Friday, April 14, 2006
An intelligent man once said to me that early Christians were spectacular because they were willing to die for their faith. I reminded him that they received recognition and renown for their acts and also counted on an enormous reward from their savior. The archaic warrior, by contrast, was willing to die for honor, reputation, and glory without the promise of everlasting life. Odysseus actually refuses the immortality offered to him by the goddess Calypso, preferring to return to his homeland and his wife and thereby to recover his lost identity. He remains mortal, but he is the true custodian of his own nature. For that reason he is more spectacular in my eyes and more worthy of admiration.