G.K. Chesterton on the Metaphysics of Julianne Moore | Carl E. Olson | CWR blog
don't tend to care much at all about the deep thoughts and philosophical utterances of movie stars, celebrities, and other bright lights in the silly secular sky, but I somehow ended up reading this recent Hollywood Reporter piece about actress Julianne Moore. It follows the same trajectory of so many other profiles of Hollywood types: bad childhood, rise to fame, growing awareness of a deep inner void: "In her early 30s, Julianne Moore felt lost. Her professional life was soaring, her personal life shrinking."
So, course, the talented actress (and she is certainly talented) turned to religion. Sort of: "Unsure what to do, Moore turned to a therapist, who got straight to the point: She must give her private life its due." And:
"The idea that you're the center of your own narrative and that you can create your life is a great idea," she says, referring to a notion in one of her favorite books, Little Women. "I totally believe it. I've been really lucky, but I feel I've completely created my own life."
Also, a bit later:
Turbulence is not unknown to her; she acknowledges that a peripatetic childhood left its share of instability, and she returns over and over to the theme of impermanence. She says she doesn't believe in God and has a strong sense that meaning is imposed on a chaotic world.
"I learned when my mother died five years ago that there is no 'there' there," she reflects. "Structure, it's all imposed. We impose order and narrative on everything in order to understand it. Otherwise, there's nothing but chaos."
Moore's need for therapy and subsequent claim that she has "created" her own life reminded me a passage by G. K. Chesterton, in an essay titled, "Upon This Rock":
The sacramental system is everywhere based on the idea that certain material acts are mystical acts; are events in the spiritual world. This mystical materialism does divide us from all those forms of idealism that hold all good to be inward and invisible and matter to be unworthy to express it. It is needless to note how this applies to the water of baptism, the oil of unction, and so on.
But I am deliberately taking the sacrament which our world has most misunderstood; and, strangely enough, it is that one which is least material and most spiritual, consisting of spoken words expressing the most secret thoughts. Of all the sacraments it is, in the modern jargon, the most psychological. And the proof of it is that even the people who abolished it a few centuries ago found that they had to invent a new imitation of it a few years ago. They told the people to go to a new priest, often without credentials, and make confession generally without absolution, and they called it psychoanalysis.
Catholicism would say that the lack of the confessional had produced a modern congestion and stagnation of secrets so morbid as to be reaching the verge of madness.
Part of the madness, it seems to me, is in the glaring inconsistency of Moore's metaphysics, if you will.