“I am become death, the destroyer of worlds”
J. Robert Oppenheimer, Trinity 1945
Tell me who are You in such a fierce form? My salutations to You, O best of gods, be merciful! I wish to understand You, the primal Being, because I do not know Your mission.
Bhagavad Gita, chapter 11, verses 31-33
I’m watching the parade of cunning culprits now
wringing out the tired hobgoblins of “evil men and evil deeds”.
Here comes the “amen” choir of ministers, priests,
politicians, and popes with their archaic philters,
amulets, mantras. and talismans to ward off the dreaded “evil eye”; the deep dark unknowable monster of our own backyard brewery.
I understand there is comfort and community here and I would
not disparage a one for taking temporary shelter. But what if the horror is neither mysterious nor evil?
What if the same ancient terror drives the assassin as the acolyte? HIM, the original figurehead of every crass religion known to man from cannibalism to the crucifix — the unconquerable, incomprehensible, machination and ministration of almighty King Death?
So we take a troubled twenty-year-old with a diseased heart, crippled mind, and a broken family wrestling every day with the retching convulsive inevitability of his own self-immolation, and the only companion to avail itself, as it has since the beginning of time is… to become DEATH himself.
To hold him in one’s trembling hand, invite him into the tribe, the nursery, to sacrifice the virgin, to slaughter the swaddling babe, to burn the pascal lamb, to ritualize, lionize, and humanize, or, perhaps, hang him in effigy around our necks, above our beds, and on the walls of our most holy sanctuaries — to transmogrify the cruel master of our pathetic fate into the dream god of eternity that cannot and will never speak our name.
What if the real reason we blame “evil” is because we cannot answer “why” without unveiling the face of He who has forged our most timeless terrors and still shapes our most sacred and deadly delusions?