Saturday, April 18, 2009
The Job of Job part 2
Perhaps, since I have been pushing the Book of Job, as an up to date exploration of the mind of man, though written in the 5th century, (that timelessness would not have surprised Jan Cox of course) a few words should be directed to the prose beginning and ending paragraphs of that part of the Bible called Job. The fresh and creative pointing to achieving a certain insight by pushing human mentation to its limits---exhausting words, not trying to ignore them, constitutes a demonstration of a technique for (can't think of a fresh way to say this at the moment) spiritual growth. Teaching by showing. ("Spiritual growth" sounds so wrong.) Anyway the poetic form of Job has a prose beginning and end which so obviously conflicts with the message of the poetic form itself that the question is forced on us: what is the purpose of these stories about satan chatting up god, and then Job gets to have his sheep back as a grand climactic denouement. What the heck is that about. Either this part was added later, perhaps an attempt to ensure that future generations got to read Job, by sugar coating the important poetic part, for the 5th century BC burghers. Or the original author of Job knew his work would be discarded, as incomprehensible, if he didn't make it apparently conform to the prevalent myths of his audience, so this is his little trick to ensure the preservation of his work. This assumes the original author of Job, like Jan Cox, well knew the importance of his words, and the significance of his enlistment of words to push beyond them. Something like that.