The Seven Tiered Saint is an open personal/intellectual journey of a paradoxical traveler trapped in an in-between realm. More than a mere "blog" this site contains an amalgamation of philosophical/theological/political writings in the forms of pensees, essays, stories, and poetry attributable to the mind of a single author/wanderer. Delve into the depths of unknowing alongside the 7 Tiered Saint.
The Seven Tiered Saint: An Explanatory Essay
As Walt Whitman once said, "Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes." In the spirit of Whitman's irreverent sense of self-discovery, this writer is a pilgrim plumbing the depths of the human experience to discover what meaning may lie within his meager grasp [though I do not revel in this mass of contradictions; it is a station through which I must travel, but only because I fervently believe that there is a time when all will be made clear]. To that end, this website is an attempt to wrestle with the question of meaning in a public forum in the hopes that he and the reader may, if not exactly find answers to the questions asked herein, at least learn how one might ask better questions. His methodology is driven by his own interests and experiences. He is obsessed with three interacting disciplines: theology, philosophy, and political theory. Add to this the imaginative mind of a poetic fantasy writer, and you begin to see something of the strange complexity of this writer's work. His writing cannot be easily categorized either by type or by inclination. He is a self-described political conservative who yet finds that most of his opinions tend to lean towards those that are considered liberal and leftist. He is a committed Christian who has something of a distaste for the often stultifying environment of religious community and often feels more comfortable in the company of agnostics and unbelievers. A lawyer who does not practice law; a natural teacher who missed his true calling to teach; a materialist who cares little for material things; a sensualist who reserves his highest admiration for the ascetic; a believer in the efficacy of hope who has little hope himself; and quite often a skeptic first and a believer second.
With such an alarmingly complex and paradoxical personal portrait, is it any wonder that these writings are such a strange amalgamation of competing ideas and tendencies? Writings and not "blogs" because these posts will invariably take the form of short essays, poems, quotes, reflections, short stories, and polemics. The writer promises nothing from this collection other than a heartfelt attempt to be interesting, relevant, and most of all, as unique as possible. He doubts very much that you, the reader, shall come across any other writings on the internet providing such an odd and varied collection of views and opinions attributable to a single source...he hesitates to say attributable to a single individual.
So, why the Seven Tiered Saint, you ask? The seven tiered mountain is an image of the mountain of Purgatory as envisioned by Dante Alighieri in his masterwork, The Divine Comedy. Purgatory represents an in-between place, being neither heaven nor hell, and is thus a dynamic way-station between two dialectical poles. It is not a place where one can stand still in a state of peace and satisfaction (or pain and misery), but a place where one is constantly moving, always onward and upward towards the ultimate goal of Paradise where (the pilgrim hopes) he may find the peace, love, and meaning which he so desperately desires. The image of a saint in Purgatory is paradoxical: for the saint, by definition, is one who is already in Paradise, having completed his journey. The paradox raises uncomfortable questions: is this "saint" really in Purgatory? Perhaps an eternal Purgatory is for him a punishment, and thus he is in fact lost deep in the depths of Hell. This is not for the Seven Tiered Saint to know. He can only continue with his journey.
And thus, the Seven Tiered Saint represents a dialectic between hope and despair, grace and damnation, community and loneliness, love and hate. This constant struggle from one inexorably caught in this "middle place" which he is forced to wander for some indeterminate duration is the journey of the Seven Tiered Saint. Follow him on his journey of discovery, as he struggles with questions of love, faith, life, death, meaning, and transcendence. But be forewarned, for to follow this weary traveler is to risk being undone and scandalized. The Seven Tiered Saint plunges down roads leading into long overgrown recesses of the human spirit, and speaks in one moment truths fit for Paradise and in the next moment truths fit for the Abyss. Sometimes, the Seven Tiered Saint contradicts himself and even tells lies, knowing full well that what he speaks are lies, in order that he may see down what paths these lies may lead. He seeks (usually) not to offend, but much of what he speaks will be offensive to others, just as what he speaks is often offensive to himself.
Follow the Seven Tiered Saint into the swirling and mysterious waters of darkness and discovery. Beware you who desire wisdom, for you are apt to receive that which you seek.