Lebron James, Jesus Christ, Beyonce, and Messianic figures

kid charlemagne

Well-known member
in the year 2024, technology has essentially taken over people's brains. we have algorithms that curate out lives. we live out our lives through other people's feats. our scriptures used to be bibles, quarans, and torahs, but now theyre whatever forum or social we doomscroll through. religion used to be a practice of both the wealthy and poor, both looking to reach the promised land and in an early enough time to where some believed they would live to see the return of jesus christ, or whatever the messiah was to their religion. the return of god is described as the second coming, an event that will unify the righteous in the glory of christ's kingdom, while the unrighteous are unified in death. but these days, strong believers of religion and this "second coming" are seen as radical, and often hypocritical, zealots. they are shunned away and new forms of non religious spirituality cults and movements gain traction. of course there are plenty of parishes and churches and mosques that have services, but they have no real power or influence, or often any hope, like they did back in the prime days of religion. but with this technological revolution and discussion of messiahs, how do we know the second coming has already passed us?

tonight on easter sunday, I went to a basketball game. i saw Lebron James, the greatest basketball player i've ever seen score 40 points and hit some ridiculous shots, all at the age of 39. it is incredible what the man is still able to do at this age, still being one of the best in the league, years removed from what are supposed to be an athlete's best years. i noticed as i watched and walked through the stadium that all walks of life had come to the stadium on the day of the lord's rising to see lebron. all different races, religions, genders, and those of all ages, chattering about, donning their jersey with JAMES on the back. and after every shot the crowd would roar, and as he exited the game in the final minutes of the 4th quarter with victory in sight, a standing ovation was given, thousands on their feet cheering for lebron, in an away stadium.

then a detour into the world of film and music, two art forms whose critical and journalistic have been battered and beaten into an unprofound world of superficial words. as art flails, audience and critics have grown more forgiving and even unable of criticizing the top sellers. with beyonce's new album released, a venture into the western world, a dip into the pond of country music, one that features willy nelson, dolly parton, and a cover of the beatles song blackbird, was a new height for the artist who could seemingly do no wrong in the eyes of stans.

what if now. has jesus, god, or muhammed, or whoever is to believed, left us long ago like some say? have they seen enough from how mankind has continue to decay and tot not only their own kind, but the earth they live on? or has the second coming already come and we just dont know it? are we unified under the ecstacy of these superhuman super famous and "talented" figures in the world that are blasted into our existence with their recent feats? are we unified in death in how people are randomly picked off the earth meeting the end of their life? are the good times in life a taste of the messiah's kingdom? and are the bad times a taste of the constant pain some face in death?

has god abandoned us? is god here with us now? when did he arrive? will he ever arrive?
 

other_life

bioconfused
you are one of the better/more palatable characters on dissensus and don't have bad taste but. come on man
 

luka

Well-known member
 

Ian Scuffling

Well-known member
Most artists I think about this way are dead, by their own hand directly or indirectly. That might say more about me than anything else, but I'm actually looking at your post optimistically because I think there is a timeless beauty in acknowledging and taking pleasure in watching the best of the best do what they do. I would say there's a way to take pleasure in that without treating it as religious ecstasy, and the people who do treat it like that are just as spiritually afflicted as addicts. There's a fine line between enjoying watching humans perform at their best and viewing it pornographically.

To answer your final question, I do live my life as if god is dead but that doesn't prevent us from being christians in the moral sense and seeking out the transcendent, be that through art or simple acts of love and kindness. The cosmology of the west is irrevocably anti-christian and anti-human and only grows more so, but that shouldn't stop us from cultivating and nurturing what humanity we have left in our personal lives and how we interact with others. Hopefully that answers your question. I'm not really sure where I stand on sports in this sense.
 

version

Well-known member
I would say there's a way to take pleasure in that without treating it as religious ecstasy,

To answer your final question, I do live my life as if god is dead but that doesn't prevent us from being christians in the moral sense and seeking out the transcendent, be that through art or simple acts of love and kindness.

What do you see as the distinction between religious ecstasy and the transcendent?
 

Ian Scuffling

Well-known member
Oh that's a good point that was an oversight on my part. Ecstasy is probably the wrong word but what I meant was the difference between the clearly psychosomatic orgasmic speaking in tongues/spasming you see at revival tents in Appalachia and the Deep South vs. the higher states reached by mystics like St. John of the Cross and Buddhist monks. I keep coming back to the pornography framework because I think the more dionysian, hedonistic approach to "witnessing greatness" functions more like an addiction ie there can never be enough vs. the more erotic, spiritual approach of simply taking it as it is and appreciating its beauty because of its fleeting nature. Life is beautiful because it ends and watching Lebron score 40 at 39 is amazing because it will end soon. I treat live music this way, enjoying it and soaking it in as much as possible in the moment and consciously appreciating it when it ends. The problem in my mind is that religion, as a framework that forces us to act a certain way either to prove our electedness or achieve some kind of dopamine-flooded oblivion, has reached its nadir when this state is so easily accessible via the internet, transportation, accessiblity of drugs, etc. The culture of instant gratification has replaced the western church because it acts on the same impulse that built the western church, the one that validates the narcissism of "God is an image of me" (our mutual parasocial friend MSJ talked about this once but I can't remember when).

All of this is to say what I meant by religious ecstasy is actually solipsistic. I'm operating on not much sleep and very much caffeine so I didn't choose my words carefully, my bad.
 

version

Well-known member
There seem to be degrees to this, or at least two stages: the first being the absolute height of a given category, where your response remains within a given framework, e.g. realising you're watching an athlete perfecting the game, being awed by the craftsmanship of a cathedral. The second being the point at which any framework's obliterated, thought can only come before and after, and there's nothing but raw experience, e.g. a high enough dose of psychedelics that the ego temporarily dissolves.

When something hits that second stage, it bursts through onto a rarefied plane where all these things are flattened into a universal blast of energy. There's no distinction between the footballer's skill, the painter's brush or the mountain's peak. You can quibble over definitions, but to me the first stage is ecstasy, the second transcendence.
 

mixed_biscuits

_________________________
These phenoms bring people together because they are showing that humanity itself is more capable than hiterto thought, and so everyone is invested.
 

version

Well-known member
These phenoms bring people together because they are showing that humanity itself is more capable than hiterto thought, and so everyone is invested.

Can humanity be transcendent or are we abandoning the transcendent in favour of humanity due to realising these capabilities?
 

sus

Well-known member
tonight on easter sunday, I went to a basketball game. i saw Lebron James, the greatest basketball player i've ever seen score 40 points and hit some ridiculous shots, all at the age of 39. it is incredible what the man is still able to do at this age, still being one of the best in the league, years removed from what are supposed to be an athlete's best years. i noticed as i watched and walked through the stadium that all walks of life had come to the stadium on the day of the lord's rising to see lebron. all different races, religions, genders, and those of all ages, chattering about, donning their jersey with JAMES on the back. and after every shot the crowd would roar, and as he exited the game in the final minutes of the 4th quarter with victory in sight, a standing ovation was given, thousands on their feet cheering for lebron, in an away stadium.
Giving me Darryl by Jackie Ess vibes
 

sus

Well-known member
“You live vicariously through celebrities, I live vicariously through the guys who fuck my wife. But sure, ok, I’m the weird one. Let me ask you this: do you watch sports at all? I could ask, “what’s the point if you aren’t the one playing?” but it isn’t exactly a fair question.
I think a lot about LeBron James. I can imagine his NBA rings on the bedside table, next to Mindy’s wedding ring and these little antique porcelain ashtrays that Mindy’s mom gave us for our wedding. I’ll bet he’s got a great grip, and big hands that move decisively. A touch with no tickle, no trepidation, no contingency plan, just going to exactly the right place and going straight there. That’s basketball. I’m sure he’s all-around athletic, but for some reason I specifically imagine his hands, moving Mindy around. 6’8”, God.”
 

kid charlemagne

Well-known member
Most artists I think about this way are dead, by their own hand directly or indirectly. That might say more about me than anything else, but I'm actually looking at your post optimistically because I think there is a timeless beauty in acknowledging and taking pleasure in watching the best of the best do what they do. I would say there's a way to take pleasure in that without treating it as religious ecstasy, and the people who do treat it like that are just as spiritually afflicted as addicts. There's a fine line between enjoying watching humans perform at their best and viewing it pornographically.

To answer your final question, I do live my life as if god is dead but that doesn't prevent us from being christians in the moral sense and seeking out the transcendent, be that through art or simple acts of love and kindness. The cosmology of the west is irrevocably anti-christian and anti-human and only grows more so, but that shouldn't stop us from cultivating and nurturing what humanity we have left in our personal lives and how we interact with others. Hopefully that answers your question. I'm not really sure where I stand on sports in this sense.
interesting point. part of what i was trying to articulate or ask was regarding the conflict of whether god lives in us through the ecstacy through the other beings he created, or if the second coming is still or never even coming. or maybe is it even not worth thinking about this at all
 
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