The Corner

The Joy of Man’s Desiring

The heart of man is religious, groaning in expectation of the revelation of his true nature even as he struggles with the World — “World” understood as the realm of sin and delusion (this is the “world” of which people speak, when they refer to the devil as “the prince of this world”).

The destiny of man is to realize intimacy with the divine – with the ultimate truth of the source of his very being. The universality of this longing is demonstrated by the fact that very different cultures express it with similar metaphors. I just came across the way the 13th-century Chinese Buddhist master Wumen Huikai expressed this realization:

A thunderclap under the clear blue sky

All beings on earth open their eyes;

Everything under heaven bows together;

Mount Sumeru leaps up and dances.

To those of us who grew up in the Western religious tradition, the echo is unmistakable:

The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;

    the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.

 He makes Lebanon leap like a calf,

    Sirion like a young wild ox.

That’s from Psalm 29 (NIV trans.), King David’s celebration of the divine majesty. “Sirion” is another name for Mount Hermon; David is saying that Mts. Lebanon (in Lebanon) and Hermon (on the Lebanon-Syria border) will leap in the same fashion as Mt. Sumeru (the Buddhist world-mountain). The heart of man, wherever he is, has the same deepest longing; it should be no surprise that his religious poets sometimes reach for the same words to express it.

Most Popular

Film & TV

The Mob Gets Kevin Hart

This week, shortly after being tapped to host the Oscars, Hollywood star Kevin Hart found himself on the wrong side of the woke social-justice warriors. His great sin: Years ago, he tweeted jokes referencing homosexuality. More egregiously, in 2010, he did a comedy bit in which he discussed not wanting his son, ... Read More
PC Culture

America Is Intolerably Intolerant

When you think of the sheer vindictiveness of what happened to Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, it takes your breath away. On the very night of his greatest career triumph, a reporter dug up his old tweets (composed when he was a young teenager), reported on the most offensive insults, and immediately and ... Read More
White House

Mueller’s Got Nothing

The revelations of the last few days are, though disguised, the crash in ignominy of the Robert Mueller putsch. But they are far from the end of the story. While the sire of the Mueller hit-squad assault, former FBI director James Comey, declared 245 times at last Friday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing that ... Read More
Film & TV

Aquaman Stinks Like Last Month’s Fish

A  major plot point in Aquaman is the tidal wave of garbage with which the undersea folk attack us surface dwellers. These two groups are spoiling for a fight, but I always thought Warner Bros. and I got along pretty well. What did I do to deserve the tidal wave of garbage that is Aquaman itself? I refuse to ... Read More