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<nettime> Living Hymns and Iterations
wade tillett on Sun, 14 Jan 2007 11:21:47 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> Living Hymns and Iterations



	       23For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say
	       unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast
	       into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but
	       shall believe that those things which he saith shall
	       come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

	       24Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye
	       desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them,
	       and ye shall have them.
	       
	       Mark 11:23-24 (King James Version)

    How appropriate, I think. I couldn't have selected a better
	verse. I am here because I desire to believe. Is God
			  speaking to me? 
	


Living Hymns and Iterations

				  Wade Tillett. 
				  January 13, 2007.  

+++ prelude ++++

(The fifteen people I walk in on do not all look up at the same
time. Maybe I missed the service? Mark 11:23 is obviously the end.
The pastor reads my brow, "We will take a short break between Sunday
School and Worship.

The pastor rushes to greet me during the interlude. I had followed
in an older white man in blue polyester working trousers and those
sunglasses that fit on over the eyeglasses. He steps in front,
intercepting the pastor.

"I had just been feeling all week|weak like I should come this
Sunday. So I thought to myself, why not? And here I am

		    attempting to salvage some sort of spirituality,

					     some sort of salvation.

	  Oh Reader,
	  
	  Forgive me my improper punctuation. It's just, I don't
	  want to end the informal tone of the aside that the
	  parenthesis provides. I don't want to distinguish between
	  the storyline and the tangents. I don't want to erase the
	  lines of construction. I don't want to make it comfortable
	  to inhabit this text. I don't want a quotation mark to
	  separate him and me, self and other, author and reader.
	  You and me. It's just not as tidy and simple as all that.

     
		  I want to stay loosely in the Christian tradition.
     
	I don't want to lose the traditions and narratives I've been
						      brought up on.
     
     I want to loose the traditions and narratives I've been brought
							      up on.
     
	I want to keep all that baggage. All that tortured Christian
	background. (OK, tortured is an overstatement I'll admit.) I
      want to convert it into something useful. I don't want to just
						   abandon it there.
     
			  I want to turn it into a living tradition.
     
						      A living hymn.
     
					      I want to live a hymn.

	       You know John Cage, he takes that hymn and chops it
	       down into notes.  He chops the words into vowel
	       sounds. He eliminates the melodies that let us listen
	       without really listening. He forces us to hear.
	       (Brooks, 1993)
	       
	       He modifies the hymn, the tradition, enough that
	       
	       we must live it within each iteration.

 Reviewer #2: Comments to the Author: Hard to tell what the research
 is here. How does it link to other work that has been done like
 this? Why should we care about one individual's perspective? How
 does his perspective (and I suspect it is a "his" not a her!)
 relate to anyone else's? How do we move beyond narcissism and
 solipsism and individualism in our curriculum work?  
 CriteriaRate 
 Choice of Problem/Topic2 
 Theoretical Framework2
 Methods1 Data Sources(S)1 
 Conclusions/Interpretations1 
 Quality of Writing/Organization1 
 Contribution to Field1 
 Membership Appeal1
 Would You Attend This Session?1 
 Overall Recommendation1

   A man with greased blonde hair walks by and spits out a hello. I
   had already noticed his hands previously raised in praise,
   covered in bandages. Bandages wrapped around various fingers and
   the side of his palm. He doesn't offer his hand.
   
   Just as well.

 So, whose perspective are you writing it from; do you know what a
 Pentecostal might say?
 
 No. It is only my fantasy of what it might be, based on what I've
 read and observed and desired. That's all it can ever be.

				      I am writing my own scripture.

					    I am praying to my self.

						  This is my prayer.

The four-year-old white girl with the curls wadded up and streaming
off the top of her head, wearing a handknit shawl. The
three-year-old African-American boy, dark-skinned with a tall, wide
forehead, and short shaved hair, wearing a white/black checkered
suitcoat.

"Have you ever been to a Pentecostal church before?"

Do I stick out that bad? I try to downplay my Methodist background,
joking about it as boring.

     Which wasn't a stretch. Countless hours I spent closely
     examining the little wooden circle cutouts made to hold the
     tiny plastic grapejuice cups. Or the short yellow pencil,
     usually liberally applied to the back of a
     lickable-but-don't-you-dare collection envelope, or,
     preferably, to the much larger back side of the obligatory
     visitor sign-in sheet. Despite my Sunday morning ritual of
     cries and howls at our home, we marched, in uncomfortable
     shoes and tucked-in shirts, to this chamber of monotony.
     
     The church building was the Methodist God of my childhood.
     Transcendent. Removed, interior, and inescapable. I never could
     figure how God would make it into that church sanctuary, even
     if he wanted to. The heavy wooden doors. The opaque plaster
     ceiling. The stained glass. To me, it seemed if he was out
     there, somewhere, he surely would have been screened off by the
     same forces that strove to stave off the rest of the world.
     This allowed them to operate their own authority, cold and
     silent beneath the sermons about love and brotherhood. That was
     God to me, a phantom figure mysteriously removed from this
     incestuous sty. He might have known we were in there, but he
     definitely couldn't see in. He existed only as the gap between
     what was said and was done. What else could explain the fact
     that he never did anything?
     
     We consistently shuffled to a front-right wooden pew, behind
     the piano. My family always sat there because I threw such a
     fit if we didn't. It was by the windows, which represented my
     only hope for making it through the service alive. They were
     large stained glass windows, twenty-feet tall in my memory. I
     couldn't have cared less though except that there were two
     panes, one at the bottom-left and one at the bottom-right, that
     opened. Thank God for a breeze that came through now and then,
     reminding me that there was a place without the stench of stale
     gossip and sidecast judging eyes. I spent a lot of time looking
     out that window. Not that there was anything to see. One tree
     stood in front of the two-story painted-white concrete-block
     exterior wall of the sunday school wing. But it was enough to
     know that there was someplace outside, and I could see it from
     the inside, despite all architectural attempts to the contrary.
     By some benevolent practical necessity, a window had had to be
     opened. If anything could have made me believe in God, surely
     that was it. It's probably all air-conditioned now.
     
     But now, here I am standing in a back-right wooden pew. The
     church has a high cathedral ceiling, one central aisle and pews
     to both sides in a straight linear fashion. After all, it's on
     a Chicago lot. The only windows are the stained glass ones
     marching down both of the long walls. They are small, and far
     above our heads.  Transoms. They let in no light. Maybe they
     are blanked off from the outside.
     
     What brought me here to this Pentecostal church, first of all,
     is my own desire to see God alive. Or maybe I just want
     comforted by the fact that there are people who can see him as
     alive, even if I can't. In my fantasies of God, he is not
     removed. Pentecost put God inside of each one of us. Not as
     someone to pray to, but as a force, as a coordination that
     allows us to have confidence in our own wills and desires. That
     is, God's will is ours. The distinction between God and self
     and other and landscape become blurred, or overlapped, or
     removed. Like the quotation marks. Reality becomes mystical.
     Tradition becomes lived. Belief becomes faith.


A hymn for three voices. Three strands, to be read simultaneously?

Three narratives, parallel, overlapping. They are all true fictions.
Three parts of the Godhead. The Trinity.

Cast:

Holy Spirit: pastor's wife, imminent, emotional, emancipatory,
	     abused. Her voice quivers with the revolutionary
	     potential of an active, experiential spirituality. Her
	     mannerisms imply a precarious socius.

Father: pastor/author, God (with a capital G), transcendent,
	critical, distant, abusive, third-person objective
	(transparent) authority. His voice has the tenor of a
	carefully measured calculation. His mannerisms delimit the
	borders of belief.

Son: self, author|reader, human, sinner, thief, accused, crucified,
     forsaken.  His voice is tangential and untrustworthy, lacking
     the evidence of a shared cultural background of truth. His
     mannerisms are sleights of hand, re-interpreting a Christian
     tradition for personal meaning.  
     

+++ holy spirit: a multiplication +++

	       "But consider that many leading historians of
	       antiquity believe that it was the spread of
	       Christianity (often fueled by religious experience),
	       which ultimately led to the downfall of the Roman
	       Empire. While Western civilization is often the
	       celebrated rediscovery of Greco-Roman antiquity, it
	       can hardly be considered paradoxical, that much of
	       what is rationalist-Enlightenment thought, rooted
	       from ancient philosophical foundations, was defeated
	       by the phenomenological and experiential forces of a
	       living God mediated through a new community of
	       believers in Jesus Christ. These were believers that
	       often emphasized the immediate presence and activity
	       of God through the Holy Spirit, even as one after
	       another was killed, murdered, slaughtered, and
	       martyred for their faith." (Millner, 2003)

An everyday spirituality changes the real; to do so is necessarily
revolutionary. But by revolutionary I do not mean to imply it is
utopian. We have enough false heavens for which we sacrifice our
present. You know, above the clouds the streets are lined with
gold... What if instead we had not a god beyond, but a god within.
Not a god of the afterlife, but a god of life. Not a god of
tomorrow, but a god of today. Verily, I say unto you, there is more
potential in the end of sacrifice (of today, of desire, of meaning)
than in the deferred tomorrows of orthodox economies.

       "A horrible meaning cannot be replaced by a vacuum of
	       meaning, but only by a better meaning.
	    (Griffin, Beardslee, & Holland, 1989 p. 52)

 Reviewer #1: Comments to the Author(note 1): A vague proposal, and
 possibly a self-indulgent piece. It is very hard to assess, since:
 1) the quite political assertions [which I agree with many] are not
 provided with any foundation, either theoretical or experiential;
 ... this proposal needed... less unsubstantiated polemics.
 CriteriaRate 
 Choice of Problem/Topic3 
 Theoretical Framework3
 Methods1 Data Sources(S)2 
 Conclusions/Interpretations3 
 Quality of Writing/Organization4 
 Contribution to Field3 
 Membership Appeal3
 Would You Attend This Session?3 
 Overall Recommendation2
 
   The man with the bandaged hand is standing in the front row, left
   side, with his arms raised. He is doing his best to ignore me, to
   not feel my gaze, to continue on as if I was not here. But his
   self-disciplined glances towards me are hardly not noticeable
   from the middle-back right of the pews. Apparently, he is
   dis/comforted by the advice of the pastor, "Be aware of the
   thief, but don't worry about him."


"Let us praise the Lord.

The congregation erupts in color confetti and spots of light. We are
shouting joyously, praising, arms raised, a collage of voices and
phrases. A consensus formed from individual responses moving in the
same direction. Variations merge to construct a singular hymn.

This is what praising should sound like, I think. People actually
seem thankful, relieved, grateful, redeemed.

     Redeemed.
     
     There is a word I didn't think of much in my old Methodist
     church.  Redemption was just a theoretical limit one could
     never achieve until death. Instead, each day we lived as
     sinners, wallowing in guilt, crying out for continuous
     forgiveness for our continual sin - that of being human. We
     were born guilty. We remain guilty. Maybe that's why there was
     never any real praise there. Our guilty status would make
     praise to God an insult. It would imply that in some way we had
     escaped the burden of our guilt, that we had been redeemed.  Of
     course, it's also good for business to make sure you dole out
     sufficient poison in the cure.


	 "We don't need just a simple plus, you understand.

The canned music background sounds surprisingly good with her voice
			   over the top.

			We need to multiply.

Something about her. Her voice, her demeanor, seems so out there, so
		     strung out, so wiped out.

		     We need a multiplication.

			   Is she abused?

		 The Lord will multiply our gifts.

		  Yes, a multiplication of gifts.

			  Multiple voices.

		 I wish I could describe her voice.

			  Multiple paths.

		  It is shaky, powerful, emotive.

		       Multiple experiences.

		   It comes from outside of her.

			Multiple iterations.

	     I can still hear it clearly, months later.

			 I call on the Lord

		      I want to hear it again.

 Her singing has become a refrain, drowning out any other thoughts,
			 the outside world.

			 to cast out devils

She is creating a space, a space inhabitable where he is to lay down
		   his words.  I call on the Lord

 She is spiraling up. Her arms are whirling. Her voice is whirring.

			  to heal the sick

  I feel my emotions being tapped. She is taking me with her. Are
		      tears coming to my eyes?

			 I call on the Lord

 Every once in a while I feel my body rise up into that oppressive
		  weight of air hovering over me.

			  It is my medium.


				 At least, that's how I wish it was.

      Oh God, forgive me. Look at my filthy utopian desires: Lift me
       off to the kingdom of heaven. Emancipate me from my body. Let
	     me inhabit the magical space of other, the female void.
     
     I am guilty of obscene sexist binaries that position me nowhere
      but outside my fantasy, waiting to jump, wishing I knew how to
       enter.  Guide me to always look to the present, to the faith,
     to the mystic that already exists and to expand that. Remind me
	not to hope for epiphany, not to hope. Help me to understand
       that life eternal is already in progress, in process, because
       if it is not, I will always remain outside of it, waiting and
      wanting.  Lord, give me the strength to find the gate which is
      straight and the way which is narrow, that leads me into life.
							       Amen.

	       We must live this hymn within each iteration.
	       
	       We must (re)write this hymn within each iteration.  
	       

+++ father: an ostracization +++

	       From: wade tillett <wade {AT} XXXX.org> To: "XXXXX, XXXXX"
	       <XXXX {AT} uic.edu> Subject: Step 1 of my  project Date:
	       Tue, 24 Oct 2006 01:17:06 -0500 X-Mailer:
	       Sylpheed-Claws 2.5.5 (GTK+ 2.8.20;
	       i486-pc-linux-gnu) Organization: XXXX.org
	       
	       ... My twist is that I would not be researching
	       "them," but rather my reaction - how do I put up
	       resistances to belief, how do I preserve
	       "objectivity", where are the walls/borders of my
	       self, my belief, my "rational" self? I am currently
	       looking into auto-ethnography, performance
	       studies/ethnography for some sort of basis of method.
	       (Denzin, 2003; Foltz & Griffin, 1996)
	       
	       Why am I interested in this anyway? On the one hand,
	       I view it as ...out there beyond the borders of what
	       I think I can accept. So placing myself into such a
	       context will expose the borders of my own belief. My
	       brother tells me [of one pentecostal revivalist
	       church, the Toronto Blessing, that believes] that
	       somehow a golden sword can be manifested out of
	       nothingness into someone's hand. A tactile real sword
	       out of nothing! Surely that exposes the degree to
	       which reality and belief are tied together. That is
	       the level of belief I want to explore. That is the
	       level of belief education must explore.  We learn
	       belief, but it's borders are often invisible to us.
	       How do we change belief systems? (James, 1929) To
	       change the underlying structures will cause, must
	       cause, radical upheavals in the manifestations of
	       those structures. Reality itself is altered in
	       unforeseeable ways. An understanding/acceptance of
	       the blindness inherent in creation can only be termed
	       faith.

The polished brass cross hovers over the pastor's head. We are
supposed to pretend like we don't see the wires.

After a while, we don't.


 "Do you have an earlier service, at 11? I saw the sign outside."
 
 (Obviously embarrassed.) "No. There is another church."
 
 "Oh yes." (Now I'm embarassed.) "I'm quite familiar with church
 sharing in Chicago. I just..."
 
 "If we could we would prefer to have it at 11, have our own..."
 
 "2:40 is fine for me."

     What should I wear? I can't remember the last time I shaved on
     Sunday. I think I'll wear a collar shirt and tie. Not sure
     about a suit, might be over the top. I'll ask Anne. Should I
     wear my contacts or glasses? Contacts seem more ambiguous....

"And I would like to welcome Wade Tillett to our congregation
today." Shoulder-cast glances. I raise my hand. Why did I give my
real name?

And address.



"Someone here is fooled by the thief. Someone here thinks they're
better than someone else."

For certain there are numerous factors why I think I 'm better than
everyone else." My refusal to join, to enter, to raise my hands or
voice in praise. My location towards the back of the church. My wool
winter jacket or maybe my cuffed pants and black leather shoes.
Maybe it's my haircut. I can never figure out what exactly are those
minute socio-economic indicators, but they are there. I know. I can
tell that the congregation was largely lower middle class. What was
it anyway, the two-toned small-checkered brown suit? The polyester
pants?

	       13Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the
	       gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to
	       destruction, and many there be which go in threat:
	       
	       14Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way,
	       which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find
	       it.
	       
	       15Beware of false prophets, which come to you in
	       sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening
	       wolves.
	       
	       Matthew 7:13-15


 I'm not sure if that guy in the front row is blind or not. His
 jacket has some club name on it, "Blind ...." I don't know, if he
 was, surely the pastor wouldn't have mentioned that the blind
 leading the blind end up in the ditch.
 
 Or maybe he would have. He did mention how before the gospel was
 preached there, the people of New Guinea "ate each other out of
 their huts over there." It was only after the introduction of the
 gospel that they stopped cannibalism and realized each other were
 humans created in the form of gods.
 
 It seems awkward within a congregation where 7 of the 22 adults are
 African-Americans. The construction of the other seems crude. (note
 2) But maybe that's just me. And maybe it's just me that thinks the
 bit about the thief, his rendition of the thief into a pick-pocket,
 also seems oddly awkward towards African-Americans. Maybe I am
 reading too much into it. Or projecting the cultural stereotypes I
 know. I don't think so though. There is something there.
 
 Maybe part of my reasoning is also that that the African-Americans
 are sitting pretty much together on the right side of the church,
 and have been almost as stunningly silent as me throughout the
 service, despite boisterous calls from mainly the left side of the
 aisle.

	Again and again, I re/create my self, my other. I step back,
	  dissociate. I cling to my values blindly. I want to remain
      critical AND I want to believe. I turn away from the fact that
	    this means I already believe. I already believe in being
     critical, self-conscious. My values are simply beliefs trumping
				  other beliefs.  (Feyerabend, 1975)
     
	  To truly believe, must I be blind to belief's limits? Do I
     really dare to question and explore the borders of rationality,
	 or is it just some pedantic exercise, a false dissociation?
     
	  Oh Lord, Let me avoid the false dichotomy of criticism and
       belief.  Help me to realize that one cannot exist without the
	 other. That both belief and criticism are necessary to look
	     beyond the realm of the self-determined. Let me see how
			 "Criticism becomes possible through belief. 
					     (Kuschel, 1989 p.  188)

I drop my $10 plus some other dollar bills into the plate guarded
and offered by Brother Minkah at the altar. I am careful to slip it
under some envelopes. The man before me, the blue trousered one,
gave about $2 it looks like. I had looked for envelopes. None to be
found. Why is this the only thing I participate in? No singing, no
hand-raising, no praying. But I'll give $. Sure as hell, I'll give
$.

So, yes, the entire congregation, all 25 or so, standing down by the
altar, hands raised and swaying. One or two yelling or jumping up
and down compulsively. The pastor is laying his hands on people's
heads. The pastor's wife continues her electric organ and vocal solo
in the background, standing facing a monitor behind the low railing.

"Praise the Lord."

"Praise the Lord."

"Praise the Lord."

 The bandaged one echoes it back like his skull is empty. An empty
 tomb. There I am judging again. But really, what level of
 consciousness is he in right now?

Driving home, I was to pray to Anne, "I don't think raising my arms
and running down the aisle would really have made any difference to
my belief.... Do you think I'll ever be able to believe in
something? Is there any way I can enter?

			       Eloi, Eloi. Why have you forsaken me?
     
				   Finally, there is a turning away.
     
								 No.
     
			       Continually, there is a turning away.
     
					     Belief itself is blind.
     
	We step in darkness, hands outstretched. (Kierkegaard, 1985)
     
				   We step in faith, forsaking self.
     
				       To forsake the self is death.
     
	    To be reborn, the self must be forsaken. (Derrida, 1995)

	       I never realized Jesus was re/living the psalm, the
	       hymn. How was that left out of my Christian
	       education?
	       
	       Psalm 22:1 repeats, Matthew 27:46. Repetition is the
	       fulfillment of prophecy, to live the iteration.
	       
	       Even in death, especially within death, we live
	       within it's iteration.  

+++ son: an accusation +++

	       10The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to
	       kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have
	       life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
	       
	       John 10:10

  "If you haven't entered into that spiritual realm, you will.
  
  Jesus promised we can live more abundantly.
  
  Not have abundant life, but live more abundantly.
  
  We can enter a different dimension of living.
  
  We only need the baptism of the Holy Ghost."

Here I stand. Like a distant planet. The empty pews lined up row
after row, counting off the depths of my hell, the distance of my
self from belief, the self-imposed ostracization from an inhabited
spirituality.

  "What are you seeking for?"

I had written that I was not going to let their conservatism get in
the way of my spirituality. And here I stand, a prude, slowly
shifting my weight from one foot to the other. Both hands grasped
around the curled back of the empty wooden pew before me, the weight
of the vacant space overhead crushing down on me. I wish I could run
down to them, across the top of the pews armed outstretched,
screaming in joy. I wish I could rush the aisle. The suspense is
palpable. The pastor, among a sea of raised hands and self-selected
choruses, is calling out to me. To me! We are the two forces in the
church. His is gravity pulling. Mine is friction.

  "What are you seeking for?"

Interesting that the very division that I had posited, the very
borders of the self that I was sure were there, that I was hoping to
uproot, have manifested themselves in such a real physical spatial
configuration. I, two rows in from the back on the right, am
standing with my head down, sneaking a glance now and then at that
other realm I don't know how to enter.

  "What are you seeking for?"

"I just stood there at the back. I wasn't comfortable going down
front. I didn't know what was going to go on down there. I knew I'd
be roped in if I went down there. I should have gone down there and
just stood towards the back. I upset the whole service. There was
only me standing in back and the pastor with everyone's support not
so subtly calling for me to come down for the whole last part of the
sermon." I was to later confess to my wife.



Brother Minkah knows. I can feel him looking at me. I decided not to
write except during the sermon, and then not too much, for fear of
drawing attention to myself. So only during the sermon I write on
the paper I had hastily tri-folded and tucked into my breast-pocket.
I was running late. I use a Bible on my lap as a table, and write
only a few words to jog my memory.

   After the service, the bandaged hand is outstretched. I reach for
   it.
   
   The bandages are lying on the seat, nicely folded. As if...

A twenty-something white fuzzy-headed young man approaches me as I
am shaking hands with a few other congregation members. As he shakes
my hand he looks into my eyes. He says nothing. His eyes are looking
right through me. Is it hatred? Compassion? Lust? Whatever it is, it
is severe. It takes me a moment to recover, to speak up, to manage
some polite words of greeting that I can no longer recall as I was
barely aware of them when I said them.

 I am thinking I am nothing more than a spiritual tourist, a
 predator, a thief.

A thief!

The stare.

The eyes.

They are those of my accuser!

I am the thief.

Why wasn't it clear to me before?


    "Are you from around here?"
    
    The awkward silence.
    
    That hangs in the present like an affair. We are both sure it
    happened. But to mention it would make it real.
    
    "I enjoyed the service. I really did. I hope to come back sometime."
    
    I wonder if I will.

     Adonai. My prayers are a collection of scars. Each day I run my
	finger along them, tracing them in wonderment and disbelief.
     Re-searching. How is it that we are born again? Re-constructed?
							Again risen?

	       Another iteration.

+++ coda +++

The tree used to hold the tireswing. Brother|brother Luke and I
hover under it while swinging my kids beneath the playhouse. Squeak.
Up and down the slide. A whirlwind around us. Luke is breaking
sticks and throwing them. Me, I am taking the broken pieces he
throws, turning them upright with my shoe, and stepping on them,
forcing them into the soft, wet ground. One after another.

Off to the side we can see those endless fields, the crops are
harvested already. Father is wandering the backyard with a shovel,
in search of dog poop, pretending not to be listening in.

Luke: "How was the church you went to...?"

No. It wasn't that their actions were too crazy. If I was to be a
Christian, that's how I would want it to be. You know, alive. A
living god. I mean, if I'm going to choose my own belief
construction, I want to inhabit one that is active. Mystic. It was
the god-above thing that bothered me, that made me feel more
distant. Politically, I can't accept the transcendentalism.

"So you're looking for something like a liberal pentecostalism?"

	       Brennan: ...I think the Holy Spirit is moving us back
	       to a truly Pentecostal Acts II church, but I think
	       there is massive resistance, massive resistance at
	       the top for some people who want to maintain control
	       and massive resistance on the bottom where people
	       like to be an audience but don't really want to be
	       responsible for their faith.  (Abbott, 2005)

I want to know how to be a "conscious believer." Is it possible to
see the limits of my own belief and still inhabit it? I mean, from
what I understand, the Zen Buddhists, they see the body as a
construction, yet still inhabit the body....


The Godhead.

That was a word that was in the lyrics projected in green text on
blue onto the church walls (with Powerpoint, which amused me). I'd
had to look it up after I got home. It means something like the
merging of the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit. The
meta-consciousness, the embodied experience, the mystic landscape.

Amen.

-----
END

Notes
1 I received blind reviews #1 and #2 in regard to a proposal for a
performance outlining the writing modes used here. I hear the echoes
as I write.
2 Yes, I realize New Guinea is not in Africa. I am simply remarking
on what I believe to be the pastor's construction of other.


				  What's your theological worldview?

				  You scored as Emergent/Postmodern.

    You are Emergent/Postmodern in your theology. You feel alienated
  from older forms of church, you don't think they connect to modern
   culture very well. No one knows the whole truth about God, and we
  have much to learn from each other, and so learning takes place in
 dialogue. Evangelism should take place in relationships rather than
	  through crusades and altar-calls. People are interested in
   spirituality and want to ask questions, so the church should help
						    them to do this.

					     Emergent/Postmodern 93% 
					       Classical Liberal 75%
					 Charismatic/Pentecostal 68%
						  Modern Liberal 64%
				   Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan 64% 
						    Neo orthodox 39% 
						  Roman Catholic 29% 
					    Reformed Evangelical 18% 
						   Fundamentalist 0%

			     http://quizfarm.com/test.php?q_id=43870 

+++ References +++

Brooks, W. (1993). "John Cage and History: Hymns and Variations."
	Perspectives of New Music, 31(2), 74-103.

Denzin, N. K. (2003). Performance Ethnography : Critical Pedagogy
	and the Politics of Culture. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Derrida, J. (1995). The Gift of Death [Donner la mort.] . Chicago:
	University of Chicago Press.

Foltz, T. G. & Griffin, W. (1996). "She Changes Everything She
	Touches: Ethnographic Journeys of Self-Discovery." In C.
	Ellis & A.P. Bochner (Eds.), Composing Ethnography :
	Alternative Forms of Qualitative Writing. Walnut Creek,
	Calif.: AltaMira Press.

Feyerabend, P. K. (1975). Against Method : Outline of an Anarchistic
	Theory of Knowledge. Atlantic Highlands, N.J.: Humanities
	Press.

Griffin, D. R., Beardslee, W. A., & Holland, J. (1989). Varieties of
	Postmodern Theology. Albany: State University of New York
	Press.

James, W. (1929). The Varieties of Religious Experience; A Study in
	Human Nature. Being the Gifford Lectures on Natural Religion
	delivered at Edinburgh in 1901-1902 (37th impression ed.).
	London, New York etc.: Longmans, Green, and Co.

Kierkegaard, S. (1985). Fear and Trembling. Harmondsworth,
	Middlesex, England; New York, N.Y., U.S.A.: Penguin Books;
	Viking Penguin.

Kuschel, K. (1989). "The Critical Spirit and the Will to Believe :
	Heinrich Heine - A Test Case." In D. Jasper, & T. R. Wright
	(Eds.), The Critical Spirit and the Will to Believe : Essays
	in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Religion (pp. 158-190).
	New York: St. Martin's Press.



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