After the shootings in Tucson, I had some comments on how we react to such horrors, and I regret having to refer to those comments yet again.
To turn [the victims of murder] into more grist for the political mill is an effort to diminish them […] and it’s a turning away from the numinous aspect I mentioned before. There are things that are, I think, beyond the realm of politics. They include madness and evil, which are not peculiar either to left or right, and which I think occupy a sphere of their own, which I guess is sort of my point all along.
In my comment, I used the word diminished for a reason. I understand why we do this — there are evils at which we can’t look directly, that we can’t explain. We try to reduce these evils to a scale that we can understand, to a realm of words we can use. We try to name the demons so that we can assert some power over them. We try to pretend that we can understand what is ineffable, and solve it somehow, get it right.
But I don’t believe we can. And while the pretense may make us feel better, in the end it’s vain. It’s a substitute for the things we can’t say. There are horrors beyond our comprehension.
One day, let there be peace beyond our comprehension as well.