The Philosopher’s Scream
Rebelling, as we must, against late modernity’s fantasia of “the profundity of angst” — as though lacking self-control and fearing everything were some kind of higher virtue for the post-moral age — I offer the above, slightly elongated image of yours truly as my answer to the supposedly archetypal painting of our time, Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.” I call my version “The Philosopher’s Scream.”
Yes, the world is at odds with itself, modern civilization is awash in the flotsam of turpitudinous “progress,” and the lone, concrete individual has been abandoned to the abstract neo-moralism of socialization and socialism.
But what has that to do with the soul’s private quest for meaning and being? Let the post-Romantics wallow in their “scream of nature” and their dark abyss of the unconscious. For those of us still close enough to our nature to seek the light — or at least to find consolation in the darkness against the searching eyes and overexposure of modern ideas and the modern State — the proper attitude toward the tumult of our time is essentially the proper attitude of the thinking person in all times: Stay on the path of self-discovery, and remember that nothing to which our little mortal selves are subject in our tiny corner of Time and Space is ultimately of any significance next to the immortal things of which we are given so brief a glimpse.
Cleave to the eternal, and let our late modern pseudo-profound chaos swirl itself into anxious oblivion to its heart’s content.