Saturday, June 9, 2007

A Subtle Temptation

Christianity as a religion that extols suffering provides a subtle trap for its former adherents. In treating the Crucifixion as the most significant event in the history of humankind, an unspoken but nonetheless seductive temptation to unthinkingly treat ugliness, and pain as being intrinsically more profound than any joy, beauty, or pleasure could ever possibly be.

Which is more indicative of the overall character of existence: beauty or ugliness? Christianity teaches that pain, humiliation, and ignoble death are characteristic of this world and any pleasures and beauty that may be experienced in this world is fleeting and inconsequential, given the awful infinity of eternity. Redemption, beauty, and joy come afterward. They are obtainable only because of pain, ugliness, and humiliation. One of the vestiges of this christianized way of thinking and judging is to feel (intuitively, of course) that (somehow) discussions of unhappiness, ugliness, and feelings of displeasure come closer to the truth of life and existence.

One of the practical implications of this judgment that ugliness and pain are deeper and more profound; and it borders on the obvious that ugliness and pain are more interesting, more significant, and more important than any account of pleasure, beauty, joy, and happiness.

In a formula: unhappiness is more profound that happiness could ever be.

But really, with The Crucifixion a myth, and God a cautionary tale for rebellious children, is there any reason to suppose that profundity is always on the side of misery and ugliness? Are humiliation and displeasure the only reliable guarantors of certainty?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search This Blog

Map of Visitors

Locations of Site Visitors