I recently read a quote by desert father Abba Anthony: “A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, ‘You are mad, you are not like us.’ ” These words mad me think of Eugene Ionesco’s play “The Rhinoceros.” It’s quite a horrifying story which has performed many times and made into a movie staring Gene Wilder (1974). And even though it’s supposed to be a comic farce, I can’t get away from the horror of it all: everybody, even some quite lovely people, transform into raging beasts.
This idea of a world gone mad is not a new conversation. In my general search for this post, I was amazed at how often this great thinkers throughout history have expressed this concern.
Perhaps the world is not mad but is the same as it’s always been. Perhaps.
But does that mean that we should stop resisting a hardened heart? Embrace a locked-in perspective so that individuals suffer as we pursue a principle over a person?
I believe that living a life where you do good to others in the name of love is the only life worth living. Others might dismiss this philosophy as naive and impractical in reality. But then again we’ve chosen to collectively embrace the reality we have now as true. What if we embraced a different one? What if our reality was one of good? What kind of beasts would we be?
The above picture is by Albrecht Dürer. Here’s a link to Ionesco’s play if you would like to read it.