Today somebody said to me, “before we had the vaccines, people were terrified to go out, they were completely without protection, they didn’t want to leave their homes”. Fearfully I agreed, “yes,” I said, “it was terrible”, I said. I changed topics.
Later I was thinking, “Where did religion go?” Don’t people believe in God anymore? In good faith? That gone? Does nobody believe in strength, heroism, in facing up to destiny? Does nobody raise his fist in rage fiercely up to the heavenly skies anymore? And does nobody weep bitter tears for feeling forsaken, don’t they cry out loud in despair anymore?
Hast du nicht alles selbst vollendet,
Heilig glühend Herz?
Und glühtest jung und gut,
Dem Schlafenden da droben?
Who helped me
Against the Titans’ insolence?
Who rescued me from certain death,
Didst thou not do all this thyself,
My sacred glowing heart?
Excerpts from the poem “Prometheus” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
In the information age, are we or are we not, did Goethe’s Prometheus finally complete his angry struggle? And without his God, what has he found? Grateful thanks, to whom will he raise his voice? Whom will he listen to? Whom will he bow down to and in which hands will he trust himself, before he lies down to rest? Who will give him assurance that his hunger and thirst will be satisfied, his body lovingly cared for, and his distress not ignored?
I honour thee, and why?
Hast thou e’er lightened the sorrows
Of the heavy laden?
Hast thou e’er dried up the tears
Of the anguish-stricken?
Was I not fashioned to be a man
By omnipotent Time,
And by eternal Fate,
Masters of me and thee?