Dogma Be Gone! A Brief Rant

Look, it’s not about the dogma!  Uncertainty abides! There is no countering the dazzlingly complex nature of all existence, from the lowliest ant (have you ever read up on ants, OMG!), to the far reaches of creatureless space, where we have somehow managed to employ our brains to send rocket ships careening along, loaded up with computers and sensors gathering information that gets translated into digital data which is…what, exactly?

Do you know? I don’t, not really!

But here’s one thing I’m certain of and would bet my life on regarding the why’s and wherefores and whereto’s of this world: It’s not about the damn dogma!

It can’t possibly be about the damn dogma, areyoukiddin’me?

The world is too big, and it overflows with stories about how it got here, who made it, for what purpose. There are too many voices, too many experiences and explanations and guesses for the same basic, eternally recurrent questions.

About why things are at all, about our dreams and raptures, our sufferings and tragedies, these magnificent bodies with their bright children eyes bent on exploring and exulting until they, in the seeming time it takes for the drop of an eyelash, become bent and broken, their days dwindling toward their end.

Dogma—here’s how and why it happened, here’s who’s responsible, here’s the story you must believe and the rules you must follow, here are the words you must say and the judgments you must levy and the other stories you must dismiss—is abhorrent on its face. It ignores the radical pluralism that more than anything else defines the world we have always lived in, the peoples we have always been, a world and peoples that can never be corralled, confined, explained or reduced to one story, one person, one song of every Self.

Woe to binaries! Viva to daybreak and dusk, the interstitial and liminal, the relentless becoming!

Be gone with the this or that, the left or right and the you must choose, the small pinched diminishment of the magnificently multi-faceted.

Only in our wildly uncontainable multiplicity are we truly One.








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8 comments to Dogma Be Gone! A Brief Rant

  • Susan  says:

    Amen, dogma be gone!!

    • Andrew Hidas  says:

      If this were a sermon, which it kind of is, in a peculiar, ranty way, I could’ve added the tagline: “Can I get an AMEN! on that??” Thanks for taking care of that for me, Susan!

  • David Jolly  says:

    Which is why, for understanding this world, this life, I’ll take poetry – with its mystical ambiguities and gentle leanings toward what is real and true. Lately I’ve read some Wendell Berry:

    1982, II
    Here where the dark-sourced stream brims up,
    Reflecting daylight, making sound
    In its stepped fall from cup to cup
    Of tumbled rocks, singing its round

    From cloud to sea to cloud, I climb
    The deer road through the leafless trees
    Under a wind that batters limb
    On limb, still roaring as it has

    Two nights and days, cold in slow spring.
    But ancient song in a wild throat
    Recalls itself and starts to sing
    In storm-cleared light; and the bloodroot,

    Twinleaf, and rue anemone
    Among bare shadows rise, keep faith
    With what they have been and will be
    Again: frail stem and leaf, mere breath

    Of white and starry bloom, each form
    Recalling itself to its place
    And time. Give thanks, for no windstorm
    Or human wrong has altered this,

    The forfeit Garden that recalls
    Itself here, where both we and it
    Belong; no act or thought rebels
    In this brief Sabbath now, time fit

    To be eternal. Such a bliss
    Of blooms no ornament, but root
    And light, a saving loveliness,
    Starred firmament here underfoot.

    Wendell Berry, from “Sabbaths” (North Point Press, 1987).

    • Andrew Hidas  says:

      Mr. Berry’s “Leavings” most always leave me with a sense of transcendent calm, if those two words can be put together at all. I’m drawn to them periodically as believers are to the Bible—a touchstone, a lodestar, a quiet inlet from the maelstrom out in the seas. This poem for the first time reminds me in its rhythms and imagery of William Everson’s slightly more fierce nature poems and the even fiercer work of Everson’s poetic mentor, Robinson Jeffers. Fine nourishment for a late summer Sunday morn, David; thank you very much.

  • Kirk  says:

    Dogma is a bitch.

    • Andrew Hidas  says:

      This Comments programming doesn’t allow for photos or emojis, Kirk, so this is as good as I can do: -:)

  • Robby Miller  says:

    I worship the mystery. The mystery fills me up.

    • Andrew Hidas  says:

      I know there’s been a song or three about that very matter over the years but my guess is there will always be a yearning—and therefore a market—for more. Fertile field!

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