The Dead

Honor the Dead.
Honor the past.
Honor that which is not.

Death is the solution to all man's problems. (1)

Death is undoing.
Death is redeeming.
Death is fulfilling.

I come to set the world on fire, and oh, how I wish it were burning. (2)

Pray for the dead.
Pray for a good death.
Pray for death.

Sero te amavi, pluchritudo tam antiqua et tam nova, sero te amavi. (3)

It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (4)

Before you were in the womb, I knew you. (5)

I am the way, and the truth and the life. (6)

Ego sum qui sum. (7)

Et in arcadia ego. (8)

These fragments I have shored up against my ruins. 

Who is God?  Even in Arcadia, there is death.

I know one thing, that death ... my mother's death ... death, is the terminus of life and the beginning of life. That the world must burn for it to live. That our life is the life of Christ. That to be is to be in him. That I must die to myself. Must die ...

Lord, thou pluckest me out.

I am but dust and ashes, and would you come to me?

(1) Attributed to Joseph Stalin by Anatoly Rybakov in his novel Children of the Arbat. Stalin probably never said this. But nevertheless it is true in both a nihilistic sense and a divine sense. Stalin could solve all his problems by killing them. And the only solution to the problem of original sin — and hence all our problems — is death.  "Then the Lord God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever"— therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken." Genesis 3:22-23

(2) Luke 12:49. Rome burned while Nero fiddled. Dresden burned. We burn. But to burn with the Holy Spirit, oh, to burn away that contagion, to burn the self the sinful self away ...

(3) Augustine Confessions 10. O God. You are too beautiful for me. Too beautiful for words. O God, my God, for you I long.

(4) Hebrews 10:31. This is the heart of Brothers Karamazov. It is the heart of existence itself. Your God has said yes to the whole of what is. He is a living God. He lives and moves in every pain, in every torment, in every evil. To love the Father is to say yes to all that is. Are you not terrified?

(5) Jeremiah 1:5. He's not watching us suffer and judging us. He suffers us. He suffers in us. Our suffering is His. Whether we like it or not. Because he knows us, really. Before we existed, he knew us. We are his.

(6) John 14:6. I am not worthy to comment on this.

(7) Exodus 3:14. All is God.


Mike Austin