a Hebrew born of Hebrews in an alien land,
fiercely zealous for the Law and traditions of elders,
a man considered “blameless” by yourself, no doubt,
until you were fiercely arrested by the fraudulent Christ.
According to Nietzsche, dear friend, you are the fraud,
the lying deceiver who gave birth to Christianity,
that most pathetic, womanish religion known to man--
you, filled with spite and overcome by a psychotic hallucination
self-convinced of your self-created self-deception.
And then I hear a more convincing song by Schütz,
“Saul, Saul, was vervolgst du mich”--
communicating the shattering of your consciousness,
not by a self-generated hallucination or wish,
but by God-in-Christ ripping you open wide.
Never again were you Paul alone, just you--
“For now I live, not I, but Christ lives in me”--
no mere religious belief, no formulaic faith,
but the living experience of a man raised up
from death-in-self to life enlivened by the risen Christ.
Your words, you know, are dynamite,
and ever will be in domesticated Christianity,
in these churches “that are tombs and sepulchers of God”--
for you are the voice of the experience of God in Christ,
as surely as Plato voices the God of the Beautiful and Good.
“For now we see through a glass, darkly,
but then face to face.
Though outwardly we waste away,
inwardly we are being renewed from glory to glory
until God is all in all.”