You enter a huge, beautiful, fabulous church, darkened, on the verge of closing, because churches close, like kiosks, cafes, and cinemas, and you soar in because something about this place makes you levitate, and from across the church you hear someone calling your name, and all the small hairs on your neck stand up. It isn’t Jesus, it is a practicing priest, who likes to talk to you, although you cannot understand why, because you two couldn’t be more different, but you smile, and greet him, and you start to talk, and he begins to tell you about sinners, and how sin is filth, and that word he uses, filth (so much more of a thud in Greek: βρωμιά) is hissed, it is spat, it is, you can feel thoroughly, poisonous, that you cannot believe that this judgemental young man cannot grasp, it is beyond his comprehension, it is outside the field of his awareness, that the use of such a word is toxic. The filth of sin. My goodness.
You and I entered this life without a manual, without a friend or a family member to tell us what we had to hear, that we had to pursue it solo, that we had to go through the motions alone, we had to suffer great spiritual and personal humiliation in order to reach the points we are still attempting to reach, to be told that we have been dabbling with filth, when the sweetness of the nectar and the magnetism of that place came in direct contrast to the omnipresent nightmare of capitalism, but still, we were able to place our belongings and all our clutter in second degree, because art carries us, art carries us, art carries us. You become illuminated, you become touched, by light, and you turn around, not to see others toiling in ‘filth’, please, but people attempting to expand their own holiness as well. The way the church so eagerly condemns is apart from my own experience of spirituality.
My own experience of spirituality doesn’t begin with words, although it, if I am fortunate enough to get a moment to myself uninterrupted to actually write them, is that of the hummingbird whirring towards the flower, or the swallow nose diving from an incredible height, or of the goose drinking water from the lake it is swimming into. Filth? I don’t think so.
To be able to be, to feel, to love, beyond personal insecurity, beyond what society expects from you to find an incarcerating spouse, beyond the total discomfort of what you are supposed to be doing as opposed to what feels liberating to be doing, is an exercise in passivity.
In this instance, what would it have helped if I had turned to this young practicing priest and told him that in my opinion his use of the word ‘filth’ will haunt me for the rest of my life? No, it is in my place to correct him. Nor is it in your place to correct anybody.
Leave the other to the voids, and the voids turn.
Love, by letting go.