This is a continuation of my ongoing exploration of Fear; which is not like a dangerous expedition through an unexplored cavern, but a dangerous expedition through an unexplored closet. And, by the way, if this jagged little object from the bottom of a rather messy closet seems incomplete, it is only because it is a piece of a puzzle. Like myself. And like every human. And it is like us not only because we are all tiny pieces of a gigantic puzzle, but also because we are each a gigantic puzzle unto our tiny selves. A gigantic puzzle within a gigantic puzzle. Puzzling, eh?
So here is another tiny piece to try and fit.
When you have finally been scared to death, not as the phrase is commonly used, but rather as scared in death or frightened of death; and not merely frightened by a vague vision of your future death or by small jump-scares of death in your otherwise pedantic journey; but when you actually melt with terror and surprise at the living putrefaction, at the busy and thriving state of decay and death discovered just beneath the pretense of your pedantic life; when you tremble at the actual deaths you caused and the actual deaths you are—fear that your life is truly dead; that’s when you are truly frightened. That is the true terror of Revelation, the true fear that rattles loose a mystery in the prophet's Good News: “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is near!” That is exactly the terror of the poor goat who, up until that moment, because he was always rather bored and timid and anxious and weak and miserable like a little sheep, actually believed himself a little sheep, now suddenly quakes and bleats before the shepherd--a shepherd who regards what goats believe with all the concern of a tollbooth collector, shaking his head and pointing with his staff to the other goats as his eye moves on to others. That is the terror of the chaff screaming away in the wind, “Wait! No! I am the wheat!”
While the man with his back bent to the threshing floor, winnowing fork in hand, says almost to himself, “I never knew you.” And keeps threshing.