Monday, January 10, 2005

The Still Point of the Turning World

janeboatler asks an excellent question:

"It isn't eternal vigilance that maintains nations. It is justice."

I agree, Robert. But if we are to have justice, just as you told me in a previous post, we have to wear the unjust judge down and make him rule for us. Isn't this where eternal vigilance comes in?

"Eternal vigilance" is, actually, the notion that all that should be achieved has been achieved, and now must be defended.

The position of the widow in the parable is that justice will be done, and she should keep demanding it. It's a question of which is the natural state of the universe: justice, or chaos. And what do you do about it? Work to see justice revealed? Or work to keep the forces of chaos at bay?

"Vigilance" is actually a conservative, a defensive, posture. One must be vigilant to maintain what one has, to protect order against the ravages of chaos. Working for justice is a progressive posture. One must never tire of laboring toward the justice which upholds and undergirds creation. One approach is concerned with defending the boundaries. The other is concerned with moving toward the center. We all have to labor in this life; none of us can stand still. The only question is: which direction to we move in? Toward the boundaries, to defend them? Or toward the center, to discover?

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