Friday, August 08, 2008

Ecclesiastes is the "Nevermind" of the Bible

I love Nirvana. The band, not the state of spiritual enlightenment. Wait, is that enlightenment? I mean, it's about nothing. Nirvana is the Seinfeld of spiritual states. I do like Seinfeld, so maybe it's not so bad. Although I have a feeling nirvana has less observation quips and crazy, one-word summary characters.

Wow, I really got off-track right off the start with that. Back to Nirvana, the band, not the spiritual state. Even as I write this, I am listening to "Scentless Apprentice" as it talks about isolation and alienation from those around me. For some reason, I can't help but enjoy their music despite the fact that it is pessimistic and the dwells on the scum that lies on the underbelly of humanity. The elusive and despair-filled lyrics and rather simplistic music might be distasteful to those who appreciate a certain level of technical skill with their music, but I find that their music is so imbued with emotion and a stark look at the pathetic nature of humanity that it is somehow irresistible. Although I cannot say that I am negative or even can really comprehend his world view, I find his perspective and music intriguing. It gets me in the gut. I connect to it in this strange way. That if I did not fight the demons of a selfish humanity and the seemingly overwhelming power of dark humanity that I struggle against, that I would view the world in the same way. Especially in these last couple of weeks of some of the worst tragedies of recent Manitoba history.

I almost look at Kurt Cobain as some sort of bizarro twin. I should qualify that not with some sort of assumption that I really know who he was and what he thought, but rather my perception of him that I gathered from his music and from what I heard of him. I guess I should say that I look at the legend or image that I have of Kurt Cobain is my bizarro twin. I am trying to respect his memory here. Some how I see a part of myself, the deep down visceral part of me that identifies myself with him.

For some reason, I am drawn to that pessimistic side of myself and while simultaneously trying to react against it. I have a hope in a God that imbues hope and purpose into my life. I specifically try to react against that side of myself that looks at the world as a disconnected, isolated place with little to offer the human soul. Rather I try to give the world what I think God has called us to and that is to share the grace and hope. Without God, the world is a world where Nirvana makes perfect sense.

I think that's also why I love Ecclesiastes so much. It may very well be my favorite book in the Bible. It is almost the "Nevermind" of the Bible. By the way, Psalm 88 would have to be the "In Utero" of the Bible. Ecclesiastes shows the pointlessness of a trying to pleasure oneself, the pointlessness of gathering wealth, the pointlessness of knowledge. And life is pointless without God, because otherwise everything we do is just us occupying ourselves until a day where we waste away into dust.

I find Ecclesiastes strangely reassuring. That as a Christian, I can recognize the despair of a life without God not as some sort of alien mindset, but rather the thing that I am trying to overcome in myself.

In the end, I connect to Nirvana and their music because it is a connect to a bizarro version of myself, the self I would be without God and it makes me thankful for the hope I have.

1 comment:

Katie Swan said...

Thanks for the reminder of that hope.
I think I'll read Ecclesiastes again.