The Conservative Beginning

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Twilight

"This is where a conservative starts. If we are all humans, then we each have a beginning and an end; and each of us has a different beginning and end. We see the world from where we are, and our Tcs2 understanding of the universe is intrinsically rooted in a time and place. We can do all we can to increase our knowledge and gain deeper and deeper insight. We can read history and philosophy; we can travel; we can ask questions of young and old; we can debate; we can pray; we can grow through the pain and amusement of daily life. But we will never fully or completely transcend where we are. And even if we could, such transcendence would render us unintelligible to those still earth-bound.

There are so many stories in human history that relate this truth about humanness, and so many parables and analogies... All tell us that tragedy or comedy are intrinsic to the human story. God, after all, can be neither comic nor tragic. He is beyond such categories. As humans, we can merely sense the existence of a higher truth, a greater coherence than ourselves, but we cannot see it face to face. We cannot fully capture it and remain human. And yet we cannot fully escape its lure either. This is either funny or sad, and humans stagger from one option to the other. Neither beasts nor angels, we live in twilight, and we are unsure whether it is a prelude to morning or night," - The Conservative Soul, Chapter Five, now out in paperback.

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2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

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