In order to forestall the contemporary impulse towards narcissism via social media, every month or so, I will summon a metaphorical critique of the blog itself.
Metaphor: a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance, as in “A mighty fortress is our God.”
Critique: an article or essay criticizing a literary or other work; detailed evaluation; review
Source: http://www.dictionary.com (see, I ain’t making this stuff up)
Metaphorical Critique = an article or short essay that reviews this website by using a term or phrase to apply to this website which is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance, as in “This blog is the Cell Arc in Dragonball Z.”
Rationale (for what it’s worth)
1. Metaphors are better suited for critique and discussion of existential and theologal matters.
I am convinced that metaphors are much better at speaking about and describing spiritual and cosmic matters than “empirical fact.” In fact (see what I did there), I believe that the reduction of sacred scripture to questions of empirical factuality (based on certain epistemological assumptions) has short-circuited so much of our spirituality, particularly modern spirituality. When you combine our worship of empirical fact with our worship of literacy, sacred texts–and scientific texts that soon become sacred–become sites of domination, exclusion, and stagnation (That’s a blog for another day though.). It’s almost as if we forgot that the first words we experience as a species are heard/spoken and not read/written.
This website is more interested in 1) what’s ultimate to us; 2) how/why those ultimates become ultimate; and 3) how ultimacy shapes what we value and what is meaningful to us than a mechanical empiricism. In order to pursue those three questions, I must venture beyond the trappings of a singular reliance upon empiricism. Those 3 questions require the realms of myth, symbol, and metaphor, the realms of narrative, song, and poetry. As the ancients understood without shame, we humans love myth–a technical term in religious studies that focuses on those stories that tell communities what is ultimately valuable and meaningful. For instance, it is a myth that tells us that empirical fact, economic advancement is what we should value as ultimate and meaningful. (Ok ok… I’ll write a post on this). Facts don’t replace and/supersede myths. Myths replace myths and myths shape which “facts” and ways of knowing we choose to highlight as valuable and meanigful. Yes, a blog on this topic is forthcoming. But I’d rather demonstrate this insight before I summon an argument.
This task is indispensable. Critique is not deprecation. It is an act of self-love and honesty. Instead of asking if this blog has been “good” or “bad,” I’ll be thinking more about how this blog has happened over the past month or so. My aim is to make sure that the blog has not veered into blatant self-promotion or self-glorification or self-pity. Metaphorically speaking, my desire is that this blog will be “a finger pointing to the moon” and not the moon itself. As symbolic language, a metaphor is capable of having an “excess of meaning” that moves beyond the depicted image. Hopefully, my various posts are moving beyond personal biography and predilections. I don’t say this to devalue biography or personal preferences. It’s just that those are not the object of this blog. This website is devoted to theological reflections on the mundane and the extraordinary, not necessarily on me.
Now that that’s out of the way, my first metaphorical self-critique will be released in a day or two.
Keep on keeping on….
©2016 M. J. Sales