A Paul Kale painting called Angelus Novus shows an angel looking as though
he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His
eyes are staring and his mouth is open. This is how one pictures the angel
of history. His gaze is turned upon the past. Where we perceive a chain of
events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon
wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay,
awaken the dead and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is
blowing in Paradise; it has got caught up in his wings with such a
violence that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly
propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of
debris before him grows skyward. The storm is what you call progress.
I am riding on a limited express, one of the crack
trains of the nation.
Hurtling across the prairie into blue haze and dark air
go fifteen all-steel coaches holding a thousand
(All the coaches shall be scrap and rust and all the
men and women laughing in the diners and
sleepers shall pass to ashes.)
I ask a man in the smoker where he is going and he answers: 'Omaha."
>From a book by Scott Peck Jr.
I was very relieved to learn here a few weeks ago that the future
stability of a shared (sic;-) world economic order is to be saved by the
latest or was it last;-) generation of wealthy Americans who are going to
buy the collective way out from some, as yet unformed, catastrophe of
global economic depression.
" How innumerable are the things made by all manner of art and craft, in
our clothes, shoes, vessels and such like, in pictures too and sundry
images - going far beyond necessary and moderate needs and devotional
signification - which men have added to the enthralment of eyes. Going
outward, they follow what they make, forsaking inwardly Him by whom they
were themselves made, - yes, and destroying that which they were made. But
I, Oh my God and my joy, do for this reason also sing a hymn unto you, and
offer my sacrifice of praise unto Him who sanctifies me. For those
beautiful patterns, which pass through the medium of mens minds to their
shaping hands, emanate from that beauty which is above our souls, after
which my soul sighs day and night. But as for the makers and followers of
those outward beauties, they derive from the criteria of judgement but not
a right principle of their use. And though they see it not, yet that right
principle is there that they might not go astray, but keep their strength
for you and not dissipate it upon sweet lassitudes." St. Augustine.
One man sees the world, another sees and questions, the world does not
alter according the man. Verily;-) the created order speaks to us all, but
they only understand it who compare that voice received from without with
the truth that is within themselves. Augustine noticed this 1600 years
before Smuts, Bohm and others;-) -- Those that see, this/\thus ;-)
understand that " - nature is a physical mass, and that a physical mass is
less in part than in whole. You, my soul, are my better part and to you I
speak; for you can animate the mass of your body, giving it life, which no
body can give to a body. But your God is for you the life of your life." A
little 'wonder' that Plato said, "thinking is the soul talking with
Another little wonder.
In a few weeks a group of people will gather around an idea, a 'modern
idea'. Mmmm. Anyhow the idea as sold and referred to likes the idea of
'modalities'; so you can know the name that the idea is;-) and in
Augustine of Hippo I read this too..." But what is it I love...? Not
corporeal beauty, nor the splendours of time, nor the radiance of the
light which is so delighting to our eyes; nor is it the sweet melody of
song of all kinds; it is not the fragrant smell of flowers and ointments
and spices; it is not manna and honey; it is not the embrace of limbs....I
love not these things when I love my God; and yet I love a certain kind of
light, and sound, fragrance, food and embrace of my inner self - where
that light which place cannot contain shines upon my soul, where that
voice sounds which time cannot snatch away, where there is a fragrance
scattered by no breeze, where there is food no eating can diminish, and
where I lie in an embrace which satiety never comes to sunder. This is
what I love, when I love my God."
The best learning comes from inside out. Educing this all around.
Now, really;-) which is more difficult to understand?
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