not a pretty picture. not a good. not a bad. picture. but an argument.

Friday, February 22, 2013

humility and reverance


Wendell Berry, A Native Hill,

“We have lived by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. And this has been based on the even flimsier assumption that we could know with any certainty what was good even for us. We have fulfilled the danger of this by making our personal pride and greed the standard of our behavior toward the world - to the incalculable disadvantage of the world and every living thing in it. And now, perhaps very close to too late, our great error has become clear. It is not only our own creativity - our own capacity for life - that is stifled by our arrogant assumption; the creation itself is stifled.

We have been wrong. We must change our lives, so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption that what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and to learn what is good for it. We must learn to cooperate in its processes, and to yield to its limits. But even more important, we must learn to acknowledge that the creation is full of mystery; we will never entirely understand it. We must abandon arrogance and stand in awe. We must recover the sense of the majesty of creation, and the ability to be worshipful in its presence. For I do not doubt that it is only on the condition of humility and reverence before the world that our species will be able to remain in it.”

7 comments:

  1. Words that arrive very deep, how right you are.
    A big hug

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    1. damaso, sometimes (ok, all of the time) i want for a revolution in living, a shift in paradigm and so i yearn for a voice to call us. AND there have already been so many voices, wendell berry being one of them, so many other poets. and yet their words lay quietly in books. how is this possible?

      these words, these truths keep arriving and yet we do nothing with them. are we mad?

      xo
      erin

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  2. ahhh, the painful steps of evolution. we... the collective whole... can't seem to get past thinking that what is good for us is good for our fellow man... if we can't stop forcing our desires on living, breathing creatures, what's going to make us stop forcing our desires on a ball of dirt. Humans... if they were half of what their egos thought they were... Sigh. Lovely image... cold, but beautiful.

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    1. really, steven, evolution? we're such dumbasses! our avarice and self satisfying ignorance/arrogance is so ridiculous it is difficult to face.

      cold is a part of the beautiful. see? we need to accept the periods of negation so that we might know the wealth of the alternative. we need to give up comfort.

      heh, i like how you put it about humans.

      xo
      erin

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  3. Replies
    1. you too, laura)))) i'm glad you stay for a while.

      xo
      erin

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  4. Yes. The planet will survive us, but not so sure the other way around.

    I love his strong spirit, lent in support of all that is sacred here.

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"Words at the limit of hearing, attributable to no one, received in the conch of the ear like dew by a leaf." (philippe jaccottet) or even a quiet presence is appreciated))