Monday, 19 December 2016

Brave New World (1)

I like the TED talks and I recommend them to you.  Here's one from this month.  Watch it.  These two speakers are really cute and very lovable. Tiq and Kim are a cis and a trans and are very much "in love". [How I wish cis and trans were still just terms you would find relating to chemical isomers.] Absorb what they have to say, it is compelling in a way.  I do not decry them for saying what they say, indeed I applaud them for doing so.  What is worrying is that the whole Judeo-Christian tradition can not stand up effectively (or with so much cuteness) for the integrity, wholeness and beauty of its beliefs.

This is something Tiq says in the talk:

The possibility that we are practicing is about reinventing time, love and institutions. We are creating a future of multiplicity. We are expanding the spectrum of gender and sexuality, imagining ourselves into existence, imagining a world where gender is self-determined and not imposed, and where who we are is a kaleidoscope of possibility without the narrow-minded limitations masquerading as science or justice.

So imagination becomes reality if you give it enough publicity. Think on. Consider the consequences
of this. This is the death of science. This is the death of religion. (I happen to be quite fond of both) This is a reality based purely on how you feel and how you wish to create yourself. 

To try to explain why I find this so in need of a persuasive counter argument, here is a quote from the Physicst, Wolfgang Pauli, speaking in about 1927.  His work on Quantum Theory was starting to show that the false separation (created by the Enlightenment and very much part of the cultural baggage of many his fellow scientists) of the purely objective (here called knowledge) and the purely subjective (here called faith) was breaking down.  His words seem prophetic:

It's all bound to end in tears……society is in such danger whenever fresh knowledge threatens to explode the old spiritual forms. The complete separation of knowledge and faith can at best be an emergency measure, afford some temporary relief. In western culture, for instance, we may well reach the point in the not too distant future where the parables and images of the old religions will have lost their persuasive force even for the average person; when that happens, I am afraid that all the old ethics will collapse like a house of cards and that unimaginable horrors will be perpetrated

The existence of the "gender spectrum" and the carving of your identity through your sexuality are now taken as a given.  It is neither knowledge or faith (small f), but it is the reality of the moment. I think Pauli is on to something; only the parables and images of Tradition can make a stand for an alternative and ultimately more compelling, beautiful and whole picture of who Man is and why he loves and is loved. However these parables and images are now virtually unknown or seemingly incomprehensible to the majority of people.

In the next few posts, I will unpack this further.  Tiq and Kim's vision of a beautiful future is only beautiful if a greater beauty is unknown.  We are drawn to beauty, it captivates, if we Catholics are who we claim we are then we must live the reality of that greater Beauty and show it to the world.
Stay tuned.


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