Riven means broken, it means shattered or wounded or unhealed, and I think that notion is very important to me and my notion of God and of religion: that we are broken creatures, very broken creatures. And I don’t think of God as necessarily healing that brokeness as much as participating in it.
—Christian Wiman, the editor of Poetry magazine from his interview with Radio Open Source on his book of poems, Every Riven Thing.
“Shattered” (photo: David Shield/Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
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Mr. Wiman has effectively illustrated how religion obscures our view. He sees our "brokenness" and God "participating in it" through the filter of his religious beliefs when in fact they are part of the reason we are "broken". Even to suggest we are broken is not entirely accurate.
We are a body/mind/spirit continuum. A third of our body/mind is potential capacity. If we can assign a purpose to life it would seem we are "to reach out to the limits of our capacities, to others and to God.", to in effect, fulfill our capacity. It is a simple purpose but there is a problem. We don't know why and up to this point in our history we have not been able to accept "the void" behind "the last why". As a consequence, rather than fulfilling our purpose we try to fill the void.
One of the ways we try is with our religions but regardless of how we try, our effort directs our activities inward, toward the void within and thus away from reaching out. "Reaching out..." not only fulfills but also connects us and to the extent we instead try to fill the void, we disconnect. So to be precise, because of our dominant effort to fill the void, rather than being broken we are more than less empty and disconnected. http://www.thelastwhy.ca/poem/