Here is reproduced, word for word, the speech with which Mr. Jack Keith Reuel McDonald defended himself against the ignoble accusations made against him. Mr. McDonald, as usual, was able to prove his point of view, which I, Gonçalo Costa, his faithful friend and disciple, fully endorse.
Men are lost at sea, Your Honor! The men we see in this room are lost on the high seas. You are lost, Your Honor, and I too are lost, if we believe ourselves safe. There are those who think they are safe, but which of us knows the way? We are sailors, we are poor sailors… and we have lost our compass. We have no headlights in sight. The sun is covered, the stars too. We are men lost on the high seas.
If we were lost men in a room with lions, we would know we were doomed. But our situation is much worse. For us, there is still hope – and hope gives life to our soul – and our soul lives and suffers. Could we easily perish. Can we ward off such dangers. But no.
We are lost men, but we are not doomed yet. We are lost, we are lost… Our generation is lost. Who will save us? We are lost because we think we are saved. We are lost because we do not call the doctor. A man without arms will go to the hospital; but where will a soulless man go? Who will you turn to?
The world stole our souls, Your Honor! But it went further. The theft was so deep, so malevolent, so pernicious, so treacherously harmful, that the world not only stole it from us, but also convinced us that we have no souls, that souls do not exist. This is madness, Your Honor, this is madness! Who is this man who lives but denies life? Who is it, who swears together that there is no truth? That’s why we’re lost – we let the blind lead the herd.
But I’ll tell you more, Your Honor. Not only are we lost, but we are lost on the high seas. We are in constant ups and downs. The darkness is so great that it is impossible to distinguish the sea which torments us and the sky which calls us. In all directions we see uncertain promises of firm ground. And, what is more, we die of thirst surrounded by waters that we cannot drink.
And all of that…all of that is the lies of modernism. These were all the promises of pure reason. All this, dear ones, all this, Your Honor, all because we thought it was more freedom than truth, tranquility than virtue. Who will come to our rescue in such a lost time as this? Where are the saints and prophets, leaders and heroes that our people need?
I who am only a defilement among men, I was guided by a little vision. It was splendid, full of lucidity, full of meaning. My eyes opened – my eyes opened, and what did I see?
I saw a madman, Your Honor, a madman I saw. I have seen him go up to the great parliaments and cry out to these madmen: “Which of you will deliver us?” Who will be the great sailor? “. I heard whispers, I heard promises, looks and fake speeches – but no one offered. Then I saw this madman rise to the great corporations and associations of men. The same yelled at them, but there was no response – a few whistles, averted looks, a few whispers and a binding adjustment…but no one offered. Behold, the madman continued his walk, without socks or sandals, and finally passed through the corridors of the great universities. “And you, teachers and magistrates, which of you will guide humanity? Doctors and bachelors, which of you will be the right one? The madman patiently waited for an answer, and patiently endured the theories and theorems, the inferences and enthymemes of these fools, but at the end of the day no one offered.
It was dark then, but the madman did not give up. Finally, he descended into the city and knocked door to door. But the doors, Your Honor, the doors were closed. One by one, the lights went out as the madman passed. A few children were looking through the windows and curtains, but soon their parents pulled them inside. Then, under the entrance to a small bookstore, behind boxes and black bags, was a man – tired, hungry, dirty and cold. His graying beard hadn’t been trimmed in a while, as had his hair. Now, what I say to you, my honor, you will not believe it, but behold, I say it, for the truth must be told rather than the believable. Before the madman could raise his voice, behold, this man, the most miserable man on earth, stood up and, with his hand on his chest and his head bowed, said at the top of his voice: “If my life serve, you will have my life.” .
This is what I saw, Your Honor, this is the vision given to me. I don’t know who this man was. I don’t know who it is that we must follow, this sailor who will set us free. I only know this – I only know that when the whole generation is lost, only a madman can change our path. So I know, Your Honor, that a madman has to wait. This madness cannot take us all the way, but for those who are lost, like us, on the high seas, a little light, a start is enough.
They will say that none of this is true. They will say that I dreamed. But then I will say, I will say before this great and very noble court, that I have dreamed of a better world. I dreamed more, you dream of a higher life, of a people and a land of which this people and this land are only the shadow. I dreamed of peace and liberation. I dreamed, and I dream, and this is my accusation, of which I am accused today, of a sun which shines on the earth, of a rain which refreshes its fields, of a moon which beautifies his skies. I dreamed, of course, and I dream, of a world of pure hearts. – So if you condemn me to love you and to dream of life, in this sad valley of tears, well… I’m guilty. And if you condemn me to prison, you don’t change anything. And if you condemn me to death, you don’t change anything. In this modern world, we are lost and I cannot live there.
We are lost, Your Honour, we are lost on the high seas. But behold, in this wretched and mad world, will appear a true sage, a man whom everyone will call mad. And he will take me, wherever you stop me – me and whoever wants to follow him – to this other man, this man with a full beard, dirty clothes and a bruised body, a tired face and sore hands, feet bruised from walking, worn out wide legs, heavy shoulders… but lively and welcoming eyes. And he will guide us, and his voice we will hear.
Until then, we are lost on the high seas.
Article by Gonçalo Costa