Monday, 9 February 2009

Monks, Mysteries and Mountains of Instead

Considering that I seldom get any response from this blog, it seems to pick up some interesting readers.
Today I had an email from an old colleague at The Blade who is now a monk. Oddly, I don´t find his new job particularly odd. I suppose it is because it now seems to me that life on this planet is so absurd, one might as well avoid as much of it as humanly possible. Brother Francis (his new name) may not quite see things that way, but I certainly do.
It is clearly absurd, for example, that I entertain a positive affection for several people in holy orders, including our local parish priest, when the idea of a benevolent and/or interested God is - as far as I can see - based on no perceptible and objective reality whatever. Some believers - very thoughtful and brave ones, I believe - will actually admit it. "We just have to accept life, with all its horrors and injustice, as a mystery," they say.
Well, of course, we don´t. Russell had it right. Someone asked him, "What, if when you die, there turns out to be a God who then asks you why you didn´t believe in him?" "I would tell him, You didn´t give me enough evidence," said Russell.
I have written before that the most convincing indication that God might exist would be the fact that life can scarcely be expected to be this hideous by accident. A malign force usually seems to be operating in about 90 per cent of the world.
However, Darwin has come up with the answer to that, gloomy though it may be.
More about him on the 12th, his birthday.

This blog is becoming fearfully didactic. Precise use of the word, at least.

POEM BY AUDEN
One of my favorites. Especially the last verse. I chose it to brighten things up a bit, but it is, I now see, even more suffused with regret and remorse than the rest of the blog. Oh, well..

Autumn Song


Now the leaves are falling fast,
Nurse's flowers will not last,
Nurses to their graves are gone,
But the prams go rolling on.

Whispering neighbors left and right
Daunt us from our true delight,
Able hands are forced to freeze
Derelict on lonely knees.

Close behind us on our track,
Dead in hundreds cry Alack,
Arms raised stiffly to reprove
In false attitudes of love.

Scrawny through a plundered wood,
Trolls run scolding for their food,
Owl and nightingale are dumb,
And the angel will not come.

Clear, unscalable, ahead
Rise the Mountains of Instead,
From whose cold, cascading streams
None may drink except in dreams.

2 comments:

Gary White said...

Methinks you do protest too much, Paddy. My guess is that there is a believer in there somewhere!

AnOminous said...

Amazing poem, good choice.