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Two Essays For Arrival Michael Bolerjack


Two Essays For Arrival Š 2012 Michael Bolerjack


For Steve and Daniel


Table of Contents

To Gather Conclusion to the Arrival


To Gather


The Mind, The Word, The Spirit, The Book is a structure in which we see figures of New Jerusalem and the Temple in Ezekiel. This structure may only exist in the book, or only in the mind, or only in the language of the word, or only in a spiritual sense. The history of metaphysics and religion, even literature, all of it in some sense scriptural, as is evident, is the conversion of the terms, their reduction to one or the other. We draw maps of it, but we can not find the site where it is. Call it God or Heaven, say it is among us or within us or above, or in some future eternity, which being eternity must already be, I have sometimes seen it unfold, or stood within its courts, and did not know if it was revelation or imagination. Perhaps there is no difference. We look for it in the heart or the brain, where it is said to be, but find only corpuscles and fiber. Yet when it is, I know it,


and to say I am it, is not incorrect, but should not be noised abroad, for scandal, at the very least uncomfortable controversy. It could be writing. It is often written. Yet as everyone knows, it is found more in the white blanks and spaces, than in the linear script, but occurs even more in the lability of the combinatory aspect of the alphanumeric. Let us call it provisionally a book. When God is all in all we will be contained in The Book. The book is limited. It is the limit. Bound, restrained, the emblem of religion. Books have beginnings and endings, but the text has none, writing is now without definition or delimitation, it is everywhere, it is everything. The book, ordered by logos, observes word, reason, harmony, proportion and is one. Writing is none, disordered, discordant, without proportion, a sin as they


say in Spanish. The lack and absence of writing is said to be really real, without ideal or illusion, perhaps even without idea itself, being but the literal evacuation of meaning by another wizened. The book arrives, but writing is structurally unable to do so, being the indefinite that lubricates the machine of the world contamination. Life is not that machine, but has been caught up in that machine. Life is a book, the mind of God, written in the Word by the Spirit, which we read for our roles. And it is the Temple. The Temple observes number. The measure is God, and as you measure life out, so will it be measured unto you. The machine world can no longer be measured, having erased God, not thematically, but through structured taint, through a contamination that appears to be


connectivity, where we are all looking for a good fit, but the question of the fittingness of things has become itself inappropriate. There is no coherence. If the answer is scripture, to open our Bible, we are given it to 1) learn to read the morals of life, 2) understand the truth in words, 3) to be inflamed by the Spirit of holiness not to pass away, and 4) to realize now the mind of God. The book is square, hierarchical, planned, bound, held, numbered, and limited. But the world has exceeded that more than paradigm, that divine map, and now we are liable to be caught unawares in the midst of writing our cantos on the chaos, and enfolded not securely in the great book, but constrained in the garment of Nessus, trapped and poisoned in the taint, our


Herculean effort come to naught in the closure of the antichrists. In the icon, the Teacher holds a book. If the truth can be contained in a book, then God must be that book. If God is the book in which we are all written, that book is the site of our eternal gathering, which has always been, for God did not write himself, but for us he is written. Through begetting the word, a Son, he read himself and understood who he is. The Spirit of love is a communication of the communion in the mind’s word, where the book takes place. The son, the word, arose from the desire that the book of life be read. The Father will be, but without a son, he will not have been read. The Spirit of God is a spirit of understanding, the unity of the son reading the Father, and explaining him to himself. It was for this he


was sent, with prophets, among patriarchs, so that the Father would be understood. His book became our literature. All is scriptured, and does not only describe and declare, but disclose him. Now, there is a passing of the book, into the past, and in an infinite acceleration, we hurtle forward, or plunge downward, and almost realize that what began with a fall, could end with one as well. But it need not be so. Among the world of books, one points up, while another points down, but as we have read, the way up and the way down are one and the same. In the same place we read that the most beautiful thing is just the pile of trash heaped on the ground. It speaks not of nature, but more truthfully and charitably of this human city, where our freedom is not only to discard, but to pick through and


gather what we will. Of what will these wisdoms make us? The task of being compelled with infinite acceleration toward the end seems impossible to fulfill. There was a man named Jacques Derrida who spoke not unprophetically of these things. He wrote of the impossible as such, on the one hand, as the only thing worth attempting, though still unattainable and in-deconstructible, while on the other hand, in the very thoroughness of his destruction, having in a sense already destroyed the world in principle, he found a remnant based on justice, democracy and the odd-sounding hospitality. In the felicitous discovery of what would remain, JD lived in the conjunction of the signature effect with Jude, saint of the impossible, of the difficult and desperate, of lost causes, the saint of


those who almost despair. The apocalypse might seem to be that, but the infinite acceleration we sense is true, and as the great transformation takes place, it may be that those novels, some pointing up, and some pointing down, were true, too, and so our infinite paths, as we rush to eternity.


CONCLUSION TO THE ARRIVAL


The point of life is to arrive. To arrive means to acquire the stability and openness necessary to be receptive to the grace of God that completes us in this life and fulfills us in the life to come. The arrival can be seen at both the level of the individual and of what we loosely term the “culture.� It is necessary as individuals to prepare one self by several means. First, we must think outside the temporal dimension, into the eternal, the fourth that completes the dialectical pastpresent-future. Second, one must escape from the bind of the dichotomy of necessity and fantasy to achieve freedom and reality, through work and through love, combined as one act. Third, one must put aside the idea that deconstruction is viable. It is the projection of death or self-destruction into a form of logic that paralyzes thought and transforms it into an endless indefinite series


of manipulations of the written word. Fourth, one must be willing to learn substantially, not cognitively. To learn substantially is to be what you believe. Knowledge that does not lead to such transformation is not wisdom but only information. Words, because they are based in the Word of God, have the power to transform us substantially, to transubstantiate us, in a way similar to our transformation by the reception of the Eucharist. The word too is Spirit and Life. Those in the Catholic Church are afforded the grace of transubstantiation through the body and the blood, but also through the Word. Those outside it have the Word alone, but that is the one thing necessary now. Fifth, one must learn limitation. We must limit ourselves in order to arrive, not only ourselves but our creations, logic, economy,


direction. One must go straightly, toward the goal, in a restricted economy through a limited dialectic, not a general economy of textuality. One must make something true and good and useful for the building up of others, not to merely enjoy, or for aggrandizement, or honors, or place. Sixth, one must learn to give, give until it hurts, as Mother Teresa said. Such giving can be hard to do, but only, for instance, by giving up the notion that I already am the way I am meant to be, can I be transformed into what God wants me to be. There is much that must be given up in order to arrive. As long as our desires and passions lead us around by the nose, our preconceptions and prejudices, our inclinations and fantasies, we will continue to live in the world phantasm. Seventh, we must tell the truth. We must not lie. We must not tolerate the abuse of truth by a culture that is


in denial regarding such things as abortion and other lesser crimes against the person. We must love the truth. We must get to know ourselves, the truth about ourselves and be honest with ourselves, with God, and with one another. In doing these things we may find ourselves ready. And readiness is all. Ripeness is all, for the day comes, the hour comes, and one must be prepared for it, as individuals, as a culture, as a church. If one is transformed before that great day, before the apocalypse, personal or communal, one may welcome Christ rather than cry out to the mountains to fall and cover us. The study of moral beauty I once wrote drew a precise map of how to get to the place of arrival, but presented itself as a kind of disclosure of that arrival, in addition to its descriptions and declarations. Something


took place in me in the writing of that book and I believe in the writing of this current one that I believe may do the same for you as it did for me. In both the logic and the poetry, and the revelations of the apocalypse, arrival actually happens. While I have presented programs for the reform of dialectical thinking, and of deconstruction, and most of all for the reform of the Catholic Church, something else was occurring. You, the reader, and I, did not simply communicate, but commune, because gathered around the word of truth, next to God, with our attention directed to the light of revelation, withdrawing from our worldly pursuits, raising our minds to things not of this world, that it does not perceive, because


it cannot consume them. To be transformed is not to consume but to be consumed. Transubstantiation is the key. As long as only accidents are changed, ideas or opinions exchanged for other ones, the substance has not been altered. By giving you, hopefully, a new way to think, a new logic, which is really not of this world, I gave you a new form. I transpose the idea of the new man from the letters of Paul, of being transformed by the renewal of the mind, into my writings, that were more than mere criticism or poetry. Through the transformation of the texts on which I wrote, when I wrote of other texts, I may have brought about another transformation in you and in me, in the church and in the world. That we must change most agree on, but that we can change is something we almost despair of


today. I think if you want to arrive at a better word, a better church, a better you, I say be creative, be thoughtful, give, be honest, have a critical faith that believes and thinks in eternal terms, turned away from judgment, to love, from destruction and deconsecration, falsehood and denial and fantasies, to the work of reality, to make a church and world to be. Why should we wait? All are called. All have the vocation. To arrive means to be what you are meant to be, what God intends each of us to be. It is not always obvious, as my work witnesses. Our arrival is seen in our readiness for completion and fulfillment, to prepare for the coming apocalypse, soon, so we may one day rejoice, as we cast out fear by perfect love.


Two Essays For Arrival