Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

An Explanation Of Sorts

My posts are rarely exploratory. Usually I know the route I mean to take and where I hope to end up. Sometimes I'll happen upon an alternative path and- even more rarely- fetch up somewhere unexpected.  But I never find myself stopping short- out in open country as it were.

Except once or twice in the last few days. You know the posts I mean. They're all a bit gnomic. That's because I wasn't being quite honest, because I was editing too much out, because I was embarrassed to admit I didn't have a map.  They read like I'm laying down the law, but actually I'm asking questions. Real questions- ones I can't answer.

Here's where I'm at:
I was a priest. I gave it up. I'm not going back. I couldn't. I gave it up because I didn't believe- and that's still the case. Trouble is- over the past year or so- I've felt a Christian mindset creeping back up on me. I don't believe in the Christian God, I don't believe Jesus even ever existed, but I'm finding I totally believe in the Christian myth.  There never was a birth in a stable in Bethlehem- I'm almost certain of that- but the myth has me by the throat.  Myths are like poetry. They work in much the same way, by-passing the rational mind, by-passing explanation. I know Yeats's The Second Coming is a sublime poem and I know the Nativity is a sublime myth- but don't expect me to get to work on either with a scalpel because that's not how you treat the things you love.

So am I a Christian? I suppose it depends who's marking the papers. William Blake might accept me as one, but I don't think the Pope would. I am however, by the Church's own rules, still an Anglican priest. When I left (and whether I resigned or was sacked is a moot point) they may have put me on a black list somewhere, but they didn't defrock me- they didn't rescind my priesthood. I'm not in fact sure they could.

Just to complicate matters I am also a Pagan and a Witch.

Perhaps I don't need to make intellectual sense of all this. Perhaps...

And there I'm going to stop- still out in open country- with the Holy City of Sarras over the horizon and maybe not there at all.

I'll be away from LJ over Christmas. No reading, no writing. I think this could be a really good time to take a break.

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