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The Transparency of Faithful Existence

The Transparency of Faithful Existence F O R R E S T G A N D E R I. Neither Jewish, Christian, nor Buddhist, when I write I am cloistered, nevertheless, in my own imagination. The basic gesture of my writing is a listening. Perhaps this attitude resembles that of the religious. But my credal source is worldly. Faith, for me, derives from the most common revelations. What is stands suddenly more revealed. Yet, like Edmund Jabès, I have found no Truth but truths and interrogative, no reality but feeling and interpretation. We shall all be changed, the Bible promises, though for most of us it is momentary. Love unseats us, but we thread ourselves slowly back into the dull wood of our egos. It is hard to sustain a constant awe, as Lao Tzu importuned, and so tragedy befalls us. We fail to construct a lifelong state of wonder. And yet artistic and spiritual endeavors inspire our efforts to do so, as though the efforts themselves were all-important. If the language practices commandeering world history are increasingly standardized, utilitarian, and transcriptional, poetry offers a different order of relationship with the other. Because poetry's meanings are neither quantitative nor verifiable, because they are http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Manoa University of Hawai'I Press

The Transparency of Faithful Existence

Manoa , Volume 23 (2) – Mar 16, 2011

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-943x
Publisher site
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Abstract

F O R R E S T G A N D E R I. Neither Jewish, Christian, nor Buddhist, when I write I am cloistered, nevertheless, in my own imagination. The basic gesture of my writing is a listening. Perhaps this attitude resembles that of the religious. But my credal source is worldly. Faith, for me, derives from the most common revelations. What is stands suddenly more revealed. Yet, like Edmund Jabès, I have found no Truth but truths and interrogative, no reality but feeling and interpretation. We shall all be changed, the Bible promises, though for most of us it is momentary. Love unseats us, but we thread ourselves slowly back into the dull wood of our egos. It is hard to sustain a constant awe, as Lao Tzu importuned, and so tragedy befalls us. We fail to construct a lifelong state of wonder. And yet artistic and spiritual endeavors inspire our efforts to do so, as though the efforts themselves were all-important. If the language practices commandeering world history are increasingly standardized, utilitarian, and transcriptional, poetry offers a different order of relationship with the other. Because poetry's meanings are neither quantitative nor verifiable, because they are

Journal

ManoaUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Mar 16, 2011

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