Many Questions

Bedtime reading has been maybe a little too heavy the past week or so. I've been working my way through Emilio Lledó's El silencio de la escritura (The Silence of Writing), a 160 page meditation on engagement with the Western philosophical tradition, originally published in 1992. Last night it got to me. After just two hours sleep I was wide awake, wondering about my identity, the possibility of faith as a mere survival posture, and the bounds of the universe. So I just kept plowing through Lledo's essay until sleep finally overcame me and I got three more hours in. In spite of sleeping just five hours, I feel well rested, and very happy that Daniela is here for the weekend. I've also been thinking about a Spanish Jesuit I was reading about the other day in the Sunday supplement of El País, but now I can't find the magazine and can't remember the Jesuit's name. Anyway, what impressed me about the article was the nature of this man's faith, seemingly just rock solid. He describes it as a gift he received as a young man. Perhaps the antithesis of Unamuno's anguished agnosticism. Whereas Unamuno had a crisis of faith as a young man (simply put, he lost it), this Jesuit had the opposite- the gift of certain belief, accompanied by an intense desire to orient his life towards ever closer communion with God. But, as seems to be the case with Jesuits, this communion has little to do with prayer.  It's all about good deeds. This guy has been in Cambodia for many years, helping the poorest of the poor. I think he's got the right idea. Theology? There's work to be done! Human suffering should shame us all. Lledó writes about the inability of human reason to successfully overcome our problem, our awareness of our finitude. No kidding! No, I certainly don't have the answer, but I think I've been fortunate to learn a little bit from others regarding the benefits of getting out of self. A basic paradox: self-interest suggests we be less self-centered. So, maybe it's in my best interest to have some kind of faith, something to hold onto as I approach my fin. Can you just pretend? Because, as one can comprehend, there are hard to resolve conflicts between a rational education and a received faith centered on irrationality. For now, my faith is oriented towards imagination and the magic of human creativity. (In the photo, Emilio Lledó.)

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