More than a century ago Nietzsche’s madman carried his lantern to the marketplace to tell the buzzing flies that a far greater light was lost, that the source of all our meaning, our grounds, the foundations upon which we not only stand but base every origin, destination and evaluation upon – namely god – had blinked out. And none of the buzzing cretins understood. They still do not, even the ones, the thankfully greater number of ones, who have crept to the corpse of god and carved their names upon it.
For Nietzsche it wasn’t time. There had not been time enough for people to understand this greatest of events, or even begin to see the true consequences. And how prescient was he to say that even a century hence we would still be blind to it? For me, of course, this whole picture is rife with far too much hope and pleasantry. We will never truly grasp this, as we never truly grasp anything. As if the kneelers before god could have the faintest idea what their evaluative provenance had meant. Where is necessity of understanding born of a godslaying?
But that we will never grasp this has little to do with our feeble comprehension of the nature and composition of the universe. What kneelers never seem to realise is the utterly prosaic nature of their mysteries, that puerile conceptions of god reek of such foul ichor that only in relegation to utter abstraction can any sense of mystery be preserved. Understanding the nature of things more clearly once past this cognitive surrender is not hard. What holds us back from grasping what passes for truth is more a matter of courage and taste. For we have no such courage in us. As our children cower in the mundane darkness of night, so we cower beneath the darkness of truth. When every light has gone out, when the reasons for light are revealed to be empty and the telic pursuit of casting light is revealed to be pointless, we regress, we flee, into any distraction.
We lack the taste for meaninglessness. It does not suit our palate (inevitably we choose the blood of loved ones on our tongues first), and we do not have the style. We stand hunched and bedraggled before the nature of things, weighed down by the total absence of substance. When nothing we carry has substance it is impossible to bear. And when any direction is as suitable as another, we go nowhere at all.
I understand this better than you. And this means not at all.