Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Imperiled Human Ecosystem

John Senior understood the sacramentality of ordinary daily life. He wrote:
The semiconscious, ordinary actions which come under the category of manners are the cultural seed-bed of morals, as morals in their turn are of the spiritual life.

Appearances are not only signs of reality but in a sense are like sacraments; they effect what they signify. I mean that there is a cause-and-effect relation between the work we do, the clothes we wear or do not wear, the houses we live in, the walls or lack of walls, the landscape, the semiconscious sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches of our ordinary lives -- a close connection between these things and the moral and spiritual development of souls. It is ridiculous but nonetheless true that a generation which has given up the distinction between fingers and forks will find it difficult to keep the distinctions between affection and sex or between a right to one's body and the murder of one's child.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Concur.

ignatius said...

Hmm...

It may be true to some extent. There are, on the other hand, businessmen with good table manners, etc. who nevertheless will lay off 100s of workers, not because the company is in trouble, but rahter because they want to maximize the profits. I think numerous such counter-examples could be listed if one gave it some thought.