Monthly Archives: October 2012

Seeker Sensitive

Seeker of what?  The lover of one’s own fulfillment seeks a god of his own invention, the god of his own interests.  Here, again, is the idolatrous humility of those for whom “Truth is too great.”  But if I could, I would give the idolater such a glory in himself that he would want something even more glorious.  “Do you not see,” we might urge, “how wonderful it is to desire knowledge?  How glorious it is to know the makeup of distant galaxies or the chemical composition of chlorophyll.  Describe chemical bonding, solve a math problem, and your mind moves the universe.”  Then the voice drops to a whisper and we say, “Then consider that you are equally, or even more so, called to know God.”  We smile vaguely, slightly hopeful.  But the seeker, almost offended, replies,”Oh, no!  I would never be so arrogant!  I shall be humbly satisfied with the god that I have invented.”  And so is the seeker no seeker at all.

See the “Gods of Love” poem.

…and the Hope of Arrogance

Suppose that we have failed to love ourselves sufficiently.  Suppose that in place of the absurd humility of those who deny the value of truth we were to declare to the outraged world that we, even we, can know truth.  Indeed, let us audaciously insist that we are called to it, made for it, and that it lingers just beyond our fingertips not as a tease or pretense, but as a promise.  This soul, this mind, this bold and clumsy thinker is bound there, driven there, invited, lured, summoned.  Embrace the arrogance of the knower of truth, though yet as one not quite there, and what to we find?  That we, in our arrogance, discover that which is greater than ourselves.  For great as we are, as knowers of truth, still the Truth itself is greater.  And so our arrogance leads us to worship Him.  This is the hope of our arrogance, so different from the unchallengeable egoism of post-modern humility.

Post-Modern Humility

The post-modern child has learned that all truth is opinion and that everyone has some mysterious “right” to that opinion.  Having seen that culture determines thought and that cultures vary, we conclude that thought, too, varies, and therefore that no one person’s thought has any more right to the claim of truth than another.  So we become tolerant of difference, open-minded in the odd sense that we would never dream of thinking our beliefs are true.  Yet  the ironic implication is that the post-modern child need never be concerned about whether he could be wrong, and his open-mindedness need never actually be open to the need to be corrected or instructed.  Thus the humility of post-modern thought brings us to the unmitigated egoism of those no longer capable of self-doubt.