I remember this old set of encyclopedias that we had when I was a kid. My favorite part were these two-page maps with clear plastic over-lays. On one over-lay would be the cities of that country in the1800s and the next over-lay would be fifty years later and etc.
I see that we do the same thing when we approach life. I believe that we have the raw motives of what we do, and those motives are not that attractive within the Christian ( or even secular) paradigm so we create these more glamorous over-lays narratives that pretend to give us a more noble purpose.
This is the way in which I see Holden and Solomon as being on the same page. They each peel back the over-lays and look at life in a raw light. The major difference, of course, is that Holden reaches a point of despair. He has no hope unless it is some mythical grasping of the golden ring or the catcher, whoever he may be, will grab him as he races through the rye field towards the edge of the cliff. Solomon on the other hand, sitting in the bar or coffee shop, would sake his head continuously with Holden in agreement. “You’re right Mr. Caulfied. Life sucks. It is all pretend. Bad things happen to good people and vice-versa. Fame, money, looks . . . everything is worthless. But Holden, the hope is, God is there and that does make a difference. How it makes a difference, even I’m not sure and I’m the smartest man who has ever lived . . . that’s why I have a Starbucks Gold Card.”
I have a friend, Dave, who is Jewish and in the publishing business (journals) in NYC. He always says to me (and we’ve worked together on several projects) that all human behavior can be boiled down to money.
I don’t fully agree with him. In my opinion, all human behavior can be boiled down to 1) biological desires and 2) psychological desires . . . the main psychological desire being to have personal value.
So, let’s take an oblivious example, Tiger Woods. The biological desire influencing the mistakes he made are clear. However, when you talk about sexual addition, it goes beyond biological desires into the desire to feel value.
BTW: I think Tiger did an excellent speech today. I have no idea if he is sincere but he said the exact things he should have. I would say that I have a much better feeling about his sincerity than that of Ted Haggard.
But before I leave this topic, and I know I’ve talked about this topic ad nauseam, but I want to take this further of how Holden and Solomon would look at our lives today.