living through death

"The only way that you can accept life is if you can accept death.” –Leo Buscaglia

To Love Is to Die

with 5 comments

Why do I see death as so central to my work? In short, it is because death is what love requires. Unless we die psychologically to our ‘self’ that grasps constantly for esteem, security, and control—that self that is constituted by a sense of lack—we cannot love fully. And unless we live out of a transcendent confidence that fears not even our own physical death, we cannot love fully. Without undergoing this inner death, fear and a sense of lack will ever separate us from each other.

©Alexander Blondeau

There’s also the fact that, as a theologian, I’m in the risky business of doing something rather dangerous. I’m in the business of analyzing the meaning of, and engaging in the practice of, speaking for God, the infinite.

Again, I see the idea of death as being central to this task. To speak for the infinite, for God—as Jesus and Christianity claim to do—is to speak for “all that is” insofar as it is. This is so because the infinite includes all. To speak for God is not to speak for oneself as finite, as a creature. As such, one must die psychologically, and be prepared to die physically to one’s finitude, to one’s creatureliness. This is what Jesus did. This is what the church must do.

Death happens to us all at some point, but to live for the infinite, for God, is to provoke it. The fearless intensity of life that results threatens the fearful dynamics of separation and self-preservation that characterize most of our world. And to this we say, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.” This is the death that speaks for God, the death of the lover of all.


Written by Alex

October 3, 2013 at 10:29 am

5 Responses

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  1. time for you to read The Erotic Phenomenon.

    Bryne Helen Lewis

    October 3, 2013 at 10:34 am

    • Nice. Thanks Bryne! His thesis there sounds much like that of Sebastian Moore. Moore’s Christology is centered on awakening our bedrock sense of our self as desirable. This is likewise “pre-ego.” He says, “as we move, in our inquiry, from the definite, specific wants, back to the undifferentiated ‘just wanting’, we are moving towards not emptiness but fullness.”


      October 3, 2013 at 10:44 am

      • Marion is writing about a crisis of agency that is necessary for love. “What’s the use?” is the necessary question if love is to function as gift instead of economy. It requires a very specific failure in order to open the experience of vanity in light of the whole.

        Bryne Helen Lewis

        October 3, 2013 at 10:54 am

  2. That’s my kind of talk! I’ll pick it up.


    October 3, 2013 at 10:56 am

  3. […] is so important to my developing work. (A question I need to continually ask myself, and of which I have written in the past) He’s grappling with the problem of the human spirit’s drive to grasp the eternal by […]

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