Who would study and describe the living, starts /By driving the spirits out of the parts: /In the palm of his hand he holds all the sections, /Lacks nothing, except the spirit’s connections.
— Mephistopheles warning to the student in Goethe’s Faust
And how far would you like to go in?” he asked and the three kings all looked at each other. “Not too far but just far enough so’s we can say that we’ve been there.
— Liner notes to Bob Dylan’s John Wesley Harding album
— The shadow is what I am but will not admit I am. For the shadow of the psyche involves me in a deepening self-recognition which is more humiliating and emptying than the normal limits of endurance. In the end, acknowledging the shadow means acknowledging a bottomless void within me. The initial question of truth-force is: How deeply will I acknowledge my own emptiness?
— James W. Douglass, Lightning East to West: Jesus, Gandhi, and the Nuclear Age
We are haunted by a specter. Strange as it may sound, I was reminded of this when I saw a photograph of the quarterback of the Super Bowl winning Philadelphia Eagles, Nick Foles, looking and pointing up to the heavens. Or to be more precise, the roof of the aptly named U.S. Bank Stadium, a fitting venue for a national celebration of violence and the warfare state. But if we can assume Foles’ gesture was meant to penetrate the roof and travel up to heaven, then you too may find it a bit odd, if touching. Most people, as the…