If I have been caught so often laughing at funerals, that was because I knew the dead were already slipping away, preparing a comeback, and can I help it?
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?
O man, whoever you are and wherever you come from, for I know you will come, I am Cyrus who won the Persians their empire. Do not therefore begrudge me this bit of earth that covers my bones.
Epitaph on Cyrus the Great’s Tomb.