Man, you got that right about the link between fundamentalism and reductionism.

Great discussion about the grotesque and the “admixture of comedy and burlesque” in some religious traditions. We still use such equations as that of nose with penis, but chiefly as euphemisms (e.g., The Rolling Stones’s “Honky Tonk Womanâ€?), but it seems less likely to reach the cosmic in that context, I guess.

In a way purity is a practical ideal for me, but I find that I can’t discuss it without a long preface because of what has been done in its name for millennia. I like how you qualify your discussion of those who desire to impose purity — those “liberated from the constraints of an empathy-based ethics.” Indeed, how can one seek purity with such liberation? How can one — or many — ever impose purity? I can’t even impose it on myself, except to a limited and rudimentary extent, I think.

tournesol, I thought tomatoes were considered poisonous by the English-speaking world up until the nineteenth century. But what do I know?