Jewish rejectionism — start with Pharaoh (what a lousy deal for everyone else!) — includes the rejection of Jesus and Muhammad as the representation or agent of God on earth. Them’s might be fightin’ words, as some say out in my backyard, but the sensibility may have begun (who knows?) with the idea of taking the power asserted by a deeply narcissistic monster — Pharaoh — and throwing it out into the universe and beyond to become the Almighty, the “King of the Universe”, a god immensely greater than what Pharaoh (today: Baghdaddi) would purport to represent. Not only do the Jews refuse Pharaoh’s legitimacy (and leave — with God’s help and under his aegis) but the “instructions” received refuse also to begin with mention or allusion to either mankind or power — and then the form of discussion invoked is that of vigorous inquiry and argument, a look-twice-and-think-about-it method of understanding one’s own humanity. Against that kind of a start, the Roman gods become decorative as well as instructive in other ways, or we should not speak of nor comprehend in Narcissus in the first place.
After Hillel (“the Elder” and the more obscure), Jesus-Paul-Constantine have the thorn of what to do with the Jews; Muhammad later wrestles the same question with perhaps Arab elan with the seduction ot surrender and subsequent easy slaughter of the Banu Qurayza.
And here we are and with a huge political problem.
If no one gets the story that yesterday imagined, then all are more free to get on to a new footing.
However, yesterday has its charms. Whether I pick up a fountain pen 🙂 or the young, mostly, dress up to “war” in societies of “creative anachronism” — http://www.sca.org/ — or primitives cling and some nutty alphas would be khalifas, the nostalgic affords the comfort of the fixed, known, and in terms of time, spacious. A man at a computer is busy — a man with a fountain pen and foolscap has time for dreaming.
Against this depiction of monotheist man and time, Hassan Nasrallah and Hezbollah dwell in the romance of their own spacious, timeless experience. The technology of the progressive appears in their environment –or they would not be counting on fiber optic communications cables to abet their “defense” of southern Lebanon — but the mind remains locked in a yesterday becoming continuously more distant from the day that has developed around their enterprise.
Writing like that is like reaching back and trying to pull a brother out of a time hole.
“What are you doing back there?”
“Living as we’ve always lived.”
“Is that so good?”
“It’s worked for us a long time. We have a deep investment in a promise yet to be fulfilled.”
“That’s some promise.”
“It’s the whole world.”
“The whole world isn’t your world. Perhaps you should try something a little more modest.”
“We’ll think about it.”
“It’s a shame to see you keeping yourself down there. Frankly, it’s not looking like much fun, rather bloody and self-defeating, but, hey, it’s your call, and trust the world to be around when you’re ready to join with it rather than fight to the end of your day.”
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