Once we take the view that the claims to ‘secular’ understanding are self-privileging and not actually possible, we begin to move towards a better understanding of the limits of all systems of knowing and Ways of Being.
In the same way that linear notions of time can be seen to be ‘privileged’ instances of non-linear time, so too can the notion of ‘secular’ (with all the weight it is expected to carry) be seen as a ‘privileged’ instance of sometime else – (i hesitate to use the term ‘religion’).
‘Secular’ can be thought of as the attempt to remove religious and superstitious elements from systems of thought and interpretation, which leave only a sort of skeletal ‘truth’ behind.
But there are always a host of power and other ‘trips’ built into what is accepted as being ‘secular’.
The idea that a secular world-view is possible is, itself, a major power trip.
This trip can be used to disadvantage the world-views of others. Those ‘poor people’ do not have the same privileged access to ‘reality’ as those who embrace the pretences that a ‘secular’ world-view is not only possible, but ‘natural’.
Ha! So too, according to these people, is it ‘natural’ that they are born to rule. We cannot agree.
Edward Said noted that imperialism requires a system of attitudes – and, it can be added, the system has to of the type which puts the usurping invaders in a ‘superior’ position vis-a-vis the peoples they seek to ‘declone’ from country in order to insert their own cultural ‘meta-DNA’.
PROBLEM OF LANGUAGE
One of the problems of our use of language is that even saying ‘non-linear’ reinforces the false claims to privilege for ‘linear’. The far greater part is defined as a ‘non’ in relation to a far lesser part.
While waiting for Godo, one means of overcoming this temporary hitch is to reverse the situation and call ‘non-linear’ "raenil" (linear backwards). Then we can talk of the larger and all inclusive set of ‘raenil’ of which ‘linear’ is but one type (say, for the hell of it, raenil No. 432)
If we make use of the same device for removing the false claims of privilege for the impossible notion of ‘secular’ – while seeking to steer clear of the competing attempts by diverse existing religious groups to capture, tame, and negate new thinking in order to restore their out-dated power structures – we have a category of ‘raluces’ of which the forms we call ‘secular’ are but an instance (say raluces No 1860)
So in place of linear:non-linear::secular:religious we can think of raenil:raenil432::raluces:raluces1860
Not very elegant, and doing much damage to language, no doubt.
But at least this has the virtue of marking out conceptual spaces/relationship ready for some more ‘organically’ derived terms which do not reduce the great part to a ‘non’-entity defined solely in terms of a privileged instance. How very back-to-front.
Finding our way out of such mazes may require some curious terms, given the lack of support from existing dogmas and other readily accepted cultural scripts.
Anyone who can suggest some better (and more poetic) terms is cordially invited to share them with us.