there was a woman who had a shoe fetish. no matter what, she had to have shoes. couldn’t do without them. according to karl marx, the fetish is creating meaning or giving meaning to a meaningless object. trying to fill in a gap rather than allowing it to be. we live in a society built upon an addiction toward meaning, toward filling the gaps. in a simple sense, when your boss calls you up to come in early because your colleague called off sick, that is a filling in of the gap.
Christ becomes the gap [the lack] not simply to be a gap, but rather to be the spacial embodiment to allow space for dialogue.
The temptation is to fill a gap with someone, to fill silence with noise, to respond uncritically. This is the inherent evil in surface-level altruism; organizations like World Vision [whether they consciously endorse this or not] perpetuate the idea of fast-food fixes. The kind where band-aids are giving out for cancer. When we respond to issues we can’t simply [and only] afford some emotive response [as seen on our television screens] do to some depressing advertisement.
This does not respond to the fundamental issues, but rather accelerates them. Think about this notion even in something as simple as interior design, moreso think about the spiritualized architecture of a room, aka: Feng Shui. The basics of such a claim is that furniture should be placed in a room to not only receive blessings, but to experience the good in one’s life and maintain their inner chi [i.e., essence/power/identity]. It is superstition par excellence.
But is this not also the daily life of most Westerners? Meaning, that we live our lives in such a way that we hope to create luck and yet call it providence. Is not the idea of a God who has everything mapped out and we have to somehow ‘find’ it [i.e., the more i pray, the more money/time i give, the more scripture i read, the more i love and so on] employing a series of methods. Which is not a belief in a God who is in control but rather the belief that we can control/persuade the deity to serve us [which is not very far from how the hunter-gatherers viewed their relationships to their gods].
Ethics in this sense also lies under the umbrella of committed superstition; i.e., the more i do, the better i treat people, the more peace i bring, the more justice i fight – the better i am. but think about that on a very simple level – if i have to work at something that hard what am i already saying about myself? That: i am not ethical, i am not a believer, i am incapable of destroying the very foundations of poverty and injustice. In a simple sense, this is beyond pessimism, this is fatalism.
Most theology attempts to persuade us how lousy we really are. And that the only way out, is to do more, to fill in the gap. And is this not an attempt to experience God with methods rather than experiencing God? Is it also not trying to fill in a gap, attempting to create a stairway to heaven, when heaven is down here, in the now. This idea of the gap is all throughout society. We are ourselves gaps. We lack. Out of this lack desire emerges. We want. We crave. We consume. Why? We are attempting to fill something deep inside. No, its not sin. It’s not something pervasive. The lack is simply who we are. So why do fill the need to try and fill the lack? Because we meet with a reflection; with something that is neither your or i that imposes itself upon us and the lack is then perverted. In this instance, it seems a lot of Christianity is an attempt to speak of the future and yet remain defensive of our genealogical past [i.e., we must somehow hold to the creeds, we must somehow ‘show respect’ to those before us] but isnt this defensive posture actually an attack on that which we mean to defend?
Would it not make sense to further ourselves by allowing and making a space for more gaps, to learn how to better be a gap so as not to fill it? But rather allow what comes natually to fill it? The problem is not that now more than ever the Church at large has lost its historical voice, its that it has been shouting someone else’s message and now needs its own. It must be willing to move forward and if need be move away from that which once defined it – is not definition a form of filling the gap? We need more gaps, not less. We need less identity [i.e., christ emptied himself].
What we need to embrace is the fearfulness of the void; rather than feel it with something, become the very void for others to share their new=found perspectives so change and growth can happen. because if we dont we will simply be regurgitations of the voices before us, possessed by discarnate voices. Without a voice of our own.
This is a draft excerpt on a book I am working…out sometime this/early-next year (hopefully!)…