Date: April 07, 2021 01:18PM
The disease that isn’t a disease (the profane), and the fix, which fixes nothing (the sacred): and then there’s the money exchange between the two.
Despite trying, I have yet to learn to see religion in these terms, probably because I cannot help but see the sacred and the profane as real experiences, if not real things in the universe.
To further a theme I shared with bradley, what offends me most about Mormonism is the horribly childish aesthetics. Mormonism refuses to allow their members to become adult. This goes beyond the childish culinary sensibility and the Disneyfication of everything else. Fully grown members into their 40s and beyond cannot help but babble baby talk to one another. Their aesthetic sensibility is permanently arrested.
But as much as I deplore Mormon sensibility, and a religious culture that encourages infantilization at every turn, I still see more there (and far worse) than a simple selling of a fix to something that wasn’t broken in the first place. Mormons do have a sense of the sacred and a sense of the profane.
Consider Éric Rohmer‘s Six Moral Tales:https://www.cabinetmagazine.org/kiosk/rothfeld_becca_1_april_2021.php
“Likely unbeknownst to its author, Trilling’s proposal [on what underlies Nabokov’s Lolita] echoes an idiosyncratic and ingenious theory propounded in print just one year earlier. In the lunatic, luminous Erotism, published in 1957, the libertine philosopher Georges Bataille suggests that eroticism is a question of the violation of social prohibitions. If everything is permitted, then nothing is perverted. Advocates of free love, the seeming allies of pleasure, are in fact its most dangerous adversaries: when bohemians “ceased to believe in Evil,” Bataille writes, they precipitated “a state of affairs in which, since eroticism was no longer a sin and since they could no longer be certain of doing wrong, eroticism was fast disappearing.” Without violation, there is no rapture; without taboo, there is no violation; and without restriction, there is no taboo. In Bataille’s terms, “the sacred”—the erotic, with all its attendant dishevelments and divestments of self—requires “the profane,” the mundane mores constraining our everyday behavior. The profane is less exalted than the sacred, but it is equally necessary: each perfects the other. A curious consequence of this view is that the more repressive and puritanical a culture, the more considerable its erotic potential. The best sex, probably, was the sex people had when they really believed they would go to hell for it—but craved it so badly that they had it anyway.”
Do Mormons have a more delicious sex life than the free wheelin’ libertine? Hardly, since Mormonism holds to an inversion of Bataille’s terms: the erotic charge of a chance falling in love with a stranger is considered profane, while the mundane constraints of the day to day tasks of family and church life are held as sacred.
This inversion is a spiritual crime. Despite all the rhetoric on ‘the spiritual’, Mormons are least equipped to experience it. It’s odd, I know, but Mormons are a people devoid of spirituality, despite how much they talk about it.
What’s worse, the Mormon inversion of the sacred and the profane, or the libertine belief that there is no sacred and profane (and therefore no possibility for morality, but that’s another post)? I think the Mormon inversion is far more damaging. There is always the possibility of the sacred descending upon the libertine; but no matter how often it descends upon the Mormon, it will always be mislabelled the profane. If you think about it, the Mormon inversion is satanic.
(May have lost my way in this post. It may not make sense. But I’ve lost time enough to fix it. I apologize. If nothing else, the link is to a good article.)