Sunday, April 04, 2010

Easter Morning

Despite all the recent hoopla about the Shroud of Turin — i.e., French reweaving in the corner erroneously used for radiocarbon dating, etc. — which has been mowing down the skeptics like a scythe, I remain unconvinced, even by the demonstration that the only kind of light that can project that particular 3D sort of image onto a 2D linen surface is not a flash bulb and not a laser, but an ordinary scanning bar like the kind you get on 20th Century xerox machines, the kind you get every time the Borg scan the Enterprise!

Sorry if I don't buy the "Beam me up, Scotty" version, and sorrier if I wonder if the guy on the shroud maybe isn't even Jesus after all, but... say, Thief #2 (St. Dismas, according to some)... or Judas, Charles Martel, Joan of Arc or nobody you ever even heard of... and the "light" was not light at all, but the fumes of frankincense in an arid tomb, and the "bar of light" was, say, the edge of a tight bolt of cloth being unfurled over an anointed body.

This strikes me as not the kind of testimonial a supernatural universe would leave behind. Accepting that the tomb was actually empty, the shroud collapsed, the body gone... the tombstone rolled away? Would He Who Vanished (into the Light, as Shroud devotees aver) have bothered to roll away a tombstone? Jesus could appear in a locked room. Jesus could overtake disciples with a head start on the road to Emmaus just by showing up in their company. Why fuss about the tombstone? Why roll it away? A practical joke on Mary Magdalen? "No doores betwene us, ducks."

Forget the harrowing of Hell, and the poor souls who learned from millenia under the iron lash that their doors need to be standing wide open, forget all that! Did Jesus rescue his mother Mary's favorite kitten from the depths of Sheol? Surely a kitten would need that tombstone rolled away on Easter morning? There are no cat flaps in solid rock.†

The Shroud of Turin is not necessary for the faith of average men and women. It may be useful to assuage the doubts of those whose candles waver and flicker in their private darkness &mdash murderers, cutpurses & pederasts, say. Here, then, comes my point, which comes from Buddhism, oddly enough. When "I" am saved, there is no "I" to be saved! I am not I, not in any sense anyone can understand. We reflect each other, always, and only, in the light of heaven. There is no "I" except, Martin Buber-like, in Thou, and therefore, there is no "I," there is only God and only God is holy.

Happy Easter. I did not see a single Easter bonnet in church this morning. That time is gone.

†For you casual, occasional or weekend thinkers, this kind of rhetorical trope should be considered a reductio.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home