I hate reading a book through to its end. I always feel like I’ve let a universe die when my eyes fall off the last line and I set the book down.
There will be more on this particular book (author Michael Muhammad Knight) elsewhere, but for now let me say that, on a personal note, I wish the Lion could be persuaded to consider this world – this big bad crazy world where we are all doing the best we can with what we’ve got, and the only blessing there is comes irrationally when suddenly, for no reason, you see the absolute submission, and if you can get there for just a fraction of a second, that’s more than some people get in a lifetime. That’s the peace. That’s the blessing. And everything beyond that illumination is just a function of the details. Who are any one of us to judge someone else? It’s all compatible, between the peace and Jesus standing in front of a prostitute with an angry mob, all of them baying for blood and all he has to say is written in these words: he who is without sin cast the first stone.
Translation: if you’ve never done something you regret, something that hurt someone else, something wrong, go ahead and judge others. If you can’t say that, breathe for a minute, submit to the fact that none of us know what we are doing, and take that peace with you. There is more God in that than in any of the formalized rituals any of us practice – Jew, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist.
Submission is not a question of giving in to the old rules. That’s the easy way out. Submission is in surrendering this breath. In finding beauty in the breakdown. In giving up your expectations and giving in to love. Foolish, stupid, gullible, perfect love. Submission to the structure is just insisting on scaffolding when you could soar. Jump off the cliff and into the abyss with Kierkegaard. There is a core of beauty in all the religions, and submission is that core. True submission isn’t looking to see what your neighbor is doing and it isn’t interested in dictating anything. The only thing that matters is that transcendent link to everything and your smallness as a widget in the wider world.
This from a girl who’s most recent book before the Taqwacroes was “God is Not Great.” Which is equally a good book, but for completely different reasons.