Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Gould on God

Eminently sensible reflections by the amazing Canadian pianist Glenn Gould on religion and the afterlife:
I can only say that I was brought up as a Presbyterian; I stopped being a church-goer at the age of about eighteen, but I have had all my life a tremendously strong sense that, indeed, there is a hereafter, and the transformation of the spirit is a phenomenon with which one must reckon, and in the light of which, indeed, one must attempt to live one's life. As a consequence, I find all here-and-now philosophies repellent. On the other hand, I don't have any objective images to build around my notion of a hereafter, and I recognize that it's a great temptation to formulate a comforting theory of eternal life, so as to reconcile one's self to the inevitability of death. But I'd like to think that's not what I'm doing; I'd like to think that I'm not employing it as a deliberate self-reassuring process. For me, it intuitively seems right; I've never had to work at convincing myself about the likelihood of a life hereafter. It is simply something that appears to me infinitely more plausible than its opposite, which would be oblivion.

Cited in Wondrous Strange: The Life and art of Glenn Gould, by Kevin Bazzana, the definitive biography.

1 comment:

Marilyn said...

Glenn Gould's comments on his spiritual beliefs are I sensed they would be.