|With actress Linda Spall, New Year's Eve, 2000-2001.|
So I'm on a tear today. Looking back over 2014 can do that to you.
One of the themes in life that I've noticed this year, as I've noticed for many years, is our devotion as a culture (both secular and Catholic) to Unreality. Unreality is my word for the Controllable Substitute for Reality that we flatter ourselves we can pull out of the air and live in. Unreality is fundamentally Manichean and Gnostic, in that it is predicated upon denying the penetration of grace into nature: the incarnation, the crucifixion and the second coming must be denied, for they all deal with the life-altering experience of God entering the specific daily world around us. When Gnostic Catholics like Christopher West attempt to sell a program wherein a sensitive and illuminated minority of believers experience the spiritual elements of sex to the exclusion of the natural realities and consequences of sex, this experience is divorced from the mundane reality of context, which is to say that Gnostic sex or "sex magic" denies that sex makes the family, with all of the daily ups and downs and crosses and joys that the family contains. The family is too real and uncontrollable for our taste; "spiritual" sex, by contrast, is artificial and thus manageable.
And here's where Eros enters the picture.
I've written a lot about Eros on this blog. Unrealists and Gnostics hate Eros because Eros is the love for a specific thing or person - Eros is the supernatural (love) penetrating nature (the specifics of daily life). Eros is jealous; Eros gives a damn. Eros takes us out of ourselves, which is why it must be balanced with Agape, lest we become creatures of lust. Eros is threatening to the fiction we've created.
This, then, is why vagueness and indefiniteness are the hallmarks even of our current Church and our homilies. We want a fuzzy feeling; we don't want Immanuel - God-is-with-us, God-among-us.