From a response to a video:
It’s such a simple notion really.
I think of the North American First Nation peoples who lived on the land for ten thousand years experiencing the grasses, trees, mountains and rivers, living alongside the bison and red deer, antelope, eagles and coyotes. One with the land and air, the changing weather and seasons, generation after generation. And then the white man comes along and says that’s all devil worship and nature is to be shunned and abhorred and the one true god is revealed in their book and the only way to him is through his son who died for all our sins. “What sins?” our aboriginal would have said. And still says because for him nature is sacred.
But that is precisely what happened to our Northern European progenitors between say 600 AD and 1200 AD.
By then the old way, the ancient verbally transmitted heritage had all but been stamped out and everything that has been created since has been a groping after what was lost, the wholeness that was once lived.
Wagner’s operas of Germanic myth touch a deep chord, but in the end he chickens out and falls back on the Cross, which Nietzsche never forgave him for.
The Lord of the Rings and even Harry Potter speak that ancient forgotten tongue, as does fantasy. Just check out what people are having tattooed on their skins to see the fragments of the forgotten path.
Nietzsche suspected it, Oswald Spengler delineated it, though he shied away from recognizing that it was playing out in Western Man, Joyce grasped it artistically, and Joseph Campbell fully understood and elaborated it, making it the cornerstone of his celebration of Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parsifal as Western Mankind’s great Homeric Epic.
Oh, and here’s a few more associations while I’m at it:
Spengler’s monumental classic, written around the First World War, was titled The Decline of the West, the west rising with the great mounted warrior knights and chieftains who smote the corrupt and dying Roman Civilization, with its consolatory Christian faith, and who flourished between say 500 AD and 1300. Thomas Mann’s Death In Venice, written a decade or two before recounts the decline and death of a scion of a once aristocratic and knightly family, named Eschenbach! Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past has a central character declining into degenerate senility named The Baron de Charlus, an ancestor of the Norman conquerors back around 900 AD. Take a look at Picasso’s Guernica, at center in the foreground is the fallen knight, run through with what looks like his own lance. It’s the same story told over and over again, bespeaking the end of an age!
Nietzsche wrote ‘God is dead’, but it’s not just God who dies it’s all that the dead God uplifted and gave support and meaning to, a way of life and a leading Heroic class of people!
And that’s where we are today. Where are the Heroic leaders? Where those who truly feel the Truth within their breasts and can dedicate their very lives to that Truth?
Oh well, a new day is very slowly dawning and a new Truth is slowly coming into being. One that Joyce felt and wrote about, and one that will inspire and energize a whole new generation of people.
Ok, that’s it. Time for my after work beer.