on anything other than mere opinion, one may do as one likes. We obey no law that we donot agree with. As has been said, if nothing is true then everything is permitted. But look at thecourse of the world in the 100 years since those words were published. Have we benefited fromthe freedom to do everything that we wish? Certainly it has been fun, in a way, but withunintended consequences that are still not clear to many, dots still un-connected into a picture forthem. To live in denial and debt and fear, under terror, without truth, amid great corruption andevil, in a world without love, or almost so, losing hope, adoring idols, consuming, spending,rather than making, having, rather than doing or being, forgetting so many of the things on whichwe once depended to support our free lives in a nation conceived in liberty, has almost broughtus to the final collapse. Yet, God has not given up on us and the truth still exists despite ourdenying and ignoring it. What must be done? Those who are faithful must keep on in theirfaithfulness and not give up or give in. The faithless world which the faithful are among as lightsin the darkness is not beyond redemption, or God would have already come in the day ofapocalypse, the day of the Lord, the Day of Judgment. There is still time and that means becauseof the love of God there is still mercy. Time is the mercy of God, though some think that itproves He does not exist. Derrida even mocked God’s patience in the pages of deconstruction,the deferral and delay, the hesitation, the grand affirmation, the Messiah, hospitality, justice,
  39. 39. openness to the other, and by the putting into question of hierarchy and sovereignty, the wordand the book, the self and the same, even being as presence, and what he at last termed thedeconstruction of actuality. The reduction of binary logic by Nietzsche first, and now by almosteveryone, to the one leveled generality that is the sameness of the postmodern diversity culture,mocks the oneness of the Real, as the world of semblance imitates the Truth, the paradeconstructs the meta, amid the many twists and turns in the labyrinth of the text, but there is nolonger simple conversion, only versions: perversions, inversions and subversions. We are so late,so far from our origin, and cannot find the way back. But we must trust that God will meet uswhere we are, that He will have mercy on the world, that He will be the peaceful Shepherd whopastures his sheep. If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts. I believe that God hasplaced in everyone some timeless resource of the Spirit of truth that man cannot destroy, and thatif God will He can yet save some, or many, or all. We do not know, and yet one must believe, anecho of the later Derrida in his book on blindness. To the faithful I say: do not stop believing.You may still be an instrument of the grace of God in a way unforeseen, and you must be open tothe Spirit to be used as God wills. To the faithless I say: look at the world around you, all yourpleasures and treasures, your cares and debts and commitments or lack of same, and ask yourselfwhat is the cause of the misery in you and in all those you call friends and family. To do this youmust look in the mirror of the question and recognize yourself in the answer. Do not be afraid.What you see is not real. When you are changed it will be. It will be because there is nothing thatis hidden that will not be revealed. You will be changed and you will come to know the truth ofyourself, in the mind of God.
  40. 40. THE LOGICTaking off from Plato’s Parmenides, Derrida makes the impossible possible, therefore actual,deconstructing actuality, by making it impossible, in short, by contamination. How does this takeplace? I could say by examples, that is, taking out, citing, rather than taking back, which isrooted in redemption, as etymologies show. The deductions regarding the ONE that Plato makesthrough the character of the philosopher Parmenides lead to the assertion of the truth ofcontradiction. That is, that by which something both is and is not in the same respect at the sametime. Contradicting Aristotle and many others, Derrida holds this to be the case, thecontradictory truth. Hegel did the same. The Idealist opposes being and nothing at the beginningof his Logic and synthesizes them into becoming. Canceled out, lifted, and preserved, at one andthe same time, the Aufheben. It is the concept itself, words which mean more than one thing,words that contradict themselves, that is the mechanism in the dialectical logic that works toproduce the tertium quid. Without creation ex nihilo, dialectic is the way to make it new. Latelythere has been the mere juxtaposition of signs and things, the method of the deconstructiverestructuring: any two signs or texts can be connected from any distance under any rule.That is textuality. But it leads both from and to a logic I will outline and resolve. Derrida found away to stop the dialectic, to contradict Hegel’s contradiction, the antithesis that becomessynthesized, otherwise than by the basic EITHER / OR of the existential which Kierkegaardpropsed as the solution to the system of the Hegelians. Derrida does not exactly negate thenegation, as one says of the dialectical maneuver, which requires the work of the negative, acertain resistance, rather by a passivity, as seen in the works of Blanchot or the philosophy ofHeidegger. In a pure “play,” a free play without any rule but lability, a pure semblance, a mere
  41. 41. “nothing,” almost, but actually neither being nor nothing, but also both being and nothing, atonce, which seems to be the force of opinion. Derrida contradicts dialectic by taking the BOTH /AND of Hegel, and adding a NEITHER / NOR. This is the move Plato made in regards to theOne. It is both being and nothing, but neither being nor nothing, therefore, no becoming. No life,no movement, only the semblance of it, as Plato, Zeno and the fountainhead Parmenides hadshown. There is but One, but not the ONE of the truth, the Good, rather the one of the AS IF TOBE, which is beyond good and evil, neither being nor nothing, rather only seeming. We can stillsay the seeming “only seems to be,” but that is its only chance, as Derrida said in an essay on thePhaedrus. The question is neither TO BE nor NOT TO BE, as Hamlet said and Camus famouslyechoed in the essay that established his philosophical credentials, but rather am I to be or merelyam I AS IF TO BE? That is the alternative to life and death, and can be rather ghostly, neitherreally dead nor really alive, a third thing, to refer to the dialectic, but strange, not life, but death-in-life. If we will yet be, we will be one day, but sadder and wiser men who have known death-in-life, the opposite of the resurrection, the evil ghost spirit against the revivifying Holy Spirit.Both Heidegger and Derrida demonstrated this, as I wrote of early on in “The Gift.” When thereis no becoming there is nothing but becoming, which is a contradiction. And which is true. But inthis case becoming truly ceases, as does anything which is nothing but…, as Kierkegaard showedin saying that if there are nothing but Christians, in Christendom, there is no more Christianity.He used the same logic as the Nietzschean HISTORY OF AN ERROR in Twilight of the Idols:eliminate one of a pair, the other does not remain. A single shoe is not much good alone, exceptto use as a hammer. But in destroying the ideal, the real ceased. The deconstruction of idealityled to the deconstruction of reality. Now we have neither. We have everything and nothing now,each thing and its opposite, as I know I am myself, in that I am self-contradictory. I am both
  42. 42. good and evil, but some things simply are in fact, like the Holocaust. It did both happen and nothappen, which is true in the world of opinion, not in the world of fact. But facts have altogethervanished. Whatever is asserted loudly enough and long enough comes to be believed. This kindof “belief” is not solid faith but public opinion. Unfortunately it seems that kind of weakcredence is all that causes us to cohere as a world today. The market is unstable. People nolonger believe or trust, because they know it is not the real facts they are being asked to believein, rather opinion, however expert or official. Experts are a dime a dozen, and for saleeverywhere. They use rhetoric, not reason, plausibility rather than proofs. Logic no longer works,it plays. For instance: language games, number games, Computations, Connections. But no ideas,no reality. For reality was anchored in a hierarchy of the ideal and the real, which has beendisplaced by the nihilo, nihilism. In world history we had two basic philosophical positions,realism and idealism, but nihilism displaced both. All together this has created what I call theGod-Church-World text, or onto-theology as Heidegger put it. What is needed is grace to Effractthis circularity, and that means an “I” outside the text ready to receive the call of God in grace.When this happens a RING is formed: realism, idealism, nihilism, grace. I have said that tobelieve is to be. In a world without any reason, I have found that if one at least has faith, the onething necessary, one still exists. The others only seem to. My logical project has been two-fold.On the one hand, to secure stability for thought, what I call “arrival,” against both dialectic andits deconstruction, and on the other hand, to rewrite deconstruction itself, that is to synthesize alllogics, even in their contradictions. I think that one way to reverse the Derridean simultaneousaffirmation and denial is through the existential logic of the free choice. Another way is throughasking ourselves the question that Sherlock Holmes asked in his method of deduction. He saidsomething like: Eliminate whatever is impossible, and what remains, however improbable, must
  43. 43. be the truth. With God, all things are possible, nothing is impossible for God. But if, as thosesince Nietzsche have done, one eliminates God, one eliminates what Levinas called the“messianic vigilance” of the eternal against potential infinities, for instance, of time. In whichevil could return, after the apocalypse. But what of an infinite logic? An infinite text? Theimpossible becomes possible, unless there is a limit. ACT is that limit. God is pure act, asAquinas wrote, and this pure act eliminates the impossible by reducing potency to actuality.Believe all things. Even contradictions. In fact, to be true to the truth we must contradict the lieof the world. The way to contradict Derrida’s logic of the both-and-neither-nor is to cut the knotby an act of faith, to say no to the not by saying yes to God. This does the following: 1) It is areal act, neither possible nor impossible, but simply IS. 2) It is a way of Effracting the circularityby an authentic RING. God-Church-World will remain a hypothetical and hypocritical, hyper-critical sham and fantasy until you say I AM because I believe in God. People will think it merepretense done for base motives, fear, greed, etc. Ignore them. Make your act of faith in Godanyway. 3) Your act of faith reestablishes a hierarchy by recognizing One above ourselves downhere in the leveled general text. Transcendence is necessary to escape the machine of God-Church-World, by I in relation to the Most High. 4) This act makes you real. Brings you into realrelation with the “really Real” and you are saved, and in you being saved, others are as well. Notpotentially, but actually. Not cognitively, but substantially. In the act of faith you actually thoughinvisibly arrive. In the stability of the arrival of the act of faith, one may take action againstfalsehood and injustice. It is the grace and mercy of God to arrive, faith itself is a gift, a mystery,but not impossible, just hard to think, though not to feel, or believe. Faith, not will to power, isthat which truly empowers. God will not make you believe, but if you will but believe, God willwork miracles for you and others. Most of all He will make you real again. The act of faith
  44. 44. involves volition, choice, action, but also reception, the receiving of the gift, and openness, trust,hope. What little we have God will multiply and restore. Both our will and God’s are free.Deconstruction eliminated freedom by affirming all, erasing distinctions in the polar oppositionsin which they are found. An opposition in scripture is: Your faith has saved you. You will bejudged according to your works. You must believe both. The act of faith is the step that humblesthe law of reason by a greater one. Derrida said that all was always already complicated at theorigin, and followed the implications of that. But the step of the act is original simplicity. Stepout of the complicity of the world. Step into supplication by the explication of the logic ofdeconstruction that forces one to conclude that action must be taken. When we realize that Godbelieves in us even more than we believe in Him, we will therefore love. You need not choosebetween logic and love: logic leads to love. When you have reason, then you have faith, or whenyou have faith, then you have reason, but without one or the other, both are lost. In faith, freeyourself to think, or think your way through the trouble with the text, and take the step of faith.God calls, time is short, the world needs you. Say “I am it” and complete the ring of friendshipwith God by the graceful act of faith.
  45. 45. “Say that Jerusalem is”Perhaps my words disturb your prayer. Perhaps you, the mystic, need no points for meditation.But I speak of him to Him for you, while you simply pray. Eternity bounds, does not hem, limitus, rule us, give direction, up, then, into His storm, His eye, His calm interference in themundane. With and without words: we must choose, be chosen. Both. To say little with so much,or speaking, innumerable, yet still say one thing necessary. Out of the many complexes,neuroses, psychoses, metastases, sees, out of all disease and disaster, stands one to come. Andstanding points above. I think I feel, feel something inside me, bower or brain, coming, about theturn, ever turning to, in myriads, ways without whys, lines drawn over our ignorances, hidden in,neither obscure nor occult, light rather, in light. Him. He is.You know it. A story has begun.You know, now, things fade, colors on cloth, even evenings fail into night, which is coming, stillstars branch, and in the skull-cap of a thousand year we enroot our seed, between never-endingslay the middle, plications, sin, sun, son sing, song signed, not to fail or fade, would be story,would be tolled, full, filled, meant. Not to fail, not to fade, truth we know, for we are known, arestretched, fixed by means. If we mean to. But you, you did not, did both mean to fall but not tofail, and in falling your way, we but succeed you, without second.
  46. 46. He did not really speak, did you, you saw and shone, bright, dark, hiding, back-minded, ear-lodged, thought-lost, hest just but standing, no jest, no pose, no to impose, but you were theexposed. You stood out from. Time. Is.The wound you were did not heal. Signatories. Numbers. Out of time. You appropriated, all, forbut one thing. Making. Truth. Is. And you said, ever. Knowledge, knotted-hopes, full striven, inyour arms storming, learn.They say you had no foundation in essence, but traces, echoes, parts only, assemblers, withoutwholes, spirited words, yet spirit is, is that not a word? Problem of near-belief, teachers had not akey. Versions, only. Foundation riven, you, reft, logical, truthed, passed words, un-pasted, un-posted, past juxtaposed. Cut. Words cut through you. Destroyed description and explanation,neither declared, but disclosed your wound, the wound of the word himself. Discard, forfeit.Utter. You behind the words. The logic bit. You bit back. Grapplers. You took our place.For in all logic, if you can say that Jerusalem is, if we can say, still that Jerusalem is, the placerequired by logic is yet, and can be found, the assertion of faith, eternity of concern.You, truth and logic became, stripped, meaning. Not to say I have grasped, but in the strugglewith truth, your victory was to be grasped. That this too is, is beyond doubt. Proven, in bordersof scripture, commentaries, that do not explain the words, but enact them exactly, by beingexposed. This is. If this is, subsist, without which truth-less, for accidentals, for appearances, noplace to hide. A snow of illegibility, ran the wound, rain wind, ward, cover your words, sposed,desire as if to say the text itself, we only fall from a height, and now we are falling, and have
  47. 47. become so profound, because without foundation, catch us pall as we fall. Poems are snow,whiter words, virgins, martyrs, gentle, contoured by holiness, by logos, by logic without demandbut to be true, faithful, snow-part of time, winter answer, dead, wait. The logic that strips awayall but what is, strips seeming and opinion, even the nothing, to be the one, immovable, it is. Is it.Is it eternity. Is it snow set bounds in winter. Innumerable snow, unrepeatable words. Universal,singular, unparticular snows, how do you interpret snow or simplify the place. Snow did notextend, but bound, the form, by sheer material, prime, stuff of dreams. You. Glory of the snows,high reflectivity, light without heat, sheer blinding, purity, as if God to Abraham in winter, yourswill be as the snows on highest ridged mountains, always. Will be, Jerusalem is. If you wake,wake to this. Snow regal, snow regard, but be regaled. In pieces of paper whiter witness notblank a testimony text, you found you, and said it. Is. Sheer holiness, is. Present, a heart-word, is.We, snow-parts, perhaps, holding places, scattered yet gathered, drifted, yet still for a time,temporary words, tempting snows, we fell, like you, measurable by adversity, verses, that this is,still is for you, neither symbol nor transport, neither hidden nor shown, but snown, north of thefuture, where snow ever is. You offered often, eternity, a turn, a word with six sides, snowed,like stars of David, like Jerusalem is. Is, was, will be, has been, will have been, to be. Snowed,starred, scarred, worded, sonned, deepened. Depend. Deeper in snow is he to be. Yea. Not to be,never to be, but always still, is. Pall of snow.
  48. 48. ARTS RESTWherefore art thou?Art at rest? To pause, to remain, to support, art. Rhythmic silences. Steps at starets. Sartre’sstare. The rest is silence. But art at rest re-starts, again and again. The books I have written restand re-start, not hesitating like Derrida, or like he says Freud does in Beyond the PleasurePrinciple, not taking the step. I take the step, of faith, of hope, of love, of arrival, of action,positif, still possible, against the deconstruction of the ideal and the real, when nothing becamepossible, and the possible became impossible.The books are St. Sartre’s re-start, reclaiming both the existentialist’s freedom and the dialecticalcritique for today. It may be that Jean-Paul will make it in before John Paul II. It is up to God,but Christ says the prostitutes and sinners make it in before his opponents in the official churchof His day. The gospel does not pass away, because it always applies. Our situations (Sartre’sword) never change. The church needs change. The church needs Christ. But like the young manat the seminary told me, God’s hands are tied. How can the One with the whole world in Hishands not be free? He hands us freedom without losing His. As long as He has hands, there willstill be a world to hold.He is free and we are free, radically free, free of Popes and popularity, of politicians, and ofhistory, since that ended sometime during the last fifty years. With the end of history in the post-modern period, an abrupt thing faces us: we do not have to be tied to the time we are in, we areno longer historically conditioned. Therefore:Re-start the arts. St. Sartre would. Stress the Tessera, the era of fragmentation, in order for themosaic to be made. I do not give a rat’s ass how you do it, but put the pieces together again.Establish the stars. As the poet said, nothing will have taken but the place, except perhaps for aconstellation. He conceded the power of imagination to still make patterns, despite thedeconstruction latent in his poetry, which Derrida found and expounded. Poetry in arrears, as weall are, and myself especially, let us give the word.Arrest, art rest, then re-start, begin again, like Finnegan, waking, say yes, say thee and thou andthine, not I and me and mine. Buddha said he was always at the beginning. To connect the end tothe beginning, a very hard thing to do. To sign, without resignation, to name, not for fame, to putwords in books, like they did in the nineteenth century, before, ere, erstwhile, previous to motionpictures, records, radio, television, computers.Rasters, scatter patterns. Rather, Easters, homeward, by the book, for why not then be of anothertime? Time itself has ended as such. It is time to begin again, beginning with time. The worldstill turns at the same speed, though there is no world to turn.Rare stars, rear yourselves, rise up sires, roses risen:The rest is not silence, but fire.
  49. 49. All Saints DayIt is very late in the game, as most of us know. Postmodernism has been a time of the seemingattempt to restore traditions, a conservative time politically and theologically, but also a corrupttime, morally and financially. I think we need to look back a few decades to solve the puzzle.Heidegger said that Nazism was great because it was about the confrontation of man andtechnology. And I believe this was somewhat correct. Postmodernism is founded on the fascist.It is both politically conservative, morally nihilistic, and technologically adept. The Third Reichdid not cease, but was transformed post 1945, and lives on in the anti-liberal, anti-enlightenmentforces that are stressing freedom and covertly preparing totalitarianism, at the same time. TheBerlin-Rome axis did not die, and I mean this in the sense of the unfortunate Catholic Church,which is a means of the magical projection of fascism to our world today. It was a kind ofalchemy. The more Catholic the country, it seems, the more corrupt. Mafia in Italy, drug cartelsand death squads in Latin America. As I said, conservative, immoral, technological. It is afascinating matrix. To this we add magic, from Harry Potter, to Borges and Garcia Marquez, tothe atrocities done in Juarez, sacrifices to an evil god. A magical, technological, conservative anddrastically corrupt world. Deconstructionists try in their texts to say, well, it was always thisway. Perhaps. But I think the modern world that once was was in principle opposed to this fascisten-framing. The net seems inescapable. Even friends criticize me harshly for not setting-up myvoice mail on my cell phone, for wanting to be incommunicado. There is tremendous pressure onall sides to conform to the paradigm of fascist fashion which is now technological. I do not thinkmost people realize that technology is the implementation of the fascist. And I do not definefascist narrowly, to the tea party, for instance, but broadly to include the whole of culture and
  50. 50. politics, finance and technology. I believe all of this bears down on the church and the world asan overwhelming attempt to destroy not men and cities and nations with armies, but the souls ofindividuals, by the annihilation of faith, hope and love. The “they” by this I know not whom orwhere or what. True tragedy cannot be pinned on anyone in particular. That is what makes it atragedy. Tragedies are different though from case to case, play to play. Hamlet succeeds whereMacbeth fails. Lear perhaps succeeds despite appearances, being reunited with his daughter, inlove, despite the pain. We, too, must love, despite the pains, the cares, the pleasures, all thetemptations that would lead us not to believe, not to hope, not to love. Be ready. As Hamlet. Beripe. Like Lear. The tragedy cannot be averted, but it can be overcome, transformed, and lovestill triumph. The modernist was nothing if not critical. That makes me modern. Thepostmodernist is theoretical, but not very critical. If these are indeed the last days, my work maybe too little, too late. But what will be we do not know, but I hope that we all may be, when Godis all in all. That God will not lead us any where he will not provide for us, that God does theimpossible, but that God requires something from us, perhaps something different from each, orperhaps the same, has been my guiding thoughts in this year of completion. Whatever ourvocation is, it is God-given, and we must do it. Each of us has a vocation, whether we know it ornot. In a sense, it may simply to be alive today. Though we come at the end, we may still reapwhat others sowed, and receive the same just, generous reward. Do not doubt God’s mercy orHis heaven. And do not doubt that if you hold out to the end you will win.I want to speak at the last, really after time ended, about modernism and postmodernism in termsof the man who is perhaps the greatest modernist, Immanuel Kant, and the man who is perhapsthe poster boy for the postmodern age, John Paul II. In that collection of homilies known as the