9 August 2001 'what religions are good for'

According to Laurence Lampert's reading of Leo Strauss' reading of Friedrich Nietzsche*

what religions are good for, are indispensable for, is the structuring poetry of everyday life, that web of beliefs and values lived spontaneously by any and every human community as its testament of the useful, the good and the holy.

The structuring poetry of everyday life - yes perhaps. Its religious nature - yes also, if I think of every act and thing as sacred or holy and if by religious I mean attentive to everything...

...but this quotation is nevertheless a shock, a useful one to me, changing my conceptions of Nietzsche and of religion - both of whom/which I had come to dislike. But if both are devoted to a poetic view of everyday life - then I like them!

And before getting any deeper into this book I must note how it came to me:

Baffled by an array of books on 'critical theory' (that are to be found more in art gallery bookshops than in others) I used my random number table to choose which shelf and which book - and I was indeed surprised and pleased to get this one - of which I knew nothing and might never have found on my own.

I'm reading it slowly and with much interest and pleasure - partly because it might provide some of the connecting ideas that I am presently seeking as I attempt in this writing something mythical, ethical, fictional... and as open to the goodevil of life as I can make it. Short stories perhaps, but connected and philosophical... and also useful?

*Laurence Lampert, Leo Strauss and Nietzsche, University of Chicago Press, Chicago & London 1996, page 181.