The following short esssay is a response written to the June 3, 2022 Andrew Sullivan Dishcast interview with Robert Wright about the Ukraine War.
What if I told you not only that you are gifted, but that you are a genius. What would you say? Maybe you’d ask back, ‘What does it mean to be a genius? What does it mean to have a gift?’
Six years ago, I hacked my own attention.
Nine years ago, at the end of 2012, I decided to teach myself programming.
Nietzsche calls Christianity Platonism for the masses. I watched a mass in Italy a few weeks ago. Mass, it struck me, is a Gesamtkunstwerk. It’s costume, theater, music, incense, food, therapy, rhetoric, painting, sculpture, and architecture. The Gesamtkunstwerk of mass is the operation of humanity’s diverse creative powers to bring the Christian god to life. That’s what Nietzsche means when he writes that God is dead and we have killed him: God was alive. All our creative arts brought Him to life and made Him powerful in our lives. We modeled ourselves after the saints we saw in our paintings and our cathedrals, sang and chanted about in our music and heard about from our priests’ sermons.