Mapping the limits of the soul 3C: Magical Marxism 2.0
One of my favourite books in the world is “The Book of Embraces” by Eduardo Galleano. I have posted a couple of paragraphs from it before now.
It is a book of vignettes; glimpses of Eduardo’s life as a lover, an exile, a pinko, a dreamer.
One of the stories is about how, tired one night of the spiritually denigrating and depauperate existence of the Marxist, he and a friend invented Magical Marxism. It is one of my favourite discoveries!! It resounds so deeply with my soul. There are better pinko tales (they are the ones I originally loved by him), but none other that I have seen so perfectly embodies the whimsical yearning for the transcendence of pure logic that prowls in my soul.
Recently, in order to better explain my own feelings I coined the term Superstitious Scientist. (Pagan Parsimonist covered good ground, but involved another hated concept in parsimony, so it was out almost immediately.) When we go to school, us scientists get all trained in logic (one of my favourite nemeses, long may we battle!). We become slaves to it. Like hostages to its linear brilliance, we suffer Stockholm Syndrome, and come to embrace the frigidity of cold, hard fact as love. It is not love. It is not knowledge. It is not life-affirming. Who would want it around?
But, the more I think and learn, the more I cannot see how we can ever entirely discount the role of the lightning in curdling milk. I think too many of us too readily denounce the accuracy of the zodiac, or the role of the lunar cycle in human events and energies. We are too busy worshipping at the alter of science, the God of the Knowable. So we dismiss that which we do not take the time to understand. I cannot forsake things that make sense to my pagan, primordial little soul just because some professor told me it is philosophically untenable not to!
As we see more and more wonderful and unexpected things about our world, I think it might be time to bring true wonder back into our lives, embrace our ignorance, and dance under the full moon.
I do not think Carl Sagan would like this…but I shall spend the rest of my life arguing for the restoration of the Godess of the Intrinsically Unknowable to her throne at the God of the Knowable’s side!!
But on the other side…
Today, at the hospital, I first entered my religion as Superstitious Scientist. The lady behind the counter was flabbergasted. She wanted to know if it was a joke. I explained myself as I have above. She was still deeply skeptical. I told her that my growing movement had space in it for her, should she choose to join. She declined, a little rattled. I think she may have thought, in her tepid way, that she was conversing with the devil? I asked her what she writes under religion in paperwork questionnaires. She shrugged Christian. Shrugged. Christian. I would have been so embarrassed if Jesus had been there just then. How do you explain to somebody that people weakly believe in them?
This is the competition. Who will you join?
The cold, factual life and death of the scientists? The postponed and fearful life of the major religions?
Join me at the crossroads of brains and bubbles! We will investigate life without preconceptions and plumb the deepest wells of wonder!!
We will whimsical now!