Spirituality At The End of An Age

Keith Hackwood at Marginalia Review of Books:

It reveals Jung’s certainty about the going down of the West: a culture and a civilization which even in 1961 had profoundly run out of any gyring or generative energy and was already quite still, poised at the point of stasis before the inevitable unwinding begins. From this, a vision unfolds of western culture as seen from the perspective of the dead: of the joining from past to future that an unbroken chain of linkages ensures, followed by the horrifying awareness of how we have lost our linkage to the primordial past—leaving us an age adrift, nowhere, bereft. The only possible response to such seeing is to lament; to turn to face our ancestors; to bury optimism as a kind of dereliction of our duty; and to learn to dance for the dead. I cannot stress starkly enough the sheer physicality of reading this book, the pain it draws forth, and not only from enduring for eight hundred pages what is unbearable to consider. There is a deeper mystery afoot and it would appear that, in the presence of words truly uttered and written, one virtually has to die to keep up one’s end of the arrangement.

more here.