Tuesday, September 01, 2015

September morn

I have had some very good times this summer. And one of them, living in SF, is expecting that September will actually be a summer month. And furthermore, as I say pretty well every year, knowing that the coming autumn will be kind and the winter no more than inconvenient a bit...

Going back to religion makes me ponder directly once again the Great Questions: why is the world created and why are there humans?

Self-described tough-minded types who think that they can reduce everything to what they imagine they know by sense experience find all of religion nothing but "pretty lies." I wonder how a religion would look that remained a religion, a commitment to a trans-human sacred, and did away, as far as possible, with "pretty lies." Or is the pretty lie essential to gaining religious commitment from people?

It's a shame I am not a novelist. Weaving the faith of the Sons of Europa into a post-collapse series of novels would be a great way to do it.

Trapped on a long uncomfortable plane flight, I watched the last half hour of Exodus; Gods and Men, the latest version of Moses and Pharaoh, etc. Very idiosyncratic, to say the least. Why Christian Bale should play Moses is a mystery. And Yah apparently reveals himself to CB in the form of a wise little boy of about six. He chats with him while CB is in a cave carving the Commandments on tablets.

The Red Sea scene was interestingly unusual, combining naturalism --interpreting the withdrawal and return of the waters as tsunami behavior-- with pretty exciting CG.

A thought on so-called fundamentalisms. During the aeons of Christendom --from the establishment of Christian Rome to the 19th/20th centuries, a self-confident Christianity interpreted the Old Testament through Christian eyes. It was the New Covenant, which had superceded the Old and was its true owner and interpreter. Within that theo-cultural confidence, the images of the Hebrew scriptures would easily be appropriated into Christian style for the new peoples of Europe.*

With the collapse of Christianity and, along with it, Western White self-confidence and the post-WWII sanctification of Jews, we now have a situation of ethnic fundamentalism, where Moses --whom White Christian audiences once easily saw without qualm in Charleton Heston-- now "ought" to look like what we are told to imagine ancient people like him were supposed to look like. Which, whatever it was, was not like evil White us.

It is against this catastrophic loss of self-confidence that my quixotic ramblings about a new European religon arise.


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