“But was the spirit of the soil his friend? The plant that is cut down one year, yet grows again the next did this miracle make him religious and silent? The stones, and the heather, and the branches of trees, and the grass, and the woods, and the wind, and the great heaven of all the universe were these his friends?”Hamsun, Look Back on Happiness

“But what then does it mean to be aware of the world as a miracle at some times and not at others?” Wittgenstein, Lecture on Ethics

50. Man lives in denial of so many miracles. That the plant that sustains him grows again after he has harvested from it. That the world exists. Instead he turns these miracles into facts, items for textbooks and academic journals; facts to be assembled into theories. The facts of science deny the world its miracle and thereby remove man’s responsibility to it. The plant becomes a resource and not a mysterious gift. The plant becomes a source of income, a way to place himself higher in the economic typology of men.

51. That man should feel religiously about the world is the most important fact of all. It is the fact that destroys all other facts. It is the fact for which there is no science. But for science to exist it is the first fact that must ignored.

59. The gods required man to remark upon the miraculous, to be in awe of it. Without man there is no one to admire the miracle, to give thanks, and to make great art to celebrate it. Without man the gods are lonely. That men are bound to the world is a miracle, and it is only through the gods that they are so bound.

65. Science removes man from the world. Science destroys its miracle. And science is never silent: it is always boasting of what it has explained and will explain. Through science man divests himself of responsibility for the world, for man’s responsibility for the world is itself miraculous.

1 comment:

  1. Another of the mind-twisting puzzles. I see the end of this line of reasoning and wisdom, indeed it is all clearly visible as the eyes of the six month old gaze inquisitively upon the bedridden 91 year old.


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