Love’s Verdict and the End of the World

The world has already ended! Time has already come to a halt! Don’t let the media fool you: this age is already over! The things of today have already evaporated into a sparkling eternity where everything temporal is like dust and love alone is kept safe, surviving. Likewise you and I have no chance of survival apart from love: everything we put into the things of the world is already moth-corrupted. Already!

Our life is not measured according to the time of the world, but we move and have our being in love and on love’s watch alone. The ultimate standard of judgment has nothing to do with how the world judges, but how love itself judges us. So what are you doing believing in way the world judges, and avoiding the verdict of love? What are you doing paying attention to smoke when your soul is crying out to be united with the fire itself? What are you doing being fascinated by things you will forget by tomorrow, when the only thing that is not forgotten is the extent of your love? What are you doing drowning in a multiplicity of distractions, when this one thing is needful? Why so guarded, when the heart yearns be opened up? Why so afraid to love?

Because you have been told that it is better to play it safe and follow the rules. Because you have agreed with the masses that however much things suck in the world “that’s just the way it is.” Because you have been trained to put on a mask of happiness and have forgotten how to share all the pain that lies underneath that mask. Because it is suicide to not “save face.” Because you’re told that success has to do with material things or worldly power or social status or physical appearance– that is, with the things that you can accrue for yourself, as if you could take any of these things to the grave. Because they medicate the depressed, ostracize the perceptive, and shun the sensitive, to such an extent that it seems dangerous to even appear as if you are skeptical of their ways. Because you’ve been trained to look at the world’s nonsense as normal, such that anything issuing from elsewhere is strange and uncomfortable– when it is in fact the television itself that is the instrument of terror. Because you’ve been so desensitized that the things that ought to make you weep don’t even make it on to your radar. Because it is easier to shut off; because it is easier to not think; because you know that if you stood back, thought about it, and stopped consenting to the game, the whole edifice would instantly collapse under the weight of its own inanity; and that once that happened, the world would cease to have a use for you and would throw you to the street. That is how little it actually cares for you! But it is easier to consent to stupidity than to feel the scorn of the stupid against you when you refuse them; and you are afraid that if you really thought about how empty the pleasures of this world are, you would be left wondering why you even exist. O wretched age! When will you see that the answer lies outside your fabrications and your delights? When will you see that yours is a culture of ennui and death? When will you accept that you are a worldwide farce and magic-show, not worthy of laughter and applause, but of sorrow and tears? When will you realize that your markee has already gone blank, your news feed already disappeared?

But no matter. There is no excuse for agreeing with anything the world says: it lies to you. There is no excuse for following its ways any longer: they are all unreal, leading to endless boredom, illness, and death. There is not even an excuse for believing the world still exists. Sit quietly for a moment, and ponder how in a very short while all the things that seem important to our generation will pass away, how ages come and go dreaming of their glory but in fact are quickly dismissed. No, there is no excuse for even discussing the passing attractions of this age, for what seems flashy today has already been decaying for ten-thousand years.

Because what actually matters is the suffering of those around you: the ones who the world has rejected as lowlifes and untouchables. What actually matters are those who are too hungry to keep track of the time and the newspapers. What actually matters is the person who is weeping, for whom everything is long over. What actually matters is not what can entertain us or keep us happy. What matters is what we can give to others in need, knowing that very soon we go away to death! Yes, on that day, all distinction in the world proves utterly naught. All that remains for us on that last day is the truth of how we’ve loved.

Prepare for the judgment then, my friends! Prepare for the last day! There is no excuse for you to keep living for yourself! Give it up already! The world has ended!

by Timothy Lavenz
August 3, 2012

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