Hope

There are not hopeless situations. There are only men and women who have grown hopeless about them.

Douglas Steere Together in Solitude

 

Admittedly, a radical rejection of ultimate hope presents many difficulties to men and women brought up in a culture rooted in biblical Nevertheless, the rejection of ultimate hope, difficult as it may be, is part of the psychic surgery we must inflict upon ourselves if we are to enjoy the potentialities of this life to the fullest. Illusion is comforting only on a very superficial level. On a deeper level, we really know in a total, certain and non-reasoning way that death entails the final disappearance of the self, the return to Nothingness . . . The price of redemptive hope is unnecessary inner conflict. Such hope retards achieving what is possible in life. God is not death. He is the source of both life and death. Death is the final price we pay for life and love, but death is not all there is. Life has its supreme moments of joy and fulfillment . . .

 

On the contrary we must forsake the quest for redemption and accept life with its limitations and ironies. It is better that the Messiah tarry. His kingdom is not of this world. Let us endure its wounds and celebrate its joys in undeceived lucidity.

 

Richard Rubenstein    Eros and Morality