City of the Lowered Gaze

Lying within the works and days of the Utopian Heart is nestled the black stone of presumption -- a conceit that all that is false or wicked on earth can be redeemed by secular human hands and that every tear can be wiped clean by virtue of its persistent moral will. It contemplates a heady dream -- a crusade informed by both fanaticism and moral abstraction. To erect its worldly salvation, it must amass unto itself every node of civil society and political life and crush under its righteous heel every faction, creed, or institution whose goal is counter to its secular faith: religious prerogatives, the sanctity of nascent life, the possession of handguns, the education of the young, even the personal thoughts and judgments concerning virtue and inequality must be subjugated to the homogeneity of this Earthly City of Peace.

And insomuch as this secular dream trumps every ethical or metaphysical objection that can be formed against it, the temporal vision will not be constrained by moral instrumentalities -- all truth, lies, knowledge, innuendo, art, flesh, and power are hereby summoned to war down the strongholds of tradition and aristocracy -- leveling every asymmetry and natural impedance. Justice, the prime virtue of the city, must be transformed into something other than each man reaping what he deserves. The cardinal spirit of exclusion and every classical virtue must be shattered into pieces; the notion of merit and excellence ground down into the flinty soil of expedience and technical control.

The City of Man must relearn what it means to be of the earth: worshipping the carnal, celebrating a hedonistic physicality, treating as blasphemous the theistic poison which turns our heads and hearts to the skies. Our animating passion must be for ourselves alone -- appetite and sensation: the inward attuned eye and the servile imagination must alone characterize the boundaries of our longing. To build this City on such strongly anchored footings requires a lowering of the gaze, an exultation of the Philistine, a palate suited towards the voluptuous.

In such a world, the higher things that claim eternal bellicosity against the Carnal City of Redemption: selfless love, the chilled sword of Freedom, and the adamantine resolve to repent of this Dark City and to tread earnestly into the unfathomed solitude of ineffable light, are as fire and ice. A vast frontier, even now, has aligned itself between them. Such boundaries are receding at a velocity that will soon bring both tribes sword to shield as befits the Spirit of our Age -- and even now the report of these foremost skirmishing vanguards chokes the horizon in manifest dread.

Glenn Fairman writes from Highland, Ca. He can be contacted at arete5000@dslextreme.com.

Lying within the works and days of the Utopian Heart is nestled the black stone of presumption -- a conceit that all that is false or wicked on earth can be redeemed by secular human hands and that every tear can be wiped clean by virtue of its persistent moral will. It contemplates a heady dream -- a crusade informed by both fanaticism and moral abstraction. To erect its worldly salvation, it must amass unto itself every node of civil society and political life and crush under its righteous heel every faction, creed, or institution whose goal is counter to its secular faith: religious prerogatives, the sanctity of nascent life, the possession of handguns, the education of the young, even the personal thoughts and judgments concerning virtue and inequality must be subjugated to the homogeneity of this Earthly City of Peace.

And insomuch as this secular dream trumps every ethical or metaphysical objection that can be formed against it, the temporal vision will not be constrained by moral instrumentalities -- all truth, lies, knowledge, innuendo, art, flesh, and power are hereby summoned to war down the strongholds of tradition and aristocracy -- leveling every asymmetry and natural impedance. Justice, the prime virtue of the city, must be transformed into something other than each man reaping what he deserves. The cardinal spirit of exclusion and every classical virtue must be shattered into pieces; the notion of merit and excellence ground down into the flinty soil of expedience and technical control.

The City of Man must relearn what it means to be of the earth: worshipping the carnal, celebrating a hedonistic physicality, treating as blasphemous the theistic poison which turns our heads and hearts to the skies. Our animating passion must be for ourselves alone -- appetite and sensation: the inward attuned eye and the servile imagination must alone characterize the boundaries of our longing. To build this City on such strongly anchored footings requires a lowering of the gaze, an exultation of the Philistine, a palate suited towards the voluptuous.

In such a world, the higher things that claim eternal bellicosity against the Carnal City of Redemption: selfless love, the chilled sword of Freedom, and the adamantine resolve to repent of this Dark City and to tread earnestly into the unfathomed solitude of ineffable light, are as fire and ice. A vast frontier, even now, has aligned itself between them. Such boundaries are receding at a velocity that will soon bring both tribes sword to shield as befits the Spirit of our Age -- and even now the report of these foremost skirmishing vanguards chokes the horizon in manifest dread.

Glenn Fairman writes from Highland, Ca. He can be contacted at arete5000@dslextreme.com.

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