"something divine was promised and it melted away in the mouth"
|Anne Boyer||Sep 2|
There should be a church of the dialectic in which the only altar is a long dinner table with a lot of chairs, and all that would be worshipped there would be the living, changing quality of what we call "the world." The sacrament would be that the congregation eats, as Hegel would call it, the "love feast," which is a better phrase for "dinner." Bread and wine and whatever else would never be mere symbols (not mere ideas, but also not without idea), nor food reduced to biological function (not merely what is to be tasted and transformed by digestion, but still definitely food). Instead, the congregation would have to at every meal, as they have all committed to eat and share with love, confront the wonder that the object of religious devotion (the meal), and of carnal satisfaction (the meal), and of community love (the meal), is always anticipated in the mind, coming together, appearing to the senses via the body, splitting apart, sating them, fleeing them, ceasing to be itself, promising in the next day to be a new version which in turn transforms in multiple, contradictory ways. Eating dinner at a long table this way, the complexities of which far exceed what I've described in this paragraph -- think of the dialectical potential of cooking the meal and the sacrament of cleaning up after! -- would be sufficient religion to occupy the entire life of a community.
If needed, other possible sacraments: 1) sitting under trees, inspecting the veins of leaves, followed by a session of inspecting the branching of branches 2) destroying precious furniture because it is believed that a more precious piece of furniture might be locked within 3) confronting dust, trying to re-engineer it into marble statues of lost gods, and confronting splinters, too, that were once the substance of crosses, and confronting gold coins, that once lived better as rocks 4) holding a seminar, at least every few years, about the shells left behind by cicadas 5) a global conference on a seed.
As Hegel writes, "a regret arises, and this is the sensing of this separation, this contradiction, like the sadness accompanying the idea of living forces and the incompatibility between them and the corpse." There would probably be a lot of sadness of the incompatibility of life forces and corpses, which is a very sad thing. At this particular moment there would be some sadness, too, of the incompatibility of life forces and living beings (all? many?) who the present arrangement of the world has made to live without access to life's fullness, as all that is life is always being transformed into instruments not of love, but of profit, in which our very thoughts often take on the bitter forms of this relation, whether we consented to this or not.
The sadness of the present would be bearable, however, because not only would the congregation never have to eat alone, but because all these lessons in eating dinner, cleaning it up, sitting under the trees, contemplating dust, wrecking furniture, conferring on a seed, would indicate that the way things are now could only remain this way forever if the absolute nature of "the world" or "life" or "the universe"-- that it changes -- was totally annihilated. Any force that could annihilate all of this would be one to which I would easily defer, for it would probably be divine, and that would be an interesting revelation. I can, however, guarantee the force that annihilates the changing nature of the universe, the always becoming that constitutes life, won't be capitalism, which will not last forever, so there is, at least, that.