Man, be thyself. Troll, be thyself — enough!

A busy week for this blog.

People tend to be trolls.

Henrik Ibsen observed this fact in “Peer Gynt” — one of the least acclaimed of his plays (speaking from a literary perspective, musically however…). Essentially, trolls are those people who are content to let their identities fall away so that they may fit into a system. Which system? Doesn’t matter, because you’ve only got to be real enough. I would suggest that we could add “to get through” after “enough.” But that fits into my belief that prepositions are good things to end sentences with.

Someone told me today that “maybe you should find a religion that fits you better, or maybe you should be an atheist.” N. B. — this came after I told the person that I do not believe God, who loves us, is going to condemn anyone to hell. I think my logic is firm. Humans have unconditional value; go back to freaking Genesis 27  if you want with the whole “image of God” thing. My brain made the jump very quickly to the Troll King’s mantra, “Man be thyself. Troll, be thyself enough.”

If I can’t be Roman Catholic because I don’t believe in damnation, for the “bad” people, then apparently I must find whatever fits me best. This rationale seems to fit with “Man be thyself,” yet there is a problem. Lacan likes to say, “There is no big Other;” I like to say, there is no little other. Because if we truly “love our neighbor” in a way that is not selfish, we abolish the subjectedness of the “other.” We pour out our essence for them — The essence of ourselves becomes mingled.

I also recently had a discussion about subjectivity/objectivity. Obviously, I argued from the side of objectivity — a hazard of being male and also not French. Yet what arose in my mind, after the fact, was the possibility that making others objective is the same as making them subjective. We need to move beyond the good and evil (to improperly steal a phrase from Nietzsche in a way he would have hated) of objectivity and subjectivity. Beyond these, we find that the harsh realities and the preposterous meaninglessness negate each other. I believe there is a kind of joy revealed by the burning away of darkness and the cooling of the searing light.

So, apparently, I’m not Catholic enough if I don’t want God, who loves us, to hate some of us. Very well, I will be a Catholic-troll. I will also make a final argument. In this system of sin as a kind of negative money (if you have x number of sins or x gravity of sins, you will go to hell), we are stuck with a vision of negative capitalism. It’s like some freaky game of golf — for your soul. As Kazantzakis’ beautiful character Zorba points out, the tools of God are not scales of judgement or knives to slice away cancerous sin — “those damned instruments are meant for butchers and grocers — no, he’s holding a large sponge full of water, like a rain-cloud.” A sponge to wipe away our sin and cast those into hell. Of course I look like a troll, I’m dealing with a world full of people who want to take, not just their money with them, but want to take the money system with them as well.

It makes the phrase, “Alles ist in Ordnung” even more disturbing.

    • DW
    • November 4th, 2009

    Is “Amen” Catholic enough?

    Let’s try it…Amen.

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