The Holy of Holies: 
On the Constituents of Emptiness 

The extraordinary poem near the beginning of Ecclesiastes - "A season is set for everything, a time for every experience under heaven" - is itself unholy in so far as it seems to speak of all humanity, without regard for cultural difference, without regard for the notion that some people have been "set apart":

A time for being born and a time for dying,
A time for planting and a time for uprooting the planted;
A time for slaying and a time for healing,
A time for tearing down and a time for building up;
A time for weeping and a time for laughing,
A time for wailing and a time for dancing.

We might, in the same spirit, add an additional line:

A time for belief and a time for doubting that belief.

However, the relationship between these two mental states is not merely cyclical. Derrida writes of two siblings of belief and doubt: faith and knowledge. And he notes a much more complex "alternation" between them - "between believing one knows and knowing one believes." For faith and knowledge are not mere opposites; they depend on each other. If, as I've tried to indicate, there is doubt at the center of belief, there is also belief at the center of doubt.

This fault in the distinction between belief and doubt might qualify as an additional element in the emptiness that fills our Holies of Holies and obstructs our efforts to enter and exit cleanly from them.