Washing dishes, as is my wont, I tuned in to have a listen to the radio while the suds were doing their cleansing work. Radio 4 was doing their 'thought for the day' religious programming bit. No particular objection to that myself. Except that as I was doing this, the man on the radio was telling me what Jesus said and did.
I guess this is more a sign of my age than anything else - but I heard this guy more as a contemporary of mine than as someone older whom I had to receive wisdom from. It was maybe the first time I'd felt in a really personal way that everything, all human knowledge, everything we collectively know and believe, only exists in the minds and experiences of those alive now. Pretensions to an establishment that goes back longer than a couple of generations of genuinely shared knowledge are really just predicated on the communicative power of media.
Yet these stories persist, and are made new, made meaningful by our continued participation in them. It's maybe easier to talk about if I choose a different example. The last World War 1 combat veteran died recently. The last link to someone who was actually there. From here on in our link is secondary, documentary, archaeological. I'm sure Steiner has something complicated to say about all of this. But just then it felt like something to me: we are all there is. We're not really part of some millenial monolith, just the latest ring on the tree. Although all that stuff holds us up, it's really dead matter.
We're alive. We're all there is. What we say makes things live.