Saturday 22 April 2017

We modern Westerners are the Have Nots of the world and history...

One implication is that, instead of feeling paralysed with guilt at our privilege; we need to be energised to identify, survive and fight the unprecedented levels of spiritual poverty which it has been our fortune to be born-into.


Nicholas Fulford said...

I don't know Bruce; I feel particularly fortunate to be alive at this time and in a developed country where I have no fear - short of a human created cataclysm, or a personal emergent existential event - that I am in imminent danger of extreme suffering and death.

I tend to think like Aldous Huxley, that approximately two-thirds of human suffering is discretionary; that the way we approach life is responsible for how much discretionary suffering we take on. Oddly you and I may be in agreement on that point although how we approach it is no doubt different.

Like you, I appreciate natural beauty and the ecstatic states that arise from my experience of them. However, the science behind what I see and am experiencing does not diminish the sense of awe and wonder for me. It is another facet and frame through which my state of awe and wonder is fed. The universe is always filled with boundary states beyond which we cannot say what lurks, I just try to keep pushing back the curtain of unknowing further and further within the limit of my intelligence and experience. Never has it been a source of disappointment to me, because I don't just draw the line at an axiom and assume that it is sufficient, but to the best of my ability plow on through the limits and exceptions to gain a greater and more encompassing lookout from which to see further and deeper. In that I do not always succeed, but I will keep pushing my Sisyphean boulder up the mountain hoping to get a little higher before it rolls me back down the mountain again.

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed. It was the experience of mystery — even if mixed with fear — that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, our perceptions of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which only in their most primitive forms are accessible to our minds: it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute true religiosity. In this sense, and only this sense, I am a deeply religious man. - attributed fairly reliably to Albert Einstein.

I could not agree more than I do with this quote.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Nick - You may be missing the point here; at least, I don't think you recognise the reality of the spiritual domain and the divine plan. That is the domain of our failure.