Whew, I have been giggling about Pope Sylvester all day. I guess, in all fairness, that accusing a reform-minded pope of consorting with demons makes a certain amount of sense if you are anti-reform. But I’m perplexed by the bronze prognosticating robot head. Is this supposed to tell us something about an anxiety about science and technology coupled with a resistance to reform?
I’ve been picking through a book about the priests who came to the Americas in order to learn more about God. They considered themselves to be scientists and by figuring out how the world worked and how things were create and are relate, they felt like they were literally learning the mind of God, getting to catch a glimpse of how His mind worked, anyway.
I admit, I don’t often realize how much the dominant Christian message in my community seeps in and curdles my feelings about Christianity. But this book is kind of making me realize my own prejudices in reverse. You know what I mean? I find it so mind-boggling that Christian church leaders could be so excited about science, so delighted when they get a glimpse of how vast the world of unknown things is, and so enthusiastic about figuring things out.
I wonder if this is because there really isn’t a separation of the sacred and the secular in their minds. They could catch glimpses of what we’d later understand as evolution and not feel like it undermined their belief that God created the universe. Of course He did. They were merely better clarifying the blueprint He used to do so.
I guess this is one of the reasons I find feminist discussions about religion in which we are all advised to just stop being religious because it is inherently sexist to be unsatisfying. I know this is pretty ironic considering that my dissatisfaction with Christianity at the time I left did pretty much center around my lack of a desire to keep fighting for a way for me to be non-self-loathing as a woman and Christian. But I do think it’s possible. I think that’s part of why it was so hard to just give it up and why it’s been important for me to find a way to make peace with it.
But I feel an intense longing for transcendence, you know? And I feel close to my dead relatives in mystical ways. I feel like magical things have happened to me and that I have done, sometimes by accident, magical things. And this belief, more like a core feeling, that I am a spiritual being of great value to Great Powers does inform and feed my feminism.
I don’t have any desire to give that up.
Anyway, the very first thing I would do with my bronze, prognosticating head, if I had one, would be to set it on top of my actual head and wear it like a hat.
Please, what is the book? Is it about Jesuits? Either way I must read it. But I must read it faster if they are Jesuits.