Hear The Word Of The Lord

I have been given to you by God, as a sort of gadfly attached to the state,” Socrates said to the jurors in his defense on that day of his trial. “And I am not going to argue for my sake, as you may think, but for yours, that you may not sin against God by condemning me. I am his gift to you. And if you kill me, you will not easily find a successor.” All his life, he informed them, he had been private audience to a personal supernatural voice whose enjoining instructions it would be sinful for him to ignore. “Men of Athens, I honor and love you, but I shall obey God rather than you.”

It was too late to talk him out of this conviction that would have led to his being burned as a heretic in those enlightened Dark Ages to come, in which Plato was embraced and absorbed and Aristotle was rediscovered and acclaimed “the Philosopher” by such as Aquinas.

And it was too soon to tell him of the lunatic schoolteacher in Amsterdam with the serrated bread knife, who believed he had been commanded by God to go to the painting of The Nightwatch in the Rijksmuseum directly from the restaurant in which he had eaten his lunch.

“I was ordered to do it,” the schoolteacher is quoted as saying. “I had to do it.”

To this day, there are superstitious covens in abandoned small churches in Amsterdam convinced the vandal was the reincarnation of one of the discontented musketeers who paid one hundred guilders to be memorialized with dignity and found himself reduced to a detail in oil paint in a garish illustration that could have served as a poster for a comic operetta.

There are others who say it was Rembrandt.

—Joseph Heller, Picture This


4 Responses to “Hear The Word Of The Lord”

  1. 1 Jake April 17, 2013 at 11:23 am

    You really make it seem so easy with your presentation
    but I find this topic to be actually something which I think I would never understand.
    It seems too complex and very broad for me.
    I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  2. 3 Christopher April 20, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Wow, fantastic blog structure! How lengthy have you ever been running a blog for?
    you made running a blog glance easy. The whole look of your web site is great, as smartly as the content material!

    • 4 bluenred April 20, 2013 at 9:38 am

      It is wunderbar that you find my “blog structure” way bitchin’.

      As for how I have “made running a blog glance easy,” that is one of the problems of the intertubes. It encourages but a glance. Rather than a read.

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When I Worked

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