Stand Ye in the Ways, and See

‘Modernist architecture is fundamentally anti-historical. It is the first architecture that does not derive from a preceding architecture; the first that begins with a vertical rupture in time.’ (Regardless of the quotation’s truth value, go with the general notion of a vertical rupture in time, since I’m not speaking literally about architecture, either.) The multitudinous régimes forge their own icons, and with a parabasis they huff and puff their hour.

Scripture comes – the Holy Ghost comes – from outside to claim a people. This is how it can act as it does, as a prophetic witness not beholden to the power claims of the world’s ‘enlightened’ despots, and not beholden to the Erastian system of authority that Hobbes imagines, in which the sword of the State is what makes Scripture law.

Should it be retorted that no, authority always rests in the community that reads the Bible, not in the Bible itself, it must be pointed out: such an analysis is a misreading of the phenomenology of the interaction. The community does not even exist until it is constituted and elected by the text. This happened not just once upon a time. It happens over and over again, every Sabbath, every Sunday.

History goes on when fiat has been ground into the dust; the idols’ ruptures in time themselves being ruptured, the organic process continues. The one real rupture in time called forth a New Creation, and its book will forever belong not to this world but to the age to come. I am dying, Egypt, dying: in my orgasm is my last breath, a last thrilling gasp.

So what becomes of liberal thought (by which I mean the Enlightenment), whose coercive destructive power we have seen? And unlike the Soviet dance of death, will the American balance hold of many wits and many mouths and many holy bedrocks? To the Church I have only to say, our roots have to sink deeper than modernity, deeper than mediævality, deeper than antiquity, into the very roots of the mountains, the womb of the world of the dead. Dive the depths of the fish’s gut and stare into the jaws of Leviathan!

Three days and three nights, three times and three æons: there will be a beyond. On the third day, we look to the east.

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