Arnon Grunberg


Intimate contact

In today’s Herald Tribune David Brooks writes: ‘On the day the Nazi regime fell, Hal Boyle of The Associated Press reported from the front lines, “The victory over Germany finds the average American soldier curiously unexcited. There is little exuberance, little enthusiasm and almost none of the whoop-it-up spirit with which hundreds of thousands of men looked forward to this event a year ago.” (…)
A different ethos came to the fore, which the sociologists call “expressive individualism.” Instead of being humble before God and history, moral salvation could be found through intimate contact with oneself and by exposing the beauty, the power and the divinity within.’

I’m afraid there is not much difference between intimate contact with oneself and intimate contact with God.
Both types of contact are the basis of self-righteousness.
The last couple of days too many of my students and readers told me: “It feels good, so it must be good.”

Or: “I don’t do this, so this type of behavior cannot be normal.”