At no point in human history have we devoured more and been less satiated. This may resound as little more than a pithy claim, or perhaps the brassy cry of an overzealous critic who, disenchanted by the present state of human affairs, possesses enough shameless hypocrisy to condemn the same culture in which she exists and partakes. Continue reading “Hypocrisy and the Cultural Critic”
It is a natural inclination of the human soul, upon feeling alienated in its native country for a protracted time, to take it upon itself to find belonging elsewhere. There exists within mankind a deep and unrelenting need to belong, particularly within a coterie of those whom he deems kindred spirits, those whose orientation—be it earthy, spiritual, mental, or physical—closely aligns with his own, and, upon finding such a group, he endeavours to become a permanent fixture among their ranks.
There is a natural inclination amongst humankind to endeavour to understand that which is otherwise seemingly incomprehensible. Since man first gazed upon the winking expanse of heaven and roamed the lengths of the unspoilt earth, he attempted to unravel its fabric, chasing the golden threads of the untiring sun, as though by doing so he could cut through the fog of mystery that shrouded his existence.
It was not long before the layers of the cosmos were peeled back, its substances quartered, its causes dissected. The magic once saturating the air and the sun-kissed soil vanished. It fled from the scythes of cool rationality, away from the probing minds of insatiable men, into the nether darkness of a world not yet realized.Continue reading “On Poets and Muses”
Alexander the Great is dead. His glorious empire has fractured. Jerusalem is ruled by the Ptolemies. Spanning the fourth and third centuries BC (approximately 301 to 200 BC), the Ptolemaic dynasty in Judaea is fraught with conflict.
The Old Testament dwindles to silence so innocuously, so subtly, that it almost closes without notice. The year is circa 430 BC and all has been set aright: the children of Israel have begun to return from Persian exile; the Temple has been rebuilt, albeit ingloriously; the Law has been reestablished; and a portion of Jerusalem’s wall has been reconstructed.
Welcome to the Second Temple period, where the Old Testament ends and the blank page begins.