October 20th, 2009


I used the word "faith" in my last post. "Faith in what?" you might well ask. Faith in, erm, well, just faith- if you see what I mean.

Words degrade. That's one good reason why language is always changing. We need new words, new phrases- because the old ones are no longer up to snuff.

Newscasts (this is a detour) are composed almost entirely in degraded language. Here's an example: something bad happens to a child and the anchor person tells us that it's "every parent's worst nightmare". These dead-alive cliches attack the quiddity of things,  grind down the edges of experience and reduce this fearsome, remarkable world to so much undifferentiated rubble.

Religious language is very badly degraded. Why, when we live in a democracy, do we address the Divine personages of our choice by  the titles of a feudal society? Why use the word "Lord" when our actual experience of Lords is Peter Mandelson or the Marquess of Bath?

So, "faith". It's a tired old word. I sort through the trinket box for alternatives and they're all equally tarnished. They've been used too often- and frequently in ignorance or in order to manipulate- so I'll let "faith" stand. It may be worn-out, but at least it's not modish.

And what do I mean by it? I mean engagement with a world which however badly it may seem to be wrong is essentially right. I mean sensing the rightness through the wrongness.  I mean knowing that there is a reality beyond the reality we call reality.  I mean knowing that every dusty thing I brush against contains brightness beyond brightness beyond brightness.