Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

2 August 2014

South Africa: Slaying the Dragon-Slayers - the IDF, Hamas, and the Painfully Slow Death of God

analysis

According to Friedrich Nietzsche, who knew a thing or two, humanity killed the God of the Old Testament in 1882. Out in the land of Canaan, the sons of Isaac and Ishmael still haven't heard. KEVIN BLOOM wonders when the One True God, the God of the poets, will make Herself known.

Brew us the magic in which all limits dissolve,

spirit forever bent to the fire!

The fathomless limit of evil, first, which revolves

also around those who are resting and do not stir

Before they are anything else, these lines from Rainer Maria Rilke's The Sonnets to Orpheus are a prayer of repentance, an apology to the long-suffering Tao, from the delinquent "us" that is modern humanity. They are at once a heartfelt affirmation of our infinite potential and a heartbroken recognition of our darkest shadow, which, when viewed as a psychic fact, is nothing more--and nothing less--than our collective inability to submit to the rigors of our ongoing evolution. To yield to the authority of history, suggests Rilke, is to return willingly to the classroom of an all-too-familiar hell.

These lines made me think of that guy at the restaurant in Johannesburg last week, who responded to...

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