[NB] Passing of the Spirit

Two things, the first is a quotation from Simone Weil expressing her wonderment at how quickly the spirit of Revelation was lost, how it passed from being something urgent and mystical to something obscure and subject to weak interpretations.

“The Church does not seem to have perfectly carried out its mission as the conserver of doctrine—very far from it. Not only because it has added what were perhaps abusive precisions, restrictions and interdictions; but also because it has almost certainly lost real treasures.

As evidence of this we have certain passages in the New Testament of marvellous beauty which are nowadays absolutely incomprehensible, and which cannot always have been so.

To begin with, nearly the whole of the Apocalypse.

….

Perhaps by the beginning of the second century A.D. all those who had understood had been killed, or nearly all.”—Letter to a Priest, section 34 (65–66, 70–71 in the 2003 Penguin editions)

Whether it is a matter of massacre as Weil speculates or something less dramatic and more bureaucratic (say factions eager to purge ‘impurities’ from the Church gaining power), this puts me in mind of Lapinkivi’s observation that sometime around the third century or so, Christianity started to gender the Holy Spirit as neuter or male rather than female.

Correlation not being causation and all that, but I do wonder if the two were related. Once you lose the gendering of Holy Spirit as female, you start to unwind the metaphor that animates the rituals of sacred marriage, and a sacred marriage is part of the core architecture of Revelation.

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One thought on “[NB] Passing of the Spirit

  1. Pingback: The trouble with text | Disrupt & Repair

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