If only he had had a good classical education, Herr Speer sighed, and had paid more attention to each citizen's responsibility for what was being done in the name of We the People, the Reich!, he might have avoided his sad fate. Yes, he might have found himself a martyr to conviction in any case, but that conviction would have been based on something more worthwhile than his own self-promotion.
Is it possible, in today's shrunken little world of American politics, even to imagine such ideals? In the tiny universe bordered on the right by
Too many of us are reduced to being watchers, not actors. The worst of it is that, in the end, there is no end in sight. Of course there would be a modern word for this endless emotional boredom: anomie, or the absence of any emotion at all. Depression, the shrinks call it, but it is something much more: a soul-sickness that doesn't even recognize the existence of the soul.
Consider German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer's essay "On the Vanity of Existence." He wrote, "we take no pleasure in existence except when we are striving after something -- in which case distance and difficulties make our goal look as if it would satisfy us (an illusion that fades when we reach it) -- or when engaged in purely intellectual activity, in which case we are really stepping out of life so as to regard it from outside, like spectators at a play. Even sensual pleasure itself consists of a continual striving and ceases as soon as the goal is reached." (Yawn.) Has so much effort ever been made to prove that effort is in vain, and worse, a bore?
Not valuing our own lives, how can we be expected to value the lives of those so far below us in the economic and social scale? Which is really the essential question about abortion. It's not as if God had created each of these souls, inviolable and untouchable, and that to destroy one of them is to destroy the whole world in which they live, breathe, see and experience life. Ignore the holy and we ignore all.
Much better to just give up and succumb to the spiritlessness of our age. Treat the abstraction called life as just another profit and loss statement. Demand that outfits like Planned Parenthood have some moral justification for abortion. Then ask only what it would cost our own souls to collaborate in such an ungodly undertaking.
Or as the
All of which sounds like phrases poorly translated from the German, specifically
It is hard, though not impossible, to imagine a worse combination of
The wages of sin, it turns out, may not be death but eternal, meaningless, so-called life. Forgotten is the old inner knowledge that, if we but will it, it is no dream. But reality. Which is all too real if only we dare open our eyes, awaken from our coma and wrestle with the angel who's been at our side the whole night long.