We discovered, in due time, that the earth was neither created nor looked after, and then chaos reigned. What matter now love, or aspiration, or the aspiration to love: such were the phrases emanating from the dull faces of these daring explorers, as soon as the data was in: and the phrases grew more despondent, the faces grew duller, with every new accounting of our situation. Until finally a man came to us–we think he was a man; in all reality he had a certain glow about him unlike any man ever seen before–a man who turned upside-down our former evaluations and made us recognize beauty in the world again, recognize it anew even though it had turned to numbers and sheer information, even though beauty was the last thing on our minds, what with the inhuman and uncaring cataclysm on its way with its monstrous indifference,, the sense of all significance, whether beautiful or not, being wiped clean and as if returned to the zero-mark, the sense of senselessness hovering over all our projects and all the views we would take of the world. For, before this man visited us, this Glowing One, we thought of even the religious sense returning to the human with all zest and zeal, with all manner of seriousness and flavor: It is but one among many, one lifestyle, one defense-mechanism, one more way to stall the inevitable…. But then he came, and things were different. The same, but utterly different.
He came to us, as much from out of nowhere as out of our hearts, and stayed with us long enough for us to change, for our heads, and our hearts along with them, perhaps our hearts first of all and foremost, to change in how they approached the world. Whether it was due to impatience or insight we could not say–or perhaps the man simply had to run off to other appointments and other missions; maybe that was all–but he did not wait for every one of us to transform in accordance with his light; he took leave of us when only a selected few of us so transformed, as though seeing this as sufficient for his quest’s completion.
These men, and women–a few of them were children, no older than eight years–they began to speak in his cadence and with his content, the way a baby held dearly at some time in its life continues to carry that tenderness into the world. Such is what they would utter now, so much different than before, even though the newsreels kept up their staggering pace of relating travesties, even though exploitation and violence and betrayal and bigamy and injustice remained as powerful and as vivid as ever: Love, no matter what! Love because the world is loveless, if for no other reason! Love not only the lovable but the unlovable too, love hatred itself, love being spat upon and covered with pitch! Then it was no matter what we discovered, thanks to these few who kept this strange love in their hearts: our discoveries could reach the intensest layer of nihilism and our hearts still not be affected, at least in terms of its love if not in terms of its discovery, as though turning the tables and, rather than discovering love, since love had already been discovered, loving to discover. Not to say that the nihilism and despair caught hold of no one after this Glowing One’s visitation. No, the nihilism continued just as much as the hatred and the injustice. And for that reason we loved, for that reason, maybe that alone, we found the earth worth loving. Well, they loved in such a manner…I cannot say for myself whether I was ever as transformed as they became.
They loved…. As for me…well, I could not help but looking on their new faces, after the dullness had been wiped off, and seeing–what?–a new form of dullness, a new sleepy mask over the old, so sure of itself the way we tend to be sure of our dreams while we are starring in them. This world–lovable? This world–to be loved at all cost? Even the hatred within it, even the hatred of it, even its stripping us bare of any protective layers of clothing of meaning? Why, I would rather love my abusive parent, that one who loved me so stupidly and violently, than love such a one as this world! What ever happened to–righteous indignation, the ability to discern, through our being troubled with the world, its unworthiness in at least some respect, its harshness and coldness like a crime? I took it upon myself to form a new religion, as the religion of love was starting to spread like fire over dry and barren brush. Out into the square I would head every morning, after kissing my lover on his lips and rubbing the dogs behind their soft ears, to proclaim a counter-word to this Word of Love at All Costs, telling all and sundry passers-by of the spoils of our heartless earth, unto the way it spoils even the attempt at charitable love; it makes it rotten and just another stupidity to add to the great pile of them humanity has in store, and makes it seem like a thing rather immature, to be honest. Hopelessly immature with its undying hope!
What happened to me out there, out in the open and in the public eye, expectorating my bile and making a veritable show of it? This happened, and I shall never forget: love happened. More of their strange and insistent love just had more opportunity to spread with my reactionary efforts. Before mounting my podium, which was placed in the square for more political events, but I had decided it would serve my mission as well, I would prepare, halfway like an actor, halfway because this character I was adopting was becoming my own, a face, a gruesome face to give to passers-by, which would let them know just how gruesome and full of horrors the world truly is. Mothers would shield their children, while fathers would come to meet me in anger and threatening to pummel me if I didn’t stop my harangue. Several times I was beaten by a gang of enraged persons; not lovers in the manner of the Glowing One, to be sure, but in love with the world enough to despise the one who outright called out its faults. Scarred and bruised from the previous day or days before, I would continue going out to make my speeches, what I considered were honest speeches. But my scars and bruises, the beatings and the public shame, these are not what happened. What happened, truly and markedly, was this: the lovers came to me and–embraced me, continued to love me, loved me in spite of, because of, my bitterness and hateful ramblings. They would stand in attendance of my performances in faithful and respectful watching, paying attention not only to my words but to the gestures and the face I wore. When they sat or stood in attendance all around–in fact, they were the only ones to take serious interest in my new religion; the irony of it did not escape me–they looked on me with more than tolerance. For tolerance has its limits; tolerance itself is a limit and limit-setting. More than with tolerance they looked at me with a limitless familiarity and a limitless love and fellowship, and came to thank me for the power I brought to the square after every four- or five-hour show. You speak with such unabated passion, a young woman, one of the lovers, said to me once, pulling me aside from the throngs as she did so. She went on, I wish the world would have more of that, more passion; maybe that’s what it needs, before I would be swept off away from her to be adulated and adored again by the other lovers. The recognition, and their unbending thankfulness for everything I did, nearly made me become sick and retch. But one thing always grounded me again from this vertigo caused by all their high spirits, one thing brought me back to reality, but different somehow, after a bad dream or even this sickness of all this mutual comforting and praising: it was, again, love. A sort of soothing, painful yet soothing, grounding, feeling of confirmation. Saying They are right, they must be right, to love even a wretch like me. Since then, my face has been dulling, falling asleep like theirs. Oh, but what it sees, what it sees!
yeah, I think I just threw up in my mouth a little…
The last thing the world needs in another religion born from yet another cult with the head of yet another man who feels he’s glowing.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Great reply to this one! Great reply to its…satire!
I hope your day is going well.
Satire… whew! I thought you’d gone off the deep end. I was full on uh oh…
LikeLiked by 1 person
Well, I might have still gone off the deep end! I have a lot of affirmative feelings about cults and culture and religion that satire doesn’t just uproot, but continues to explore.