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The new gods
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a reaction that's generally referred to as gnosticism or Manicheanism. And I can dig it.
I doubt that I have ever read a better 16-page essay than "The New Gods." Its marvellous prose shines through everywhere. When I read that Saint Gregory's oration against Julian the apostate "makes you feel like then and there converting to paganism," my jaw dropped. I got a copy of that oration right away!
Cioran explains that early Christian apologetics are simply a set of libels camouflaged as treatises. But there was one thing that made Christianity different: hatred. Without that hatred, this new religion would merely have traded in "the old gods for a nailed corpse."
Cioran is not the first to criticize Christianity. But he then goes on to defend Paganism. He explains that under Paganism, fervor is shared among Goddesses and Gods. Only under monotheism does this fervor degrade into faith and aggression. People, being capricious, would shift from one God to another if given the chance. And Pagan Goddesses and Gods do not demand to be worshipped, just respected: in general, one does not kneel before them but merely hails them.
As Cioran states, the human soul is naturally Pagan. And thus he has a conclusion: we humans will return to Paganism. The only thing Christianity had going for it was hatred, and that is no longer going to be there to sustain it. We'll ask the Goddesses and Gods to return to us. And maybe we'll even stop the bizarre Christian practice of burying the dead in broad daylight.
If you like the above mental masturbation and nihilistic pyrotechnics, then you will love E. M. Cioran. Cioran has been called 'the last worthy disciple of Nietzsche'; but Nietzsche wrote for the 19 Century; E. M. Cioran writes for the 20th. He is a worthy successor to Friedrich Nietzsche.
Highly, highly recommended!