I was once a great admirer of Erich Fromm but lately I believe he is too facile and too optimistic about the possibilities of what human life can achieve… I feel there may be an entirely different drama going on than the one we think we see. For many years I felt… the planet was the stage for the future apotheosis of man… I now feel something may be happening that is utterly unrelated to our wishes, that may have nothing to do with our apotheosis or increasing happiness…

that throws us back to the idea of mankind as abandoned on the planet and of God as absent. And the only meaningful kind of dialogue is when man asks an absolute God, “Why are we here?” I suppose… I am changing from the horizontal to the vertical dimension: I think a person must address himself to God rather than to the future of mankind.

It would be funny, wouldn’t it, if Jerusalem really did win out over Athens?

Ernest Becker, author of “The Denial of Death” in his deathbed interview with Sam Keen.