Nobel Laureate Joseph Brodsky once wrote, “Beauty at low temperatures is beauty.” His point was simple enough. If one can find beauty in the harsh barrenness of low temperatures, then something must be truly beautiful, for only beauty can counterbalance the immense discomfort of frigidness and thus be called truly beautiful.
What does it say when the most popular course at one of the world's most prestigious universities is a psychology course on the good life? Can happiness be learned? Or should modern notions of happiness be *un*learned?
I do not remember much from my brief stint in an admittedly liberal seminary, but one thing I do remember was a professor who mentioned only in passing how ancient men were truly terrified of the darkness. Every night was a testing point of the strength of his soul. This comment was made only in a thrown away manner, but it stuck with me all this time.
Several years ago while visiting friends who lived at the time in Hot Springs, Arkansas, nurses both, we found ourselves taking a stroll down the quaint Bath House Row. In the course of our meanderings we found ourselves involved in a conversation regarding the matter of assisted suicide, personified by the then recent case of … Continue reading The Good Death
Man believed he had dominion over nature, and so proceeded to act as a ruler thereof, but it is a poor ruler indeed who destroys that over which he is supposed to govern.
As man continues his diligent work in re-writing his own nature, he continues further into dark, unknown territory. Already he has made it clear that he despises the natural world itself, as he no longer depends on it for any other reason than to mine the raw natural resources necessary to develop and enable his unnatural desires – steel for cars, precious metals for the microchips in his personal devices, and food that only goes half eaten.
“Man’s relations with nature have been altered radically, have become indirect. The old immediateness has been lost, for now his relations are transmitted by mathematics or by instruments. Abstract and formalized, nature has lost all concreteness; having become inorganic and technical, it has lost the quality of real experience.