Friday, August 16, 2013

Wordgazer takes on Dave's Challenge

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Wordgazer is a friend I've known on the net for several years now. She's been a regular poster on my message boards form the old days on Sense of the Numinous (now defected) and has been there faithfully since Doxa forums started. She is a good friend, very bright, excellent writer. She has a blog. (Wordgazer's words) also (No Longer Quivering).

She's also brave, she's the only other person besides me who has taken a real swing at the challenge.

Wordgzer's answer:

A man and a woman are walking together through the woods. They begin to quarrel, and after a while they are thoroughly angry with one another. As they quarrel, they both feel that somehow the woods themselves are pulling back from them in fear of their anger, and that the very earth under their feet shudders as their feet touch it.

As they walk on in silence, with their faces turned away from one another, they are greeted by a man who is standing in the path. "Get out of the path!" the quarreling man and woman snap together, but the stranger doesn't move.

"I come to you from the love that formed the universe," the stranger says, holding out his hands. "Be reconciled to the love, and to one another."

But the man and the woman are still angry. "How can you say you come from the love? Do you think you're better than us?" And they pick up sticks and rocks, and kill the man.

As he falls at their feet, they look at one another in horror at what they've done, and they look at their hands, feeling out of sync now even with themselves. But what is running over their hands is liquid light, and as they look back down at the dead man in amazement, they see light pouring from his face as he opens his eyes and stands up again. They are terrified and turn to run, but he lays a warm hand on each of their shoulders.

"Let the love that formed the universe form you afresh," the man says, and suddenly they feel that he is no longer a stranger.

Peace fills them as they look into his face and see that he knows how sorry they are. As they walk on, hand in hand with him, it seems to them that the very woods are drawing near in friendship, and the earth under their feet rejoices.

Discussion on my board:

I said: "that's interesting that you put it in terms of another narrative, and that in terms of man and woman. You see the relation between the sexes as the root of the moral dilemma?

I guess you are less affected by the problems posed by abstract language and it's worn out nature than I am. I tried ot put it in terms of academic theo-speak."

she said:

 It's not that I see the relation between the sexes as the root of the moral dilemma, it's simply that I used a man and a woman to represent humanity as a whole. The conflict between the man and the woman represents the conflicts of all of humanity with one another.

Yes-- I think the abstract language can itself be the problem, in that it doesn't connect us emotionally to the nature of the gospel, which is in fact a story. I figured that a simple parable that retells the story without the original settings and characters, might capture the essence of the gospel in the way Dave was looking for.

Doxa Froums


Dave said...

Ahh, I just saw where you wrote elsewhere that in fact you *are* writing all of this to show your traditional bona fides, as a response to someone who challenged something you wrote here in the comments of the post about Pannikar. Have fun with that :o)

Metacrock said...

I don't know what you saw. where did I say that?

Dave said...

The comment was meant for your newer post on hell.

Metacrock said...

I just answer them as they come.

Kristen said...

Are you the same Dave? Any feedback on my attempt?

Thanks for posting, Metacrock!

Metacrock said...

I'm pretty sure that's Dave.

Dave said...

I still say Metacrock should get into the controls for his blog and change the setting to allow for threaded comments. It makes it easier to see which reply is meant for whom. But I guess the classic block style is OK too :p

Actually Kristen, my first thought in the conversation which sparked the challenge was that the key would be telling a different (version of the) story. I won't go into the details of why I think stories are so important to humans, but I was intrigued to see that you chose that approach.

The stories themselves are harder to judge. What moves one person may leave another cold. But I think you're on the right track. I came across a news story today about the television drama Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which aired from 1997 to 2003. It reminded me of the kind of alternative that might work.

If you or Metacrock are interested, I recommend season six of the show. It's "free" for those who have Amazon Prime and is available in streaming format on Netflix. A whole season is a lot to watch, so to save time the mini-arc that completes the larger full season story arc would do as well, which is comprised of the last four episodes of that season starting with "Seeing Red".

The reason for my selection won't be obvious until the final moments of the season finale, "Grave". For full impact, watching the final four episodes without spoilers is recommended. If either of you do watch them, let me know what you think.