In our huntings and our gatherings, there is a shackled and ugly immortality beneath this veneer of civilization. Human desire always wants more and more, and to continue operating in its age-old destitute rules. However, a figure like Christ comes not to quench or satisfy these ugly immortalities but to extinguish them at once in a blinding vision of Heaven. There feels to me something decidedly Eastern in this take. Powys says at one point the destination for man is man – therefore the greatest spiritual task is not in moving forward but in learning to stay still.
The book is delightfully unconventional in its religious vision, proudly poetic, philosophical and ready with an array of paradoxical takes on previously dust-tired theologies.
Controversially, towards the end of the book he returns to his earlier theme of the moods of God passing by necessity through both the skies of the world and of the human soul. Maybe, he says, even immortality dreams of an ending, a finality. Perhaps, God chose to end with the blazing life of Christ. A singular moment, now and forevermore.