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Entering into the Question

December 12, 2013

FOB SPCK cover

I’ve recently returned to a relatively unknown book I wrote back in 2008 called The Fidelity of Betrayal. It fell totally beneath the radar when it first came out and, truth be told, I largely forgot about it. In addition to that, the content proved a little much for many of the places I spoke and often wasn’t sold. Basically it just seemed to get eclipsed by peoples interest in How (Not) to Speak of God.¬†However there are some people I respect who view it as my best book to date and have been encouraging me to get some of its ideas out there. So I’m going to offer some free sections from it over the coming weeks. Consider it an early Christmas present for being on the naughty list.

This section touches on the idea of faith as entering into a type of ongoing debate with the deepest questions that haunt us.


The Question

4 Responses to Entering into the Question

  1. Matt Willis-Goode says:

    Pete, The Fidelity of Betrayal may be my favorite book of yours (although I think The Idolatry of God is the most complete presentation of your thoughts). I always wondered why it didn’t get more attention. I have been pondering which one of your books I want to give a re-read, and I think you just gave me the answer. I read it while I was on my honeymoon in 2008, so I might not have absorbed it as well as I would have otherwise.

  2. CM says:

    (Posted on FB but may as well get involved here too.)

    Pete, this story about the rejection of single, unchanging systems of knowledge reminds me of a story about the genesis of John Cage’s compositional work which led him to create probably his most famous piece, 4′ 33′.

    As I’ve begun reading your work this story has continually come to mind. if you haven’t heard it…

    Cage was interested in blurring the defining lines between sound and music. He was interested in silence. Around 1950 he visited the anechoic chamber at Harvard Uni. This kind of chamber is completely isolated from the sounds of the outside world and the inside of the room is designed and constructed so the walls, roof and floor absorb all sound. If silence is to be found, it would be found here. Cage expected to hear, or perhaps more accurately, to experience silence inside this room.

    What he heard instead were two sounds – a high sound and a low sound. The engineer there told him that the high pitched sound was the sound of his nervous system operating and the low pitched sound was the sound of his blood pumping. Cage realised that in the presence of humanity, there could be no such thing as an unchanging, essential, singular silence.

    This story strikes me as analogous to the way your work critiques singular, isolated, unchanging truths and seeks to embrace the many sounds and different silences in our world.

  3. Sue says:

    But what about Original Light?
    The conventions of our sense experience habituate us to the idae that light is always generated from a defined source, specific locus, or point in space.It is this presumption that permits us to perceive and conceive of defined or differentiated objects, space between objects, relative degrees of illumination, and also shadows.
    But, truly, all space, all locations, all objects are equally pervaded by true, original, or fundamental Light, Universal Energy, or Transcendental Radiance. If we consider the nature of perception and cognition within that Light, which is omnidirectional or Infinite, then we realize that no objects, no degrees of light, no shadows, no differences can be found therein. Just so, if we Realize Ecstasy, or perfect inherence in the Transcendental Light wherein all objects or conventions of difference appear, then we transcend all differences, all states of body, mind, space, time, self, and relations.

    True Ecstasy in the Living Divine Reality is self-transcending inherence in the selfless, mindless, bodiless, wordless Infinity of Radiance, Bliss, or Love. The literal Divine, the Radiant Reality that is only Obvious and not to be identified with any independently subjective or objective states, is Infinite Light, the condition of all conditions or permutations of light-energy.
    We must enter into the Presumption of that Condition via our native transcendence of the conventions of psycho-physical experience. Then that same Light will Transfigure and Transform us in every part, until there is not the slightest difference between us and that uninterrupted Glory.

    The True Man is Radiant in the world!

    By contrast all of conventional religion old or “new” is the cult of Narcissus that is suppressing the Ecstasy that is native to human beings, that is their primal urge.

    When “I” Realize the Transcendental Identity, then fear leaves the body-mind, and Humor is restored.
    When “I” Realize the Transcendental identity of every one that is loved and every thing that is desired, then sorrow leaves the body-mind, and Happiness is restored.
    When “I” Realize the Transcendental Condition of all phenomena, all experiences, all all dimensions or worlds in the Realm of Nature, then anger leaves the body-mind, and Love is restored.

  4. Bryan W says:

    Sue, you just blew my mind.

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