Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

More About Holiness

When we call something holy we ward it against attack. Holy books are not to be criticized. Holy men are above reproach. Holy sites offer sanctuary and cannot be strafed or bombarded.

Holy things are monuments. They are frozen in time. They oppress. Men kill to keep them just the way they are.

But kaysho is right. In the beginning is passion. The holy book is written in a passion. The holy man acts out of passion. But then the disciple kills the thing he loves by turning it into an untouchable holy thing.

Francis of Assisi is the holiest of Western holy men. But Francis was crazy- as wild or wilder than Van Gogh or Jim Morrison. He went to Syria to preach before the Sultan in the hope of being martyred. He took asceticism so far that he'd sprinkle wood ash on his dinner to guard himself against enjoying it. He was extreme and theatrical and willful and uncompromising. He was a force of Nature. He was Dionysiac.

Society can only take so much wildness. The wild thing is tamed. It is institutionalized. It is used as a check on future wildness. The breaker of taboos is turned into a guardian of taboos. The Holy Book becomes God's final word and future creativity is stifled. The law-breaker (Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Francis) becomes a policeman.
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