Saturday, September 17, 2005

God is Dead

The Madman.

Have you ever heard of the madman who on a bright morning lighted a lantern and ran to the market-place calling out unceasingly: "I seek God! I seek God!" As there were many people standing about who did not believe in God, he caused a great deal of amusement. Why? is he lost? said one. Has he strayed away like a child? said another. Or does he keep himself hidden? Is he afraid of us? Has he taken a sea voyage? Has he emigrated? - the people cried out laughingly, all in a hubbub.

The insane man jumped into their midst and transfixed them with his glances. "Where is God gone?" he called out. "I mean to tell you! We have killed him, you and I! We are all his murderers! But how have we done it? How were we able to drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the whole horizon? What did we do when we loosened this earth from its sun? Whither does it now move? Whither do we move? Away from all suns? Do we not dash on unceasingly? Backwards, sideways, forwards, in all directions? Is there still an above and below? Do we not stray, as through infinite nothingness? Does not empty space breathe upon us? Has it not become colder? Does not night come on continually, darker and darker? Shall we not have to light lanterns in the morning? Do we not hear the noise of the grave-diggers who are burying God? Do we not smell the divine putrefaction? - for even Gods putrify! God is dead! God remains dead! And we have killed him!

How shall we console ourselves, the most murderous of all murderers? The holiest and the mightiest that the world has hitherto possessed, has bled to death under our knife - who will wipe the blood from us? With what water could we cleanse ourselves? What lustrums, what sacred games shall we have to devise? Is not the magnitude of this deed too great for us? Shall we not ourselves have to become Gods, merely to seem worthy of it? There never was a greater event - and on account of it, all who are born after us belong to a higher history than any history hitherto!" Here the madman was silent and looked again at his hearers; they also were silent and looked at him in surprise.

At last he threw his lantern on the ground, so that it broke in pieces and was extinguished. "I come too early," he then said".

~Friedrich Nietzsche. The Gay Science (1882), sections 125 and 343.

Bush asking for a wee break.

Fund-raisers based on ethnic and racial lines [still cute that Jackson gets to hold the banner for all black musicians, but there you go. The world still loves eccentrics]

Yes, you madman who shut your mind when you first-kissed a horse in public. I awknowlege you. Gods of wooden faces and painted smiles we will become, for we have destroyed our old ones.... yet, must this be the only answer?

Must look beyond. Have to look beyond.

In a bearded man smelling of old age, I find my answer.

"We know who they are. They are the thugs of the Saddam regime who are trying to avenge their loss after losing power and the nice, affluent life they had... But history will not go back. This is our destiny, and no matter how many are killed, whether hundreds or thousands, we shall not turn back."

~Dhia Edeen Ahmadi, Shiite cleric, Baghdad.