I had a striking insight in the Lake District recently, that this is a world in which almost-all the people are (to varying degrees) evil: by which I mean quite precisely that they have taken the side of Satan against God and Creation.
Yet, the world around me - especially the natural world of animals, plants and landscape - it not evil. The natural world is part of God's creation, and (unlike Man) nature is Not in rebellion against itself - therefore it is good.
I think this is one reason why They (the representatives of purposive evil in this world) are so keen to keep us away from nature; to put the non-natural between us and nature (barriers ranging from glass and concrete - to sheer noise and other distractions); why They were so very keen to lock us inside; why They are so keen that all interactions should be masked, distant or via electronic (symbolic, artificial) intermediaries.
I am more aware of the goodness of nature now than ever before; when the contrast with Men is so stark and extreme.
What is needed now is a return to the natural world of spirit, within which nature unconsciously dwells; and which we as children once inhabited - that realm variously and partially conceptualised as the Acient Egyptian Duat, the underworld, the dream-world, the collective unconscious...
The task is to make the unconscious conscious; to make what was spontaneous and unchosen the consequence of conscious choice.
As the old hymn puts it, “Ev’ry prospect pleases / And only man is vile.”
Yes, although that quote intended a different meaning, I think. I'd always assumed it came from The Deserted Village by Goldsmith, "where wealth accumulates and men decay" - but apparently not.
It's good to hear that you visited the Lake District. I've been there only once in my life, when I was sixteen, but the beauty of the place remains clear in my memory to this day.
"The natural world is part of God's creation, and (unlike Man) nature is Not in rebellion against itself - therefore it is good." I have a deep respect and appreciation for the manner in which S.K. Orr explores this through his blog.
Pertaining to Them and the natural world, I have no doubt that They wish to drive a bigger wedge between Men and Nature, and that this desire to further alienate us from the natural world has significant spiritual implications.
At the same time, I find it ironic that They also enthusiastically present themselves as champions and defenders of the natural world - to the point that They have essentially declared that only They can protect the goodness of nature from the evil rapaciousness of common Men. Of course, within this framework the defense of the natural world would require the total enslavement of Men . . .
I remember you saying the same about Oxford: place good, people bad. Only there it was the old buildings that made the place good. Couldn't agree more!
I can't speak to the metaphysics of opposing God and creation. But on the biological level it seems to me that people get a charge out of the fear it induces. Rather like eating chillis. What was at first experienced as unpleasant or painful is later enjoyed and regularly sought out.
To help with the perception of nature, I recommend the art (especially the early work and the late etchings) of Samuel Palmer, and to read about his life in David Cecil's book Visionary (Palmer is the visionary) and Dreamer (the dreamer is a Pre-Raphaelite artist) and Geoffrey Grigson's Samuel Palmer: The Visionary Years.
Fitting you should have this insight in the Lake District. Of the places I've spent time - I'm fairly well-travelled - the Lake District is what I think of as an ideal landscape. It does not have the biggest or grandest mountains, nor does it have the wildest, most dramatic seascape. What it has is fells, vales, seashore, and - of course - lakes in near-perfect proportion. It is an English landscape, which when undefiled by too much construction is already a wonderfully harmonious thing, raised a level by the fells and lakes. I'm biased by being mostly English and some Scottish in ancestry; England's is probably the landscape I was evolved to live in. Whatever the reasons, I need to get back there someday soon.
The fools in Whitehall and the BBC and all the other minions of our time's evil have ruined too much already, but the Lake District remains, as do other relatively unruined corners of the country. Although I wonder if the Home Counties aren't so built-over now as to be lost (thanks largely to the population-pressures of uncontrolled immigration). Fortunately the Lake District is just about as far as one can go from London and still be in England.
As long as They cannot cut people off altogether from seeing what is in God's creation, there may be hope for Us yet.
Googling the Lake District to get an idea of what it looks like, I found -- inevitably! -- an article titled "Lake District 'must change' to attract more diverse visitors."
Yes, the people are evil.
@Wm. Well, we are dealing with demons. Naturally, everything true, virtuous or beautiful will be destroyed or ruined in the end, given time.
Beautiful to read and contemplate. I feel the same. No matter how "good" the person, I do notice that the more artificial their surroundings the sicker they appear to be. And the few people I know who seem virtuous all strive to put themselves closer to Creation.
Jane Austen is the one who painted the Lake District for me. Knowing how unjust photography is, I refuse to learn more about it and keep it as a treasured space in my memory. I hope you had a wonderful time.
Except in nature there is decay, death, and predation, though, I agree, it is beautiful. I long for decay, death, and predation to cease in a new Jerusalem -
"The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
and a little child shall lead them."
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