My normal attitude is to dismiss pessimists like Beckett and Cioran as nihilists, then life hits me, and I emit a bitter laugh and suddenly reconsider how they are right about some things. I think of Bataille as in a similar camp as them. Something about their generation, they reveled in darkness at unprecedented levels. So I usually think “Okay, it’s time to put childish things away” with them, and then… sometimes there is something unshakable about the reality of bleakness.
I’ve talked about this before as “the existence of the Void”. It’s not like we’re happy it’s there, it’s just there. Beckett’s humor adds a happiness to it though in my experience. And even Bataille, if unintentionally, is a jester of the abyss.
I think certain people’s ears perk up when they hear about “the reality of the Void”. Because it’s usually not articulated and they just live with its presence, an unnamed presence. I don’t think this is a minority, I sense it’s a mainstream way of being-in-the-world. The Void is like a panopticon following everyone around; even on a “bright sunshiny day” the Sun is the Void, the light it casts on the world is itself darkness.
Everyone knows the premise of Beckett’s most famous play, Waiting for Godot– some guys are waiting for someone named Godot (obviously an “allusion” to God) to show up, and he never does. It is comical. (It takes like an hour to read if you haven’t read it.) It IS an Abrahamic play. Whether it’s Jews, Christians, or Muslims, they’re waiting, they’re still waiting, they’re still waiting. And I think secularists have inherited something similar, and that it’s actually closer to the absurdism of Beckett. We know God isn’t going to show up, and we just live with that. Do we even expect him to show up anymore? I think part of us still does. This stuff makes me laugh, misery without end, why is there something funny about that? There’s even something funny about the fact that it’s funny. God’s not going to show up, people are still going to wait, and he’s still not going to show up.
“I don’t need that, I’m happy with gruel in my spiritual bowl!” Jesus Christ dude, put some spices in there at least. Beckett is such a spice for us post-Christian peoples.
I can only imagine what the Shi’ists think of Beckett. Eh who knows, maybe they’d get a kick out of it too? A glance for a different day.
I think even “people who have everything” have the Void lurking behind them too, because it’s just the time we’re living in. Christianity can’t be believed, science is a poor substitute, and only mentally ill people believe in new-age claptrap. Oh you have a circle of neo-Spenglerists on teh internet? Empty.
Do you think that it’s true? That the sunshine is a type of darkness?
My understanding of the most basic idea of “theism” is that sunshine isn’t darkness whatsoever.
Good luck fully convincing yourself of that every second of daylight hours.
Do you feel you are somehow “waiting”? It might be such a normal attitude that you forgot you had it.
I myself do live in anticipation on some level. Like I said though, life hits me, too many days of anticipation in a row, God never shows up. Maybe that’s just my experience as a herd-murderer who can only ever expect bad things as consequence. Probably not, I think most people are “waiting for Godot”. They often sublimate their yearning through politicians. Can the Bernie bros just admit it that he was not Godot? Putin is not Godot. This is just the scrap we accept out of desperation. People want a lot more than that.
“Make the Void go away!” What if I told you it wasn’t there? Would you believe me? Everything is already in its right place, and feeling the Void simply means you are the Void yourself.
The sunshine only illuminates a world that shouldn’t exist–no.
This is the value of Beckett, he gets your gears turning about these things. In our time you cannot speak of theology theologically. Waiting for Godot is like the postmodern ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
People tend to rather interpret it in a way that allows them to more fully embrace the Void. No, a more eso way of seeing it is that Beckett wanted “the return of the Imam”, he wanted the “Moshiach”. Only someone with a true spiritual burning could create such a masterpiece. His family was Prots, so WfG makes sense.
It’s a useful thought-experiment to wonder what exactly are you anticipating. What does “Godot” bring the world in your view?
As usual, think of that before you read what I say.
Marx was a Kantian, so leftists who center around the former tend to be blind about more fundamental projects. Being USED as a THING is not something we want in the world anymore. Do you think Earth could hold 20 billion people? All of them with housing and food, for starters? A world without things. Every surface of the world has a rational subject upon it. This is my idea of what “Godot” would bring.
Are the people in charge doing that? Or are they proliferating things with human faces?
It’s up to you to decide whether ZOG is Godot. I’m still waiting for the real Godot.