Friday, July 27, 2012

Caputo on a beautiful risk.

The relation with the other person is a journey we never complete, where that incompleteness is not an imperfection but testimony to the perfect excess of the other it is not a loss but a source of endless novelty and discovery. Were the opposite true, our relation to the other would be ruined. We can never be sure of what is going on in the heart of the other but we affirm that distance rather than being demoralized or defeated by it. The relation to the other is bracing but risky business. To give a very concrete example of what I mean, when you get married, you are saying "I do" not only to who this person is, or who you think this person is, but to whomever or whatever this person is going to become, which is unknown and unforeseen to the both of you. That is a risk, what Levinas called a "beautiful risk," but it is a risk all the same, at best a fifty-fifty chance if we can go by the divorce rates. But the risk is constitutive of the vow or the commitment. It is the faith these two people have in each other that we admire, the willingness to go forward, even though the way is not certain, that leads us to describe it as beautiful. If it were a sure thing, it would be about as beautiful as a conversation with your stockbroker. -What Would Jesus Deconstruct?

1 comment:

naomi said...

This is really good stuff.