Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The Dream of Collapse

I have encountered that period of life where I am becoming reacquainted with my dentist. Those neglected visits have caught up and upon my check-up I was given the option of having them do 'all the work' in one visit or I could spread it out over two of three visits. There was a time when I would want simply to get it over with and suffer through the discomfort in one visit. This time, however, it made sense to spread it out. I take this, in one sense, to be an act of maturity. When faced with discomfort or challenge there is a tendency towards collapsing the tension. We want resolution and so either we drive towards synthesis or reject one or several of the points sustaining the tension.
A recent example of this was my periodic encounter with the threat of disembodiment posed by the internet. In this position I can come to the tempting desire of wanting to collapse the tension between what I see as beneficial and what I see as harmful. If I can reject the benefits (and withdraw my online presence) then I have resolved the tension but at what cost? Perhaps none. It may be that such a decision will only prove edifying for myself and others. But this would not be the result merely of that single decision it would rather assume that I would then venture into and navigate the tensions and paradoxes of other spaces as I can never inhabitant or envelop a collapsed tension but only move in the spaces upheld by tension (and maybe even at times find rest in them).
We cannot collapse the tension of life as a blessing and a curse as much as I can get all my dental work 'over with'. To the extent that I force the collapse of these tensions to that extent I foreclose the possibility of blessing. And here is another paradox. To encounter blessing is to live in curses. Christ's body broken (cursed but spaced for entry). Christ's body resurrected (blessed whole). I am beginning to see my drive towards collapse intellectually and relationally but it is fruitless.
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in

- Leonard Cohen

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