It is not so easy to say

It is not so easy to say what is greed and recklessness and what is the agonistic drive of humanity. Spirit helps to differentiate the two.

That is, frankly, all you need to know about Spirit. And not even that much — it is enough to strip down the proposition to its simplest parts and end it there — Spirit helps.

Spirit helps — that is what it means to be a Holy Spirit, an unfathomably ancient ghost. Spirit helps, that is its nature, and that is all you need to say about it. That and one other thing — that it is a one.

The Holy Spirit helps differentiate the two — because it is always one.

You might say: “Without the agonistic drive of humanity there would be neither virtue nor vice. Well then so be it, if for the sake of humanity’s future we abolish these archaic categories such as virtue and vice. We should acknowledge instead that life is not a game, with winners ruled by fiat by some strange higher being, but rather that our real physical existence here on earth is in serious need of resource management. We need to get seriously scientific about the problems of life, not spend our time trying to revive ancient concepts such as life after death and virtue and vice.”

To which I might reply: the agonistic drive is not only a feature of human overcoming. What is good about capitalism is that it preserves the agonistic drive of humanity. But don’t confuse the two. The agonistic drive of humanity is much more than trying to make more money than your fellow citizens, or caring about your own country more than other countries you don’t live in. No, the agonistic drive is an essential questing toward salvation, it runs that deep. Money is ultimately meaningless because it leaves out the absolute good.

Let us imagine a future humanity which does not cherish its agonistic drive, which is beyond virtue and vice. Having lost the sense of good-natured competition, it would likely revert into tribal ideologies and lazy cruelty.

What I would ask is not Might such a future be better? But whether or not we can make it that long to see how it goes — why bother?

Spirit helps — but you’ve got to communicate to it what you’re striving toward first.

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