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Appendix 3: The apology for passion


The cross examiner asks:

You speak of passion. And what is that?


The testimony:

You speak as though you do not know what passions are, because you do not wish to know. You have been sitting imagining calm still lakes for too long. Why is your lake calm and serene? Because it has no oxygen, no life.

You know your passions, but you pretend not to. Why? Because they offend you. They fill you with doubt, "I am not a clear still lake, I am muddy and dirty, and always being sucked away".

My passions offend your order, which you are arrogant enough to call your God.


The charge of blasphemy

See? He has no fear of God.


The defense

Fear? You do not even know what that is. And because you do not know what that is, you do not know God. Have you ever trembled? No, no. You are a still lake. There are no ripples, no sign of life.


Murmuring in the gallery


You talk amongst yourselves to drown out the way your stomach rumbles. But your belly will soon become sore, soon say "I desire to be heard, for I desire to be fed" and then in your hunger, you will kill and rape rather than listen any more.


If you must talk over me, I will shout one word that must be heard, only one word, only one:

Listen.

When our order, when our hollow "God" is offended, we cease to listen. When our shallow truths are offended, we cease to listen. Always listen. Always seek offence, seek blasphemy! Is your faith so weak that you cannot bear having your world smashed. Never stop allowing your world to be destroyed, then rebuild stronger, rebuild more mindful, more aware, rebuild closer to God.


A child cries in the gallery. The judge orders the mother to take the child outside.


God does not exist in the one voice, but in the cacophony of shouting, yet we cannot even bear to hear a child crying. Even when we claim to be praying in our churches, anything but the voice of calm offends us. And then we claim to be close to God when we hear nothing?


Wretched mothers who strangle their own children. This or that cry displeased your sense of order (or your "God" as you call it, unaware of how you defecate on the very name of God). God is not order. Life is not order, nor should it be. Life is not calm, it is crying in the night, howling, howling for food, for attention, for love. You discipline your passions, your children, and think yourself noble. But you have not learn to hear the cries for food, for warmth, for comfort. You are not noble. You are deaf.


The man who does not feel about the world, who does not feel the surge of passion when he hears music, or sees a beautiful woman, or a fire, or a person dying: He is dead himself.


The objection is raised that the testimony is become irrelevant


You are always changing the channel, changing the channel. I know, I know, I am speaking too long. I can't find the words. I cannot spit these things out, even though they choke me. But please listen, please listen.

Who rules us?

You say that God rules us, but your God is the order that comes from ignorance, not the God of wholeness, the God of all, the God of eternity.


The cross examiner accuses:

So you are ruled by your passions, then?


The defense

No, no. That is not what I have said. You don't want to listen. I want to say that we are the masters of our own lives: AND WHAT ARE OUR LIVES WITHOUT PASSION?


What is the use of being the master of a dead dog. No, that's not a good analogy. You can't even smell that the dog is dead!


Please, please, I submit this evidence in defence of myself and my life.

I have learnt to smell the perfume that can arouse my lust!

But the evidence was not admissible.

I have learnt to hear the trumpets that call me to rally in battle!

But the evidence was not admissible.

I have learnt to see how breathtaking ugliness can be.

But the evidence was not admissible.

I have learnt to touch, to kiss, to feel.

But the evidence was not admissible.

I have learnt to taste the salt of the sea as I drown.

But the evidence was not admissible.


The summation

As I cannot be heard, I wish you would be able to hate me.


The judge responds

We do not hate, we are at peace. We execute not in rage, but to preserve order.


The defendant responds

You execute in order to keep yourselves dead.


The defendant is led away



- Richard Francis Irvine