“Life ends where the ‘kingdom of God’ begins…”
—Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols
The Kingdom of the heavens is like a cloud of sulfur gas that a man released from on high, that settled onto the faces and into the lungs of men working in the fields. Seeing the crowds, he ascended the mountain, and from his mouth uttered revolution against life. And a death-gas of royal spores took root in their pores, dug their way into their eyes, colonized their hearts, conquered the crevices and wrinkles of their brain tissues.
Rich are the poor!
Happy are the sad!
How great are the rabble!
Rejoice all you needy!
Lucky are you who are weak and powerless!
For your reward is not here—This tomb is empty—
Your reward is in a future world, not here, not now!
Gouge out your eyes if you have to fall out of love with this world,
Because better a maimed body today than miss the Next World tomorrow.
And the men of the field took up their mattocks and pickaxes and dug out their eyes. Took their shovels and built themselves trenches in the shadowlands they created—set up fortress in the here and now to wait for tomorrow’s sunrise. Gave entrenched births to generations of subjects who breathed that same death-gas until the earth became putrid and cracked. Turned their faces from beauty toward Golgotha’s gate—branded their bodies with death symbols—for the God who sacrifices sons. They crucified themselves in that field with their Christ, laid down their lives for his dream. Kingdoms have come and gone, and yet the sulfuric stench of gas remains on utopian revolutionaries hunkered down in faith—Pitied by moth, rust, and thief.