Saturday, January 22

José F. Peláez: A Heaven for Arcadi


Oh, Heaven. The fierce tyranny of Heaven.

As if over Auschwitz and the Gulag there had been no Heaven.

With these words, the text ‘Beliefs’, published by Arcadi Espada in ‘El Mundo’ on November 14, ends. The full text is a long reproach towards the ‘moral instruction’ that underlies the public mourning that, through a letter, shows the parents of the girl María, run over and killed by accident a few days ago when leaving her school in Montealto.

Thus, where some parents try to free the material author of the abuse of their daughter from guilt, Arcadi thinks he sees the gratitude of some parents to a criminal god (sic). And where two

Broken people imagine their daughter happy with God, he detects the gratitude before a sacrifice for a greater good.

And since he does not like this ‘moral instruction’, which he later calls a ‘hoax’, he postulates himself with the right to propose another alternative instruction. Let’s ignore the bad taste and lack of opportunity and focus on the ‘moral instruction’ that Arcadi proposes to two parents who have just lost a daughter. And this is that we must return to the real, get out of obedience to fiction, mourn the ruin of objectivity and defend the hierarchy of reason and wisdom over belief and feeling. Then he interprets that otherwise he would be “despising the human-faced believer who, kneeling before his daughter, raises his eyes and insults his god (sic) with the last strength he has left.”

One has been reading Arcadi for years enough to know that, if the latter had happened, he would have mercilessly criticized them for badass, troglodytes, folklorists and emotional weaklings to go on to praise the opposite, that is, the exhibition of humanity, generosity and restraint of the parents that he now criticizes.

Arcadi is very free to make those considerations, of course. For those of us who have faith it is very difficult to explain it and, of course, I am not going to do it. It is also very easy to fall into a certain supremacism, you know, that faith is a gift (Ephesians 2: 8) that supposedly not everyone has. I have never believed it that way, the gift is not faith but Grace, but this is another issue, very complex even for Arcadi. Let’s not say anymore for me.

What worries me most is that he opposes faith to reason and not to emptiness, as when a dignified death is opposed to unworthy death instead of life. In my opinion, faith should not be opposed to the brain but to its own limitations. That is, the Truth is what it is, whatever Arcadi says. That Truth is a set of not only physical realities that our brain can barely understand. For this reason, faith is part of the interpretation that human beings make of their own existence. The concept of a deity, of an absolute that transcends us, arises from becoming aware of our own limitation and from facing it in a positive way, that is, with the greatest possible rationality. The belief in infinity, even the mathematical belief, is belief in God, because it is the same: that which exists beyond our limits and that we do not know how to prove with numbers or name with letters, but that we intuit, some with more light ( those parents) and others with more shadows (the rest).

Not believing is respectable, but the belligerence towards wisdom that broken parents sense in their blood and no less intelligent than Arcadi Espada is inhuman. I go further: anti-God militancy is something caveman and does not bring light but darkness and medieval darkness. Denying God is a personal choice, but fighting the faith of parents does not liberate, but rather condemns, traps you in your limits, in your prejudices. Denying God in the name of reason is like being a nationalist, but of your own body, that is, denying the spirituality that makes us human in order to lock yourself in your physical borders. I am talking about spirituality, transcendence, infinity, love, not a specific religion.

Believing in God, in a God, in an idea of ​​God, in an idea of ​​good, in a happy ending, implies being humble and knowing that not everything ends with you. This belief leads these parents to live with joy, with light and with an inner peace that comes directly from the optimism that comes from feeling loved. Believing in God is believing in others, it is believing in yourself and it is believing in your role in the world. To believe is to transcend. It can be transcended through God and through his manifestations: art, science, beauty, sex, philosophy and, above all, through your vital, consecrated work. Because Arcadi’s God (god) is a myth of language. I also don’t believe in the God he doesn’t believe in, in that bearded man who throws lightning bolts. The difference is that I fear that God is just a way of calling what you see when you close your eyes.

But there is another ‘moral instruction’. Mine to Arcadi. When he says, “Oh, Heaven. The fierce tyranny of Heaven. As if there had been no Heaven over Auschwitz and the Gulag ”, we must oppose that the reasoning is just the opposite of what he proposes. Auschwitz and the Gulag were not possible despite a Heaven, but because some thought, like Arcadi, that above them there was nothing. That is to say, especially in Auschwitz, in the Gulag or in Montealto what was above was the sky. And the biggest difference between those who died in Auschwitz and their executioners was the faith of some and the absence of faith that, like Arcadi, the intellectual supremacists who managed it had.

As Bunbury says, “higher than us only the sky.” But higher than the sky, I’m afraid only you, Arcadi.


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