At the end of his life, Ezra Pound observed to a friend: "Nothing really matters, does it?" Today I understand this. At the end, or close to the end, or closer to the end than the beginning, the value of what we once thought mattered is lost to us. Even survival, once so important, money, food, family, country, accomplishment, recognition, fame, even: Pound was right. He once said to Allen Ginsberg: "At seventy I realized that instead of being a lunatic, I was a moron."
Instead of being at the mercy of wild beasts, earthquakes, landslides, and inundations, modern man is battered by the elemental forces of his own psyche. . . . The Age of Enlightenment, which stripped nature and human institutions of gods, overlooked the God of Terror who dwells in the human soul.