We have now read Dillard’s essay “Teaching a Stone to Speak.” In addition, we have begun to think about the palo santo trees, asking ourselves “what is the significance of these trees? What issue is Dillard exploring through them?” Now that we have begun to enter into conversation with this text, to feel our way through some of its key ideas, consider the passage by Martin Buber quoted by Dillard to advance her point about “pan-atheism”: The Crisis of all primitive mankind comes with the discovery of that which is fundamentally not-holy, the a-sacramental, which withstands the methods, and which has no ‘hour,’ a province which steadily enlarges itself. Keeping in mind the context of Dillard’s essay (key ideas, recurring themes, questions, etc.) spend some time reflecting on Buber’s quote. Look back at your notes from class and your glosses (the commentary and markings) you made on “Teaching a Stone to Talk.” Then, compose a journal entry in which you wrestle with the meaning of Buber’s quote. What is “the a-sacramental”? Why is this “province…steadily enlarg(ing) itself”? What are “the methods” referred to? Without reference to Buber’s original text you only have Dillard’s use of Buber to go on, so return to her text as you interpret the meaning of Buber’s passage. Support your interpretation of Buber’s quote with evidence from Dillard’s text. Provide an example of this “enlargement” of the “a-sacramental” in order to connect the meaning of the quote to the world that you know. Your journal entry should be approximately three paragraphs in length.
Please read the requirement carefully, answer all the questions. The quote is on page 87.