More Tidbits from Taylor
….. and so the penitent pilgrim, bearing the 850 page burden, struggles upward toward the elusive goal. He/she stumbles onto Purgatorio’s twentieth terrace (aptly titled “Conversions“), and here the revelation, so long desired, at last occurs.
Beatrice-like, the guiding genius of the entire pageant appears. “Benedictus qui venit,” the choir intones. Behold: Ivan Illich!
What is Illich telling us? That we should dismantle our code-driven, disciplined, objectified world? Illich was a thoroughgoing radical, and I don’t want to blunt his message. I can’t claim to speak for him, but this is what i draw from his work. We can’t live without codes, legal ones which are essential to the rule of law, moral ones which we have to inculcate in each new generation. But even if we can’t fully escape the nomocratic-judicialized-objectified world, it is terribly important to see that that is not all there is, that it is in many ways dehumanizing, alienating; that it oftens generates dilemmas that it cannot see, and in driving forward, acts with great ruthlessness and cruelty. The various modes of political correctness, from Left and Right, illustrate this every day.
Codes, even the best codes, can become idolatrous traps, which tempt us to complicity in violence. Illich can remind us not to become totally invested in the code, even the best code of a peace-loving, egalitarian, liberalism. We should find the centre of our spiritual lives beyond the code, deeper than the code, in networks of living concern which are not to be sacrificed to the code, which must even from time to time subvert it. This message comes out of a certain theology, but it could be heard with profit by every body (p. 743).
Whether this be, for bloggers and other networkers, license or warning, is left to right judgment. But here the pageant ends, the lights dim, the music fades.
And before finally falling into easeful slumber, the weary pilgrim wonders: “”Ivan who?”