Saturday, January 23, 2010

peripheral existence

Sacred centres produce margins, and the margin is a dangerous place to be, and much effort must be expended not to be among the losers, whether in terms of finance, health, reputation or whatever.  However, the extraordinarily powerful, benevolent, non-sacred, non-centre, which is Christ building the new Temple, is able to make it a pleasure to dwell with spaciousness among the weak and those of little account, because there is, after all, 'world enough and time'. So peripheral existence enables liking being among those who do not have anywhere to go, because they are neither competition, nor sign of scarcity, not threat of love, nor object of compassion, but sign of gift and shared story. There is all the spaciousness of eternal life with which to begin to build a story of the sort that has no end.

James Alison. On Being Liked. New York: Herder & Herder, 2003. 74.