Tuesday, February 13, 2007


I've been reading Bart D Ehrman's book Misquoting Jesus which deals with the provenance and pedigree of scripture. It recalls many of my adolescent misgivings as I studied New Testament Greek, the discrepancies of the oldest codexes, and the birth of Christian orthodoxy. When the misgivings reached critical mass, I landed in the lap of another Christian-adolescent- philologist-turned-atheist, Friedrich Nietzsche. Fritz took me through the dark exploration of a world without an external conscience and without authority. Fritz demanded that I own my own authority.

For many years, I was fiercely opposed to anyone turning to a book or expert to help them decide questions that must be decided alone, i.e., questions of value. I still am scornful when people turn to bibles and dictionaries to resolve personal questions. I have no use for Bible or Big Book except to disagree with them. If I agree with a point made in these books, what is gained by citing to the dead text instead of voicing my own living words. But what is gained by disagreeing with them? I believe I help to slow the mad dissent of my lazy minded contemporaries who are always shirking their responsibilities to live their own lives and voice their own thoughts and who are always in danger of becoming a stupid and bloodthirsty mob.

The bottom line is that authority always begins originally with each person. Certainly, authority is the distilled opinions of a child's elders; but this point becomes absurd and infantile once the child reaches maturity. The adult child gropes for elders and heroes that aren't there... and the adult child is forced to imagine an older hero that looks lovingly and/or disapprovingly from outer space. The authority is ours. Mother Eve bit of the fruit, making gods of each of her children, knowing for ourselves what is good and what is evil. We hand over this authority provisionally to gurus and texts, but in the end, the choices are always ours.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

where does one begin troy? who are the ones who say think think think is bad? about your best thinking getting you here which is what everyone always says anyways whether in a different context or not, as for myself, my best thinking is not what got me here. fear and desperation got me to aa the good thinking came later i didnt come to recovery thinking i had a problem that could be fixed in the way i believe it can today so thinking had nothing to do with it for me- i just had to state a different viewpoint ill save other comments for another time-tina

11:54 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home