imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
Tell the NSA: StopWatching.US

Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

CopWatch LA

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List





IMC Network: www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech
printable version - json version - email this article - view hidden posts - tags and related articles
link:

Faith Heals Reason

by Dorothee Soelle Sunday, Dec. 25, 2011 at 8:51 AM
mbatko1@hotmail.com

"There is a beautiful fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen where the devil builds a mirror that distorts everything beautiful and good into nothing. The most glorious countrysides appear like boiled spinach, the best persons are repulsive or without torsos.."

Faith Heals Reason
By Dorothee Soelle

"There is a beautiful fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen where the devil builds a mirror that distorts everything beautiful and good into nothing. The most glorious countrysides appear like boiled spinach, the best persons are repulsive or without torsos.. This mirror cancels the creation itself. I asked myself whether or not Andersen meant scientific reason. People only saw profit, success and survival of the fittest and justice faded."

If I can be God, I no longer need seek God. If I am Lord of time, the Sabbath, interruption and stillness are superfluous

[This meditation is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, http://www.ej-landshut.de/Zeitung/Andacht_soelle.htm. Dorothee Soelle was a liberation theologian, prolific author and prophetic poet.]

Dear community.

Paul writes these difficult sentences to the nascent Christian community in Corinth threatened by conflict and division. "The weapons of our warfare are not worldly (human-earthly) but have divine power (God's power) to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle to the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ" (2 Cor 10,4f). Thought, reason and lifestyle should be taken captive. What does this mean today?

In my history with faith, I have become increasingly Jewish in the last years, referring more and more to creation. Redemption is bound to creation. I understand "obeying Christ" as binding in faith to the good creation intended by God. My question is: Must we really lock up technocratic-scientific reason to live in this faith? Isn't that religious arrogance, clerical illusion or conceitedness and a rule ideology that passed once and for all with the modern age?

"Faith heals reason." That is the theme for today. Reason, thought and science are sick in our world. Here is an example from everyday life: a handicapped child who can only hobble and cannot speak comes with his mother to the children's playground. After a short time, another mother approaches her: "Must this be? Didn't you know in advance? Couldn't you avoid the risk and have an abortion?" The young woman who told this to me was deeply hurt. Science promises planned children. Soon they will be cloned together, beautiful like Marilyn Monroe and intelligent like Albert Einstein. Accidents, mishaps and the imperfect have to disappear from our world. We have no time for breakdowns that are costly and avoidable with early detection.

This reason is sick and needs healing. The great example of sickness comes from economics telling us freedom of the person and freedom of the market are inseparable terms as though the laws of the market that produced the most egoistic and most merciless social orders and degraded persons to mere commodities were consistent with human freedom! The millions of children in the world forced to slave away for their livelihood, prostitute themselves, "donate" their organs and sell drugs are consequences of total liberalization.

Reason and scientific thinking are sick in our world, perhaps incurably sick, so a survival of this world with its limited resources is not very likely. The task of faith is to heal the patient reason. That is Paul's teaching.

How is its sickness described? One of its most important causes is belief in its omnipotence. Years ago during armament with medium range missiles, I was struck by the sentence of a leading general "We can do everything technologically." We are omnipotent. We can do everything at any time: clone children, poison the drinking water, arrange tourist visits to the moon, arm the universe, annul the power of renewal through seed and harvest and replace the grain of wheat fallen into the earth with genetically engineered concoctions which must be purchased every year again from the world owners. God who once gave pasture to cows and bread to our children is superfluous. We produce a better and less susceptible world. The old dream that we will be like God is scientifically feasible.

This is striking in our everyday experience in the abolition of the rhythms of creation. Day and night, summer and winter, high tide and low tide, youth and old age, living a while and then dying are conditions of life on earth. Time itself is a rhythmic element that isn't turned on and off at the flick of a switch but binds our life in a given rhythm.

Recently I saw a man on television who explained that he wanted to be frozen after his death, be given antifreeze in his blood and then preserved in a freezer. Released 500 years after his death, he could live for ever. This only costs $38,000, he explained. The most incredible thing to me was that didn't act sick or crazy but completely normal. Is a sick diabolical search for God hidden behind this craving to suspend all the rhythms of life? Is this search for rule in eternity possessing not only individuals but the dominant rich world in scientific reason like a pressure with its "faster, often, more", the perfect expression of the religion-free world? If I can be God, I no longer need to seek God. If I am lord of time, the Sabbath, interruption and stillness are superfluous.

Authorities in Germany spend billions of marks so travelers from Hamburg to Berlin arrive 20 minutes earlier. If time equals money - a basic capitalist axiom time is money -, then the ancient axiom "God's time is the very best time" is superfluous. If I can play God with the world, its resources and possibilities, dependence on the goodness of life that I cannot produce is unnecessary. That this kindness encounters me and even waits on me, that the beauty of a falling leaf waits for me, that - to speak in an old-fashioned way - God waits that our soul praises him and forgets itself is increasingly forgotten in the world of men of action and intrigues. Longing or yearning dies in feasibility.

There is a beautiful fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen where the devil builds a mirror that distorts everything beautiful and good into nothing. The most glorious countrysides appear like boiled spinach, the best persons are repulsive or without torsos. Every good or pious idea produces a repulsive grin. This mirror cancels the creation itself (that is called "good" and "beautiful" in the Bible, the two words are exchangeable in the Hebrew). Armed with this mirror, the devil and his magic pupils fly to heaven to finally show God how disgusting, dumb and vulgar is his world. The mirror falls from the devil's hand and breaks up in billions of splinters that penetrate into the eyes of people. Whoever gets a piece of broken mirror in his heart becomes a clump of ice.

After long years of forgetting, I read this story to our grandchild and asked myself whether or not Andersen meant scientific reason. Some fragments of the mirror fell into glasses. Things didn't look too good "when the people put on these glasses to see rightly and be just". They only saw the profit, success and survival of the fittest and justice, God's ancient name in the Bible, receded. Today justice is no longer used in the language of the empire, only fairness.

There are different changes in us that precede the dominant scientific thinking. One is our relation to time and to the rhythm of life that must be abolished. Everything is purchasable everywhere at any time, strawberries in December, ice skating in the middle of summer, sex objects in old age and spring at any time. As Rene Descartes summarized, we are masters and owners of nature, "maitres et possesseurs de la nature". We are not creatures but masters, slave owners and controllers. Reason enables us to possess, control and move. In the ideology dominating us, time is not an essential category of life that faces us in the tradition of eternity but at best money that one can use to wangle more from life. That time can also be the bread of life presenting us with a new beginning, a useable gift that we share together, is forgotten. There is an African proverb that describes this state of affairs: "You have clocks, African people tell us, but we have time."

The other change that the technocratic rule of science assigns to us is in the relation to ourselves. In efficient, hard-working life, we forget that we need God and that these unplanned events which tradition called "revelation" and our relation to the great whole support and fulfill us. Faith can liberate us from always having to play the omnipotent masters of this world. Faith could remind us of these other, old-fashioned superfluous behavior patterns, listening, waiting, being silent and interrupting ourselves. These pathic abilities are harder and harder for us. We forget "to let ourselves go", as the mystics urged. Only when we know that we are not God but creatures, finite, sinful and mortal, can we find God and share in God. Then we forget the language of definitions and lists of successes and learn again the language of calling, imploring, silence and prayer.

What disturbs me most in the world defined and ruled by science is its language that condemns all emotions, fears and hopes to silence. The expressiveness of what we desire, what our dreams of another life are and where we aim is part of the freedom to which we are called. The world of scientific language is too cold to me. We must learn to communicate differently. If we stop playing masters and owners of the earth, we will find a language for our real inner longings. What religion can do in the hyper-scientific world is make the "more than everything visible, audible and noticeable.

"There must be more than everything!" With this text, Paul didn't want to condemn either knowledge or reason but to take away their autocracy. He wanted to keep alive our desire for life for all. The way to the prison of which our text speaks is at the same time the way into the freedom that is not content in having, controlling and owning. We need a greater freedom that God promises us. God liberates us from the pressure to do everything and play God. We can become one with God as all mystics have known. Whenever we agree with his will of life for all creatures, wherever we know that our power of knowledge, deconstruction and reconstruction aims at another life, science leaves the prison in which it lived and becomes a co-worker of faith.

Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Local News

New Zine on Activist Collective Living A29 9:19AM

LA Fields Two Marches Against Police Executions Photoset 2 of 2 A21 9:09PM

LA Fields Two Marches Against Police Executions Photoset 1of 2 A21 7:01PM

Running Down the Walls 2014 A20 8:48PM

Weaving the Past: Journey of Discovery Extends Exclusive Engagement A19 3:37PM

Los Angeles Declares “Hands Up!” in Peaceful Protest of LAPD Murder of Ezell Ford A18 4:09AM

Ezell Ford and Ferguson Solidarity A17 6:35PM

Family and Supporters of #Justice4Fords Protest LAPD Execution of Ezell Ford in South L.A. A17 2:49PM

Southern California Swarms to Save the Bees in Solidarity with Honey Bee Day Around the Gl A17 5:30AM

L.A Supports August 2nd International Gaza Protest Photoset 4 A05 7:03PM

L.A Supports August 2nd International Gaza Protest Photoset 3 A05 6:45PM

More about KPFK via Pacifica turmoils A05 6:29PM

L.A Supports August 2nd International Gaza Protest Photoset 2 A05 6:23PM

L.A Supports August 2nd International Gaza Protest Photoset 1 A05 11:36AM

Demonstration in Support of Persecuted Christians Saturday A02 10:40AM

Water in California - info proliferated now is dubious J28 5:04PM

Pacifica clearly endangered. Reposting info here: J28 2:34PM

Video: Occupy Love (2013), 1 hr 19 min J28 4:43AM

Who declares themselves to be the ultimate-only-valid-authority here on current wars elsew J27 11:11AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Flashback to 2013: Obama: "I am ready to bomb Syria" A29 2:37PM

Al Sharpton 170 lb. wt. loss as Vegan A29 2:19PM

Fact-Checking Obama A29 2:17PM

Pepsi Burning Animals Alive In Going Back To Sugar A29 1:06PM

Ninos Perdidos del Sur A29 10:54AM

Banks and Investors Challenge Predatory Funds Solutions Fall Short of Comprehensive Prot A29 10:33AM

Are some activists star children and now indigo adults? A29 7:51AM

Banks and Investors Call for New Debt Rules In Wake of Argentina Hedge Fund Case A29 7:26AM

Gaza War Postmortems A29 5:30AM

Big Lies Risk Confrontation with Russia A29 4:10AM

Philippines: Charter change and foreign ownership of land not solution to development A29 3:13AM

Infobésité ou faux évergétisme A28 11:49PM

The Shortwave Report 08/29/14 Listen Globally! A28 4:40PM

Wasecans hope trip to Ghana makes a difference A28 1:27PM

Targeting Syria A28 11:42AM

The Russians Are Coming Big Lies A28 5:11AM

Washington Sabotages Russian/Ukrainian Summit A27 1:29PM

The unconditional basic income - a social concept for Europe A27 10:49AM

Gaza Ceasefire: Hold the Cheers A27 6:04AM

Ottawa, Kansas Police Cure for Depression is 16 Bullets A27 4:08AM

Turkey is training ISIS / Islamic State A26 2:58PM

Did Obama really save the Yezidis? A26 2:38PM

Obama Declares War on Syria A26 12:43PM

What we're being told about ISIS just doesn't add up A26 12:29PM

Another No-Peace Ceasefire A26 12:23PM

Mejicanada angelina rechaza contundentemente al "Presidente" Peña Nieto A26 12:19PM

Joseph Stiglitz Calls for Fair Taxes for All A26 5:05AM

Israel v. Palestine: MSM Unreported Truths A26 4:05AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2003 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy