January 20, 2011

Sorry, but my Soul is Still Alive.

I suddenly had a picture of the entire astonishing edifice collapsing and modern man plunging headlong back into the primordial ooze. He's floundering, sloshing about, gulping for air, frantically treading ooze, when he feels something huge and smooth swim beneath him and boost him up, like some almighty dolphin. He can't see it, but he's much impressed. He names it God.

This is the last paragraph in the chapter "Sorry, but your Soul Just Died," from Tom Wolfe's 2000 book Hooking Up. In this chapter he talks about Nietzsche, Darwin, and the predicted "death of God" in the late 19th Century. He goes on to discuss brain imaging and new technology and how these developments will lead us to view the human body and brain as a machine, soulless. Wolfe has a very keen eye when looking at the schemes in American history and the way they lead up to contemporary issues. While taking into account all the different theories that have occurred and the modern voices on them (Dawkins, Dennet), he ends his chapter with a discussion he had with a geologist. She discusses her first impression of geology and science as layers of solid findings that build up into a solid, strong tower.  She goes on to say that she now sees that often the first layers are only bubbles- full of air, and that is what many of the towers are resting on. This is when Wolfe contemplates the collapse of the tower.

Of course some may see the need for the towers, and believe the foundations for the theories are a type of reality.  For me though, I'd like to believe I am more than just a machine, that we are all more than just a network of machines, and that the reason I create is because I was created by something, someone, larger than myself. I name it God.

I leave you with The Wander above the Sea Fog by Caspar David Friedrich.  It was journalist Johanna Schopenhauer who wrote of his paintings, "They speak to the spirit rather than to the eye." 


  1. that's really weird. YMFY posted the exact same painting 28 minutes before you:


  2. That is exceedingly strange. Isn't there a theory about that? That the world is all globally connected at once, or a theory of convergence? Anyway- weird.