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XXIII

A SMALL PRAYER
Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights (detail)
Ample make this Humankind
O Lord, that Size
might let us gather up our Mind
and hazard it to rise!

That we may rear! under the Sun
& stand upon Life's wide-sowed Will
to touch Th'Wastes of The Unknown,
master them with our skill,

[ And, if Time's Waste-Tides cut us down
and bend us to our knees:
that we may breathe above the peace
of Th'World's ashes & not drown ] 26

^{26} Why "ample" and not "numerous?" Men may face challenges to their survival which their mere numbers may not be enough guarantee against --But 'ample' enough in imagination, genius, altruism (yes, and even number) may suffice. "Big in heart & mind" rather than in sheer bulk (even though the concluding stanza brings back the metaphor of bulk).

Who (what?) is this Lord? Political motivation (invoked to establish our opinion)? Obviously, given the choice of either having to say, "Simon says" (... you must be good, etc.) or being able to say "Thus saith Our Lord God The Omnipotent Father Creator of The Universe, Judge, Ruler & Ultimate Arbiter of All Beings & Existence (... says you shouldn't eat pig-knuckles with BBQ sauce, etc.)" WHO but the most naive (honest) leader would choose to command solely from his own only-too mortal authority? (Simple Simon, no doubt.) Who is this "Lord" but the political motivation we invoke to promote 'our' morality! Everywhere in my poems you see the words, "Gods, ghosts, ghouls, spirits, souls, devils, angels, fairies, etc..." you may substitute "nothingness" with full confidence. Anything based on these figments of the imagination are "Nothing." (Worse: they are Error, Illusion, criminal deceit, fraud, misguided intentions, confusion, deviousness): Look out! This poem is perhaps the dedicatory prayers for that new dominion anticipated in [XXI].

What is the best argument for Christianity? That, after all we've discovered concerning the ridiculous absurdity of all religions (Christianity, included)... that we are more superstitious than ever before? Now, whether this means that Man is weak or we (the current men) are weak: I know not. However, I feel justified in drawing the more general analogy from the experience of us poor modern men to say that we do seem to be constitutionally too weak to stand on our own two legs (count them) against the feelings of cosmic injustice engendered from the mischances of our lives. ("Weakness" meaning "mechanically inapt, malapropos, inappropriate.") The brain is a tool to handle reality. Faced with a reality unamenable to its efforts, the brain seems to come to the conclusion that the reason is that reality itself is somehow "wrong" (since, logically --the bane of all thinking-- it would be paradoxical for the 'judging' brain to judge itself wrong: If its judging ability may be unsound, how can it then trust its judgment... that its judgment (the judgment that it is an unsound one) is a sound one? (That is where stands the human condition.) And yet I do not believe I've ever come across any serious thinker who advocated the contingent nature of Mind (at least its absolute ability to judge, thus is their judgment), although as many of them as-you'd-care to name have been only too eager to advocate the contingent nature of matter: Makes one think, don't it!? Even a certifiable half-thinker like Mortimer J. Adler only goes so far as to question the ability of the brain to think --What can you say of a man who categorically states that, "The brain doesn't think!" Well, I say: bring him an old woman (preferably) who doesn't believe that "The heart pumps blood!" and let them argue it out happily throughout all the days left them in peace (the peace of the utterly insane down at the asylum: Anyone who asserts that "thinking is not a function of the brain" is obviously out of his mind & in desperate need of help). Can you imagine it: She: "The heart does not pump! The blood rushes into it and it swells up in response, no sense bringing me any X-rays, Morty. When the blood rushes out of the heart, it obviously collapses, etc. The heart is a storage bag in which blood may collect while it gathers its 'urge' to continue --What moves the blood? its bloody SOUL! God moves the blood inside its human channels: and no sense scientists trying to discover what causes the blood to move because the cause is ineffable and IDEAL (though real 'somehow' too)..." And then Morty would throw in something about the brain being a cooling sponge, et al. What joy philosophy! Two beans making up a hill. The real Nielsen winner would be on PBS: "David Attenboro Examines Creatures Small & Smaller still," (to infinity, as these type of shows just can't seem to get cancelled)... where he goes around picking them up and examining them a la silent screen. Unquestionably, Christianity will not survive as just another superstition --But as a viable alternative to the Absurdist view of the nature of the human condition, I suspect it will cling to us a long while yet. Being a (reluctant) Christian myself --supporting most of its social good intentions, abhorring its astonishingly, embarrassingly primitive mysticism (emphasis upon that human sacrifice to appease the blood-thirsty gods that immediately endears Christianity to even the most primitive cultures of the world). I cannot help but hope that Christianity somehow eventually evolves into a purely ethical, moral philosophy of human conduct. That would be the best thing of [email protected]

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