The tragic level of existence

There are three different levels on which life can be lived. First, there is the level of surfaces and superficiality, above pain and problem, on which it is perhaps true that we have, at times, as a technological nation, tried to live. Secondly, there is a level much deeper than this (where pain is indeed confronted, and chaos, too), which to my mind is the level to be equated with what is today so often grimly called “the human situation.” Is it going too far to say that here is in this region of things a certain dark attraction for the modern intelligence and sensibility, an attraction toward and almost a love of the chaotic, the absurd, the resentful struggle of it all? Thirdly, there is a still deeper level of human existence, a place where the human spirit “dies” in frequent real helplessness; and this we may call the really tragic level of existence.

Fr. William F. Lynch, Christ and Apollo, pp. 109-10

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