Thinking about graven images, and wondering, what isn’t a graven image? If we can’t know anything except through our representation of it, then finally there isn’t anything except representation. This opens all kinds of philosophical paths which I haven’t travelled properly, and I’m sure that a philosophically trained intellect could beat me bloody, but there you go. If one of them is reading this, come get me!
If all we have to work with is cultural-linguistic constructs that try and build narratives to explain our experience, then presumably letting go of them would bring us closer to unprocessed experience. Or psychosis. Maybe we can only take this to the point where, not being able, by definition, to apprehend what really is, we can at least understand that we can’t, by organized thought, get outside of the cultural construct we inhabit.
My point here, then, is that reality itself becomes a graven image.
“A foolish figure, but farewell it”. (Hamlet)
Getting down to brass tacks about graven image, I’m thinking about the concept of Heaven. Jesus left some clues. The Kingdom of Heaven is among us, within us. It is like a grain of mustard seed. And then “If the seed does not die”. And finally, “I am with you always”. The Kingdom of Heaven is with us now. It’s just not inside the cultural-linguistic construct that constitutes reality for us. He was the Seed. He came and died, and the Kingdom is everywhere, and everywhere now. In it we don’t die. Death is only apparent in the little world, not in the big one. He came that we might not die, that this day we could join Him in the Kingdom. I think to build some narrative of another reality where we are perfectly reconstituted is maybe a Pauline misapprehension. It’s way bigger than that, way more immediate, way more radical.
My preferred form of graven image is metaphor. If what is is limited by our cultural, five-sensory reality, then the Kingdom is in the what isn’t, anti-matter to our matter. When matter and anti-matter collide . . . . . . a new Big Bang? A new Universe?