Monday, January 03, 2005

Insanity Is the Insistence upon Meaning

Now if I were the kind of person who forgets to take her meds and reads The DaVinci Code and begins to have deeply and terrifyingly meaningful thoughts about the meaning of everything at the same time I might be inclined to think that Daniel Liebeskind's plans for the WTC site are clear evidence of the end of days. "Insanity is the insistence upon meaning," I read once (if someone could give me an attribution for this--Emerson? Nietschze?--I'd be very indebted) and what surer sign of apocalypse could you have than a Jewish kabbalistic architect--whose Holocaust museum in Berlin seems incredibly brilliant--building the "freedom tower" during the reign of a messianic Christian President. Always a bad sign when there are so many capitalized nouns. The trouble with History.

I often listen to the Family Life Network while driving through the gently sloping wine-and-dairy country between here and Geneva, as I like to keep up with the signs and wonders, etc., and I'm always intrigued and terrified when the preachers begin to talk about Israel and Palestine in terms of Revelations. I must say I find nothing more terrifying (yes, I've overusing this word) than the confluence of the ambitions of militant zionism (settlements, all of Jerusalem, permanent eviction of the Palestinians) and messianic christianity--a historical pact not unlike that between Stalin and Hitler (and we know how that turned out). That, for instance, my uncle supports Bush seems patently absurd. Doesn't he realize that for Bush Israel is just the proverbially and provisionally friendly enemy of the enemy, quick to be jettisoned at the opportune moment? I don't know much about the messianic aspects of Judaism, don't know all that much in general--except for the Elijah cup on Passover--but what I like about Judaism is its insistence upon right action (mitzvah) in the here and now, and its close-lippedness about any future world--heaven, hell.

Bring on the rapture, I say. Wouldn't it be just grand if all gay-and-heathen-hating Fungusmentalists were beamed up into the cumulonimbus? On earth as it is in heaven for sure.

A friend of a friend relates his vision of a giant turd descening upon the dome of the White House: he calls it The Crapture.

By the by, I've been reading Revelations lately, and I must admit it's some damn compelling poetry. Here's the one and only reappearance of the tree of life which, plus knowledge, equals godhood. This is the last verse of the New Testament, 22:

And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the lamb.

In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of it, was there the tree of life . . . .

Now, to my mind that's a pretty brilliant conceit. The street of the river? The tree growing on both sides? I don't know what John the Revelator was on, but please don't slip it in my drink.

Wishing you all some sane meaninglessness,


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you'll read Revelations you will see things such as, 10 heads and 7 horns, and other such metaphors. These things represent leaders, nations, etc. Could you not say the White House sits and two seperate streets and yet never moves? Poetic innovation, ancient language and lack of knowledge of our ancestors leads humans to missunderstand much, the bible being no exception.