EPISODE 236: Psychosis

“Psychosis” is a very strong word for a cultural phenomenon. But it allows us to speak of a fissure over against reality, when groups of people see things around them in a way that is divorced from the facts.

You can apply the phenomenon of group fissure from reality, to anything you like. I can see it in the way a very specific historical reality, the Anglican Church as the English expression of legal and official Protestantism, has been so completely buried by a different “narrative” that it is as if the reality never was and never existed.

So completely, in other words, has a narrative concerning a development in church history taken over the historical facts that it has become AS IF THE REALITY NEVER WAS.

You see this sometimes in relationships. You thought somebody was totally wonderful, and sympathetically disposed towards you, and maybe even loved you. And then, in a single moment, you discovered you were wrong! Everything you thought about the person had been a misreading on your part. They actually hated you and wanted to betray you — after they got what they wanted from you.

“Je repete”: This Happens All the Time.

In this podcast, I refer to a current narrative that is powerful around us. And you have to decide yourself whether you believe that narrative or not. But then I talk about Agatha Christie, and the up-ending denouement of her famous story “Witness for the Prosecution”. So powerful is Agatha Christie’s narrative-shattering story that it was made into an excellent movie in 1957 by Billy Wilder, starring Marlene Dietrich, Charles Laughton, and Tyrone Power; and then got re-made by the BBC in time for last Christmas. “Witness for the Prosecution” is about a prominent divorce from reality.

And yet, there’s Palm Sunday. And yet, there’s Christ on the Donkey. And yet, there’s a narrative that explodes all ‘narratives’ — the narrative of the Incarnation. Thus the music for this cast: ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. I’d put that truth before Agatha Christie’s any time. Moreover, SHE’d agree with me!.

EPISODE 237: One Monkey

You listen to the group Honey Cone, described today as early feminists, and they are talking about a universal truth and in memorable pop terms. No hatred of men here, just the emotional recognition that if you don’t love her, she can’t really love you. Love between a man and a woman is a two-way street. (Unlike God’s love for us, which at the center is a one-way street.)

If you don’t understand this and are a man, you are in for trouble “Further on Up the Road” (Clapton and the Band, 1978).

I learned this from more than one source, which I talk about in the cast; but the main source was Honey Cone. Or rather, they told me it before I could hear it. And now I am telling you.

Oh, and I also learned this (crucial) life lesson from “Atom Age Vampire”. “Atom Age Vampire” is one of those brilliant artistic and sadistic Italian horror movies from the early 1960s that if you saw it once, you never forgot it. (If you see it now, you’ll never forget it!) Those movies are stocked with wisdom, communicated mostly in “Grand Guignol” situations of, shall we say, existential urgency. But the wisdom is there. “Atom Age Vampire” teaches us about the nature of real love, trustable love, and faithful love. Versus… well, you’ll see.

In short, we love because we are first loved, and then we love back.