Wild Wonderfulness of the Unexamined Life

I’ve never wanted anybody to win like I’ve wanted Trump to win. That is a bit deranged, not in that I think it would feel bad to have Trump as president, I think it would feel interesting and I can back him with so much more enthusiasm than any other candidate before because he’s such an outrageous, counter-intuitive good choice, but it is deranged to become invested in the outcome of something like the presidential election of this overlarge country. Still, I will be glad for him if he wins, so I will happily give him what he’d like: my vote.

* * *

            Clement of Alexandria has some curious things to say. He represents an interesting moment in an interesting city where all kinds of things went on; it was the NYC of its time. Clement didn’t repudiate the Gnostics the way Irenaeus did, outright. Though in his day philosophy and theology were not distinguished, and these needed to be if only so that theology could be discerned, he knew that the Gnostics needed to be corrected on philosophy as much as on Christian teaching. Of course, Irenaeus set Christianity on the road to proper theology, which is, after all, the antidote to the gnostic malaise, but it was Clement who consciously wanted to get the philosophy straight. It is as if instead of rejecting Gnosticism, he wanted to correct it; he realized that Christianity needed philosophy for theology. He called himself the true Gnostic, not even spurning the idea of secret insight. He wanted depths, you see. He wanted more. It wasn’t something occult, however, but it was recondite and difficult of attainment.

* * *

            And then you get Origen, and then the bulk of the fathers who were the founders of that golden thousand years of Christian Platonism. Perhaps the world will once again one day know another. What if I could write a book with the melodious title, Christian Platonism in the Age of Donald Trump? I can still somewhat hope for the last part of that, and myself supply the first.

* * *

            One of my teachers resembles rather more than one would expect Lord Voldemort. It is the most distracting thing. I mean that his head and features are like Voldemort and that he speaks in a hushed, unanticipated way, and also that he won’t let me end sentences with a preposition—which is nearing sinister. Somewhat like living in a book, isn’t it? The only thing better would be living in New York, where Trump is from.

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