"For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning."
T. S. Eliot, "Little Gidding."
That dovetails with a book landing in my hands entirely by fate this week. Harvard Law's Brazilian political philosopher Roberto Mangabeira Ungar's The Religion of the Future posits a mentality when we can summon up a force against belittlement of our talents, creations, and aspirations fulfilled, but one that somehow--here's the rub--that accepts the reality of our oncoming death, our existential groundlessness, and our insatiable desires to go beyond the limits of time, space, resignation, and life.
A heady work, and I am progressing very slowly, re-reading passages and pondering them. In a true memento mori or vademecum on my Kindle (I bought that e-book from Verso on sale). It reminds me of the scope of a book Ungar rejects for its Axial Age thesis, Robert Bellah's Religion in Human Evolution (2011) which I labored through a few years ago, and a third, which I studied exactly two years ago, Charles Taylor's A Secular Age. Like the time-slowing-to-a-crawl labyrinthine slush of J.C. Powys novel Porius, and the tale of the most irascible SOB ever by Halldór Laxness, Independent People, the discipline of a long immersion, if over a long attenuated timespan, of challenging texts rewards me. I admit I leap between such and lighter fare, but the stimulation of these tomes I like.
Image: "Janus-like" statue, Boa Island, Co. Fermanagh. For the New Year and new hopes for healing.