Wednesday, April 7

In the case of the transcendent, the mystery is what promises to unveil itself in the wake of the apocalyptic passing of reality. With the enigma, the self faces its limit, envisions the end of worlds in order to escape their tyranny. Transformation means the rupture of the ordinary domains and patterns of authority, the dense cityscape of doxa that conduct the traffic of thought. Transformation portends the possibility of an alternate self and social order, while enigma preserves a radical open-endedness, vigorously resists perfection in the sense of ontological completion or metaphysical resolution. But in either mystery or enigma, transcendence or transformation, something must die in order for something new to live. Death and rebirth and their dialectic of conflict are the characteristic moments of the human self and the principle features of spirituality and its artistic evocation.

-- David Morgan, from "Secret Wisdom and Self-Effacement: The Spiritual in the Modern Age" Negotiating Rapture: The Power of Art to Transform Lives