Posted by: HAT | November 20, 2014

An Old Human Ability

image of a painting by Van Gogh, stars over the Rhone river

Stars reflected in a river as an image of going beyond what is, not restricted by geography

Hi, Gang!

Dorothee Soelle concludes her investigation into mysticism and resistance with a discussion of the “mysticism of liberation.” She begins by reflecting on the long poem The Death and Life of Severino by Joao Cabral de Melo Neto. The poem ends as a Christmas pageant, with the celebration of a new-born and the emergence of the heavenly host.

Soelle has this to say:

The great hallelujah is never an explanation of reality and is in no way a substitute of the analysis that would lead to plans of action … Mysticism wants nothing else but to love life, even where analysis has run its course and all that is left is to count the victims. To love life also where it has long been condemned to death, even from its very beginning, is an old human ability to go beyond what is. That ability is called transcendence or faith or hope – or listening to the silent cry. It is the most important movement that human beings can learn in their lives. [1]

It’s the “old human ability to go beyond what is” that is either the source of liberation or the response to the source of liberation that dwells in that “beyond.” It may not matter which.

[1] Dorothee Soelle, The Silent Cry, trans. Barbara and Martin Rumscheidt (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2001) 316 Nook edition

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