Saturday, October 2, 2010


The most significant religions find us to be in a state of intellectual, moral, or spiritual error. Kierkegaard made much of the distinction between Greek error and Christian sin, but if error is viewed as a malady in various types, there's no reason to insist on K's distinctions. Greek, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic, Hebrew, Freudian, Marxist...on these accounts, we're getting the most important stuff profoundly wrong.

Far from being pessimistic accounts, these diagnoses are various forms of optimism. Each says, however off the track you are, here's a way to get back on the straight path. Wake up and see for the first time, they say in various ways.

It's far more desperate when individuals and collective entities insist on their purity. That entails an at-some-level-deliberate truncation of reality and consciousness. But this is not to say we should rush headlong into deliberate--but acknowledged--error.

The least likely course is honest self-appraisal, but our ability to do that is ensnared by the errors we do not perceive or do not have the courage to admit.

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