Subdued beneath fear, suspicion, and uncertainty, I find myself occasionally transmuted nearly unexpectedly into something more. The whole universe is a gassy mess, spewing forth transgression and angst, yet I find myself readied.
When my grandmother died, there was a bending of reality that allowed me to see, perhaps for the first time clearly, into that eternity within. But it quickly closed over. I did go looking. I suppose, however, it had been inside all along. Many don’t realize its potential to burst forth into being. It can overtake us, truly.
The more I think about Grandmommy, the more I realize that it was already in her, even before she died. When it radiated out of her like it did, I didn’t realize at the time that what was coming out had already been in her. Death just broke it loose, I suppose, and let it free.
I just keep thinking about will. Willing something into being. Finding God’s will. Being willing. There are so many ways to come at it. But I think it’s really about being aware that Jesus is there in the first place. Maybe that is where will comes in. Will is the irony of welcoming Him into that shrine, the imago dei, that God first placed in us. When we go there to Him, will is to be returned to Jesus himself who let's us into it. I guess our bodies are like temples, as Scripture says. This all must sound like pure foolishness.
It has the ring of séance, I suppose. And his coming like possession. That can’t be it. Yet, I think there’s more that goes into welcoming Jesus than just wishing for Him. Yes, I think there is a big difference between those who will and those who merely wish.
There are those who become so overwhelmed with the vastness and the complexity of the world that they give little heed to the fact of their own nonbeing. I think there are others who sense the Providential chiding, telling them there is more. I guess many sense it, some merely wish for it, and others straight out reject, but there are those who turn their will toward it, tuning their ear toward the melodies coming from that very shrine, from Jesus presumably. He’s never far from us in the first place.
Something of this grand existential baptismal ritual, of having to go deep within ourselves to find Him and then having Him send us straightaway outside of ourselves, allows us to first face our deepest longings, which are found at the gate of Inhibition, which leads us to the temple. And the gate is not opened with a key; it is opened with a song. We have to let go of our preconceptions about what Jesus is like and all the insecurities of who we are and just sing out, a bit awkwardly perhaps, but He’ll show us from there.
Many don’t know where to find Jesus, so they keep looking in the world, in that vast complexity that both consumes and paralyzes our will. It even takes it from us and creates this void inside and leaves us with a million toxic little seeds of pride, and even pity. Some still do not realize that the world has become a great vacuum that sucks life and beauty into itself.
There is a pandemic of nonbeing in our world, and I think it’s a direct result of an empty heroism, resulting from our will, wrongfully directed. The treasure of existence lies not somewhere out in the world. You end up with just an inconsequential frivolity, but true life begins when we look inside the very clay vessels we began with. It takes time to really see it, but it’s been right there all along: Incarnation.
Yet Man is condemned by these deceptions. He lets the pride or the pity possess Him. Cultural pawns drive down gilded streets lurching between identity confusion and a Christ complex.
Even the Church itself can be bedazzled by fluffy robes and has time and time again proven impotent in the face of this neurotic collective vacuum. But He is not impotent, and He does not correspond to all the doctrinal accoutrements that He is said to preserve. Out of our own self-preservation did we sketch them, and their gaping holes are less a reflection of His complexity and more an incredulity of our own egocentrism.
"Incarnation" is a sequel chapter to "Catharsis," also written in April 2007 by Blake Edwards. You may view "Catharsis" here.
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