Archive for April, 2009

Palm Sunday

Sunday, April 5th, 2009

I have written nothing for a long time. I have been able to write nothing. My thought processes seem to have reduced to preoccupation with the immediate here and now and any kind of intellectual exploration, any kind of sustained thinking has become an impossibility. Prayer, after a few brief moments initially, is a battle with drowsiness. There is no fervour, no longing to be fully engaged, no élan. Nothing. I wonder if I am drifting into the apathetic quietude of senility.

From time to time I am seized with a sort of anguish at this unresisting slippage into a mental twilight. Questions arise, recurring again and again, seeking and not finding answers. ‘Of what value is this human life, me?’ ‘What significance has this moment?’ ‘Do these thoughts, hopes, wishes, prayers mean anything at all, or are they simply mental fluff stirred up by the cold winds of reality?’

Against this, never has human life seemed more precious. I exult in the energy and joyfulness of young people. I am full of admiration for those whose generous commitment and willingness to go beyond the mere requirements of the job leads them to help others. And yet, never has the human biosphere been more raw and bleeding. There is the calculated and unapologetic abuse and exploitation of ordinary people by governments, financial and business institutions. There is the genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians by the Israelis – the mindset which led to the ethnic cleansing and extermination of the Canaanites thousands of years ago still flourishes in Israel. There are large sections of the Old Testament I can no longer read and I wonder how formerly I was ever able to consider them the word of God and accept the horrors they describe so uncritically.

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