Strongly the alleluias of Handel and Cohen, the “ And power »By Mozart, the joyful hymns of yesteryear and the feasts of seven desserts. Times are apocalyptic. Between two news on the pandemic, there is one on a death that could have been avoided, another on extreme events, a third on the inadequacies of the health system, a fourth on inflation. As we have renounced the heavenly paradise, we expect everything from an earthly paradise that turns before our eyes into hell. Entertainment is not lacking, but, judging by the offer of Netflix, they are themselves apocalyptic, from where a multiple anxiety becoming incurable for lack of psychologists in sufficient number.
And lucidity, mother of the tragic, is the order of the day, so much so that we are all called, from the weakest to the strongest, to become heroes of the absurd, like the travelers of Baudelaire:
“They never stray from their fate,
And, without knowing why, always say: Come on! “
In this cold light, some manage to become more and more loving and fraternal. They may be the saints of our time. But the others, but you and me? Are we not brought back to this sacred story, a story for a good part, but a story drawn up by humans whom we have no reason to judge inferior to us: as any father would have done who had thrown his children? in an adventure too hard for them, God sent us messages (the great myths, the sacred books, the philosophies, the great art) and messengers (Lao Tseu, the Buddha, Plato, Tagore). One of these messengers, Jesus, introduced himself as His son and accepted, out of love for us, the double torment, social and physical, of the cross, before returning for eternity to his father.
The birth of this messenger has been for 2000 years, every year, the joy of Christians, a joy which, alas, at certain times, degenerated into a song of war and victory, which discredited the Church which transmitted it and thus deprived of consolation the common of mortals formerly Christians.
Consolation! The word itself seems to have been banned along with the thing. Never, in these media where suffering is omnipresent, there is no question of its meaning, of what could soften it and perhaps promote healing, by the inner drive. Apart from medical and administrative techniques, point of recourse, solicitude has become the greatest of luxuries, any consideration of an aspiration to immortality seems futile. Would this aspiration have disappeared? What then remains of man as he has manifested himself in so many cultures?
Comfort (cum sole), ” with the sun “. I would like this etymology to be the correct one, which is not excluded. The English word “ solace »Means consolation, but it obviously derives from Latin comfort, comfort. From the same source, sol, we kept the word “solarium”. Consolation is a spiritual solarium. Between the clarity of firm belief and the obscurity of skepticism there is the chiaroscuro of consolation; it is made up of evocations, allusions, invocations, not demonstrations. “O Earth, do not be heavy on her, which was so light on you! This line of Martial, on a young dead slave, is a good example: nature, allow his soul to escape gravity to fly towards its source!
If I think, like Goya, that “ The dream of the reason produces monsters “(The sleep of reason produces monsters) and that it can result from it imaginary immortalities which can be used as pretexts for infamous acts, I also think that humans, always children whatever their age and their time, need lullabies which will not put their sanity to sleep if they are sung to them in the appropriate way. Socrates, at the time of drinking hemlock, therefore lost his reason when he claimed to be equal to the swan in matters of divination. By reminding them that the last song of this bird was his most beautiful, he reassured unhappy friends to have to be deprived of his presence forever. Wouldn’t he have tried to demonstrate the immortality of the soul in the same spirit? Perhaps he was dreaming aloud, promising himself, like Victor Hugo later, “to live in such a way that the truth finally adjusts to his dream”.
And when a half-pagan, half-Christian poet, wandering in a cemetery, stops by a stele to write the verses below, to whom does he harm, what great truth does he offend?
“You live again as you were
At the flower of your movements
Within a minute
Where you were perfectly. “
He finds consolation in the memory and he knows some sweetness, like Pindar before:
“… Ephemeral! What is the man? What is not the man? / The man is the dream / Of a shadow… But sometimes, like / A ray descended from above, the brief glow / With joy embellishes his life, and he knows / Some sweetness… ”