Ed Simon at berfrois:
Who would have expected the origin to have been with a castration? A consummately violent act. Hacking away at flesh, and the discarding of that bit of intrinsic manhood. But Origen at that origin, in that moment, in that second, in that utopia, felt he had no other choice to unlock the door to the Kingdom of Heaven but by using the dull blade of a butcher’s gelding knife on his balls. Sometime in the third century the Alexandrian monk, whose ruminations upon the Gospels were so often exquisitely beautiful, meandering digressions in the perfumed garden of allegory, read a crucial passage of Matthew and decided, with perilous results, to uncharacteristically interpret the Bible literally. Christ implores that “there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake” and suddenly, at this most crucial juncture, a man for whom Genesis and Exodus were subtle allegory, decided that the Lord must have meant this passage and meant it. Contradictions, contradictions, for Deuteronomy says that “He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord,” but for Origen it was apparently he who was without stones who would ironically be permitted to caste them. Origen, who embraced mystery and the apophatic had long preached that God himself must be ineffable that, “God is incomprehensible, and incapable of being measured,” and it would seem that one day Origen decided other things must cease to be capable of measurement as well.