Christian Wiman: “The task is not to believe…”

‘The task is not to “believe” in a life beyond this one; the task is to
perceive it.   Perception is not projection: We are not meant to project
our experience of this life into another, nor are we meant to imag-
ine, by means of the details of this life (which is the only resource we
have for imagining), some impossible beyond. Life is not life without
an afterlife, and there is no afterlife beyond the life we treasure and
suffer and feel slipping from us moment by moment.  I don°t mean
to hide within an impenetrable paradox.  I mean to say something
along the lines of what Paul Eluard said a century ago: “There is
another world, but it is in this one.”  Or, more to the point, Christ
two thousand years ago: “‘The kingdom of God is within you.”  We cannot get beyond our lives until we eliminate all notions and expectations of a “beyond.”

“My Bright Abyss”, page 169


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