ellens wrote:Now that's a Spenglerian comment, "sustainability is overrated."
In form, yes, but in substance? Our host, with all Christian and much Jewish tradition, regards longing for eternal life as normative -- as "halakhic" in Judaic context. But to make this more than longing for sustainability, more than the futile Eleatic-Platonic infatuation with stasis
, more than the refusal to accept impermanence that Buddhism (or Heraclitus) views as the root of our follies, requires a more dynamic view of eternal life than seems offered either by scripture or by the bulk of traditional commentary thereon -- a view of "eternal life" as eternal "growth" or "becoming," not just eternal "being." That would seem implied by the traditional view of eternal life as conditioned on devoting this life to becoming better than one is, but the internal impetus of tradition seems thwarted, in the bulk of tradition, by an ancient identification of the static with the good. I have yet to see Spengler address the need to reconceptualize "eternal life" in such a way publicly, although I suspect he would do so unhesitatingly in private conversation.
Meanwhile, my sense of the matter remains that the issue is moot, at least for us pampered moderns: if we are not so grateful for the love and life that we already have as not merely to find it sufficient, but to move us to seek to reciprocate that love and to seek to justify our present life, how dare we hope for more? The traditional answer is of course that wanting more life is an inherent part of gratitude for life. But for moderns, at least, that's rather like telling a man who is already gorged on food that true gratitude entails wanting to order a second dinner. It requires imagining that one could grow in an unfamiliar way. And to avoid having same problem eternally in eternal life would seem to require eternal growth. Not mere "sustainability."
This is, I think, less of a digression from the topic than it may seem at first glance. Our vision of temporal social good, e.g., "a sustainable society," seems to be inextricably bound up with our vision of "heaven," of our ideal relationship with God. And that is a Spenglerian point; repeatedly, our host points out that our notion of God shapes our self-image through the emotional imperative of imitatio dei
Our host, since his very first columns under the pseudonym "Spengler," has, in writing about secular matters, especially geopolitics, advocated ceasing to idolize stability and to resist impermanence. But he has not yet, at least publicly, taken the same approach to religious matters, especially "eternal life," despite his keen awareness of the interrelatedness of the two.