Artheism: Artheism and Texts

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     The cultural space of the artheist is a liturgical space. The spiritual dimension expands its horizon. In the artheist’s conceit, his pen breathes life and knowlege into the text, even as the finger of Michelangelo’s god endowed Adam with life and humans with knowledge. What matters most is the creator, doomed to spirituality if he is to continue breathing life into forms.

     The spirituality in which an artheist basks is not a distinct beyond; rather, it is a rectification of that which is most often deemed to be a text. Embedding ink in a blank page creates a linear interaction with space. The writer continuously readjusts the scroll in order to fit a textual vision. For an artheist, there is more to the text than the letters and more to read than the text itself.  What makes the text is the alternation of blank and ink, an alternation that incorporates the letters, furls, blanks and margins. In this alternation, the text is part of the scroll, yet not entirely that which makes the scroll a text. This expanding dimension is the beyond that is commonly translated as spirituality.

     The artheist defies death by redrawing life’s boundaries. He mutes himself in order to speak. His relation to the text is rebellious and emotional.  Emotional because he chokes on his own words, he stumbles upon his own letters and can’t avoid expressing his continuous failure to hide that which he wishes to say.  He writes the uncommon outcome to flee beyond the text. Concealed by speeding beyond the text, he reaches that extra-textual space that makes the beyond spiritual.

     It is of the utmost importance to read between, under and behind the lines, to document the blanks and to incorporate in any reading the margins even if blank. After all, it is only in contrast to the blank that ink surfaces. The pen of the artheist spills an alternation of ink and blanks; the artheist will try to spill more ink than blanks in order to conceal the blank that he fears the most. To fathom what he writes, the reader must also understand what he does not write.  Central to our civilization, texts are everywhere and hence nowhere. Texts that fully cover a page become illegible because they erase the functionality of the page, which is the blank.

     The sacrosanctity of religious texts lies in our will to incorporate liturgical space into the ink spilled to write the holy down. Writing sacred texts, we overpower letters in order to bend our scrolls into an elliptic surface.  The beyond is hence created from within.     By pushing the letters to their limits, we do not force their meaning to cease, but create more possibilities for meaning. Literal statements conceal as much as esoteric ones. Full statements like “I love…” or “I believe in…” never end a paragraph.  © Karim Chaibi 2005

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