Bugger all to say – religion and identity



Imagine your head being sliced off from behind with a sharp sword, whilst you were in the middle of a thought – and you had no idea that there was even a possibility that it could happen.


“Private property is the root of all evil! Abolish all private property, and you will have started on the road to a more just, classless society” was also quite possibly an epiphany – a sudden striking understanding of something.


The writer stands at the antique cabinet and scribbles words with a blue ballpoint pen in his notebook. He is aware of the fact that his current self-consciousness includes the … idea that he regularly stands at the antique cabinet making notes.

He recognises the handwriting in which he now forms words as similar if not exactly the same as the handwriting in which he has made notes in the past.

The reason why he is standing here – and if the neighbour across the alley would stick his head out the window and pretend that he’s just perusing the neighbourhood, it would also appear to him that the writer is standing here doing what he always does – is not to jot down an insight. Hell, he’s barely aware of himself as the Great Amanuensis, the self-appointed Secretary of Insights! (He is, at the present hour, Friday, 14 January 2005 at 14:39, aware of only a few things – that he is a human being; that he’s slightly cold; a little hungry; keen for another cigarette; and not in the mood for three hours of teaching later today.)

What has forced his hand on this notebook, the prime motivation for leaking ink all over a page unstained until mere minutes ago, the cause of this act not altogether sane nor noble – and surely the reasons for this will be interesting to sort out later – is the fact that he has absolutely bugger all to say right now.


The big problem with “truth” is that the largest source of truth, traditionally speaking, is religion – and religion is also one of the primary determinants of identity. How can religion be both a carrier of universal truth, and particular identity?! [Is that why missionaries believe that identity should more or less be universal? Why, when for example a Hindu converts himself to the Christian religion, he has to westernise to a large extent?]