Modernity

But I say again, even here, even amid the searching, He can still be found.

Man is a good dog.

Even amid the search, He can still be found.

Even our ecstasies are so perfectly choreographed and staged with the most impeccable lighting and our acoustics so expertly synchronized to hit the right note at the right time so as to send our emotions to heights never before thought possible – those heights in which we believe something true will be found and lasting, something actual, real, and enduring. Is it any wonder then that God is not found amid the cacophony of such sublime rehearsal, and, moreover, that He cannot be found here? Indeed, if the strings do not answer our call to the tremendum that our hearts desire when we think we should desire it, we are apt to rearrange the chairs so as to create the emotional artifice that may, just may, bring us this time before the throne of our creator but cannot, and can never.

So safe, modernity. So wonderfully scripted, with no inconsistency of tempo or loss of poise or interruption of the marvelous timing we have so long endeavored to achieve, no slack whatsoever the focus of each one of our musicians. In this glorious charade, we leave no room at all for chance, no room for something truly diabolical, quiet, subtle, subversive, otherworldly, some sleight of hand from He who made the world and us, some divinity to disrupt the anticipation of what we think we ought to desire.

If we do not like the score nor think it hits the right tone at the moment we think it should, we scratch the approach and come again from a different angle, with new musicians to boot, all the while chasing away the thing we actually need in pursuit of that which we believe we want.

But I say again, even here, even amid the searching, He can still be found.

For what is life, specifically modern life, but anticipation? Of wanting that great, world-destroying thing to happen, that thing that will strip naked and bear all our trifling pretenses and good works – that glorious return of our Savior and King who will roll back the heavens like a scroll to the sound of the trumpet and set to flame all that it superficial and worthless. And, when the world does not end, we endeavor to create the conditions which we think might elicit it.

Oh, how we yearn for something else, anything but this.

Wait then, o man, and keep on waiting — and perish in your waiting.

But if God cannot be found even here, at the far end of all that is possible, good, right, perfect, and beautiful, at the absolute height of all we have achieved as man, I have never known Him.

With the advent of the rule of the masses came also the unchallenged rise of rhetoric as the de facto political and social means of communication because, in order to be heard over the seething tumult of the masses, one had to persuade and convince by way beautiful, rousing and eloquent speech for such was and, of course, still is the only way to be heard over the ceaseless drone of the everywhere brute and dumb mass sensibility. As it was in classical Athens, so too today.

If anything were to happen to me, either by my own hand or God’s, I am not one without testimony of and to the mental and spiritual life I’ve lived, for better or worse.