Oh Athos, I do believe you are onto something. Simply put, your previous post, Wars and Rumors of Wars is signaling a need - a need for us to examine our survival as a species - a need for an encounter with something, or rather someone outside of the return to the mimetic doubling of the world. What strikes me today is how important it is to begin to see the world differently, to see the world through the lens of a Girardian anthropology – suddenly all sorts of bewildering events of the times or ‘sciences’ are put to right – such things as violence, evolution, politics, life, death, the old sacred and sacramental existence.
One important aspect to Girard’s anthropology is the in-breaking of the Incarnation and how this is our only hope from the rivalry and violence. And so it is from this perspective we must ask ourselves, who (or rather, whose) are we and why are we?
Soren Kierkegaard said: “It is easier for a person who is not a Christian to become a Christian than it is for a person who is a Christian to become a Christian.” This statement can be true because so often we Christians allow the culture to subsume our calling, which is to be, as we are made, in the likeness and image of God – that is being church for the world.
In this strange world of Catholic blogs I am often led to wonder, are we Catholics who are American or are we Americans who are Catholic? It does make a difference. Is our ontology political/economic or are we religious beings? Not to trivialize a visit to the ballot box, oh no, however when all our substantial thought is focused on the political/economic (or philosophic) are we not falling into a possible state of trivializing the religious within us and then how we are allowing our ‘person’ to be broken into by the still small voice of God.
As we venture (as a species) from the old (primitive) sacred to the sacramental it is a growing imperative that we pray on this Howard Thurman challenge, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive, and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” What makes you come alive, not from the standpoint of the old sacred, which anthropologically would have one spiraling back into the vicious cycle of mimetic doubling and violence (or worse, Nietzsche’s eternal return); but what makes you come truly alive sacramentally? I so often hear the demand for answers, even amongst ourselves, as if obtaining these empirical answers are what life is all about and yet we forget about … the question and the mystery of coming alive. It is through this new partnership of anthropology and theology that will help us live into this on-going mystery of coming alive.
If this post speaks to you then may I suggest that you go right out and pick up one of the following books today!
Violence Unveiled by Gil Bailie
I See Satan Fall Like Lightning by Rene Girard
The Girard Reader by Rene Girard
Banished from Eden by Raymund Schwager
Jesus of Nazareth: How He Understood His Life by Raymund Schwager
And of course the 3 Massketeers’ choice selection:
The Dionysus Mandate: A Fable of Desire & Death by Walker Hunt Golding
This is just a sampling of the many books out there. Of course you can glean much in a visit to one of the numerous blogs and websites on Rene Girard. The 3 Massketeers have listed some of the sites on our sidebar and this again is only a sampling of sites. The important thing is in the asking and in the remembrance: how are you coming alive sacramentally today – breaking from the mimetic doubling that the “world” would have you engaged in?