"So I have spent my life watching, not to see beyond the world, merely to see, great mystery, what is plainly before my eyes. I think the concept of transcendence is based on a misreading of creation. With all respect to heaven, the scene of miracle is here, among us. The eternal as an idea is much less preposterous than time, and this very fact should seize our attention. In certain contexts the improbable is called the miraculous.
What is eternal must always be complete, if my understanding is correct. So it is possible to imagine that time was created in order that there might be narrative -- event, sequence and causation, ignorance and error, retribution, atonement.
A word, a phrase, a story falls on rich or stony ground and flourishes as it can, possibility in a sleeve of limitation. Certainly time is the occasion for our strangely mixed nature, in every moment differently compounded, so that often we surprise ourselves, and always scarcely know ourselves, and exist in relation to experience, if we attend to it and if its plainness does not disguise it from us, as if we were visited by revelation." -- Marilynne Robinson, "Psalm 8", from "The Death of Adam"
Robinson is one of the great thinkers of our time. That's probably why so many have never heard of her.
(Photo: Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP/Getty.)
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