Sunday 17 November 2019

The Quartile

Below is one of Franz Kafka's tales .
they are exactly midway between a Jesus parable and the detail of a short story or novel. In linear terms they are midway between a Jesus type  brevity of the line drawings in the The Good New Bible 1960s and the caricatures in Punch magazine which were often mini paintings.
Jesus always said the Kingdom is like....
He didnt say in a parable the Kingdom is.
Don't take the story below and think
Haha!!! The Emperor IS Jesus who died, because this Emperor never resurrected, which would have had to be the case if the "Message" was the gospel message.
We have just been in the Hapsburg Palaces. That is Kafka's context of Emperor and enormous palatial rooms with huge staircases where elite throngs of nobles and their partners can fill halls. Of cities where the castle is in the centre of cities surrounded by the ordure and trappings of normal life outside the palace. It is the period of revolutionary throngs cramming out cities with their gatherings and protests during the last European decades.
So NOTHING is exactly anything in Kafka. And nothing in Jesus parables is exactly anything either.

One hundred years after Kafka, what was Kafka actually doing? Don't know. But this is somewhere in the mix:

There are four personalities that write the gospel.
If Matthew is all out Kingdom, legal rights,geneologies, about the announcement of Kingdom and WILL in the sense of administrative will
If Mark is all about action, and written by a serving pragmatic sort who likes to get things done, a people person and WILL in the sense of BULLOCK like determination to see something through
If Luke is about sweating out the details, and planning, and the mind, and what actually happened in the nerdy sort of attention to detail thing like a train spotter
Then John is about recording everything from an internal topographical viewpoint. We enter the Kingdom by being born again. We have to learn and experience the "ways of the Water of God" this new way of living and flowing in the Spirit, of going where the Spirit leads, like John 7. But also NAILING the bottom line of the gospel in John's not about an outside God answering daily needs, nor a healing crusade.
It's about EATING Christ as opposed to living in Genesis 3 delusion.

IF largely the three other writers are writing in the external realms of "Some say it thundered". John is writing in the realm that says God spoke from heaven and said " Behold my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.".

Now if the whole population are 3/4 outer people , and they were designed that way so we could live in an outer world, then it seems to indicate, like Kafka, like poets, like caricaturists, like artists and musicians, like futurologists who advise kings and institutions like Patrick Dixon then there is a quarter of us who deal with the "Arriving on Platform 3/4" but not yet here department. Or in terms of bad things.....this is actually appearing from within right now inside mankind but it hasnt fully manifested and taken over yet.....
Bonhoeffer and Hitler
Or the prophet type rabbit in Watership Down.

The Hunger Artist by Franz Kafka is another such tale about "the artist in society" as bigwhigs at universities like to say.

It's the struggle to communicate what is actually on its way as a spontaneous move to an Empire run in heirarchy.
In this tale the Emperor is giving the message from the top, but it clearly isnt the sort of message that he would normally pass down a heirarchy, or why invite such a man from nowhere to be the envoy?

But this is the essential problem that all societies have lived with since Genesis 3 when the first heirarchy order virus seized the planet. All information comes through heirarchy, so who exactly are these nobody upstarts, this quarter of society without proper linear accreditation to give very critical information that will change our manner of life?
And that continual misunderstanding of why God even created this quartile continually impedes their journey.

Supposing that very impedance in the will of God is part of the process that all of us make......the messenger in the sheer struggle, similar to a wife in labour then giving birth,....and the VISUAL of a struggling Hunger Kuenstler or Hunger Artist to the rest of the public, that is actually part of the process of a whole community learning to turn inward, away from heirarchy living to inward based living which is Galatians 2.20 and the actual arrival of the Kingdom of God like a cloud the size of a man's hand.

Perhaps the arrival of the Kingdom of God is a man's hand doing the simplest of things like giving, and not letting the other hand even know, but out of consciousness and not of a sick orphan Genesis 3 appeasement.
Just a thought.

This is Mark Harman's 2011 translation
from his blogpost on New York Review of Books

A Message from the Emperor

The emperor—it is said—sent to you, the one apart, the wretched subject, the tiny shadow that fled far, far from the imperial sun, precisely to you he sent a message from his deathbed. He bade the messenger kneel by his bed, and whispered the message in his ear. So greatly did he cherish it that he had him repeat it into his ear. With a nod of his head he confirmed the accuracy of the messenger’s words. And before the entire spectatorship of his death—all obstructing walls have been torn down and the great figures of the empire stand in a ring upon the broad, soaring exterior stairways—before all these he dispatched the messenger. The messenger set out at once; a strong, an indefatigable man; thrusting forward now this arm, now the other, he cleared a path though the crowd; every time he meets resistance he points to his breast, which bears the sign of the sun; and he moves forward easily, like no other. But the crowds are so vast; their dwellings know no bounds. If open country stretched before him, how he would fly, and indeed you might soon hear the magnificent knocking of his fists on your door. But instead, how uselessly he toils; he is still forcing his way through the chambers of the innermost palace; never will he overcome them; and were he to succeed at this, nothing would be gained: he would have to fight his way down the steps; and were he to succeed at this, nothing would be gained: he would have to cross the courtyard and, after the courtyard, the second enclosing outer palace, and again stairways and courtyards, and again a palace, and so on through thousands of years; and if he were to burst out at last through the outermost gate—but it can never, never happen—before him still lies the royal capital, the middle of the world, piled high in its sediment. Nobody reaches through here, least of all with a message from one who is dead. You, however, sit at your window and dream of the message when evening comes.

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