The devil makes me do it

Russell2.jpgCarolinkus is convinced that Satan is making her blog. It’s taking up so much time that could be devoted to more worthwhile things, like spiritual contemplation. It’s a familiar feeling for most bloggers, though most of us probably wouldn’t put it in quite those terms. Blogging is addictive and intensely frustrating, and an amazingly powerful time-waster.

But that consciousness hasn’t stopped me from blogging, and it hasn’t inhibited Carolinkus so far either. She’s merely disabled her comments facility and hit counter, so she can continue writing and posting without cross-chatter or worrying about how big her audience may be (or even if it exists).

I share her reaction to hit counters, but I would find blogging very unrewarding without the interactive debate the comment box provides. Discussions are sometimes abusive and unpleasant, and often sterile and unproductive, with most people adhering rigidly to their long-entrenched prejudices. But genuinely creative dialogue, where you meet new ideas and have your own constructively challenged, happens often enough to keep me interested. For me that’s a large part of the point of blogging, along with the release of getting things off my chest and inflicting my opinions on an audience (however select). Of course I can (and do) inflict my opinions on a captive audience of law students every week as well, but somehow it’s not the same.

Carolinkus also mentioned that she’s recently read Bertrand Russell’s famous 1917 essay Political Ideals. I read it years ago, but Carol’s note inspired me to refresh my memory. (*The photo is of Russell, not Satan)

Like the dreaded Clive Hamilton (though Hamilton is marginally more circumspect), Russell was a socialist who believed strongly that capitalism was evil and that attachment to material wealth and possessions was a big mistake that diverted human beings from the path of true happiness. Russell believed that capitalism should be abolished.

Like Hamilton, Russell conceded that reasonable material comfort and security were prerequisites to happiness and the good life, but that obsessive, greedy pursuit of them after a certain point not only failed to add to happiness but was actively conducive to increasing the sum total of human misery.

Unlike Hamilton, however, Russell believed in classical liberal ideas of individual freedom in all but the economic sphere (perhaps not surprisingly given that the great liberal reformer Lord John Russell was his grandfather and John Stuart Mill was his godfather). He attempted to reconcile the apparent contradiction between a coercive approach to matters economic with a libertarian ethos on the social and interpersonal level, by advocating devolution of the economic coercive power of the State to the local community and enterprise level. This, he thought, would counteract the twin dangers of statist coercion and tyranny of the majority that just about every political philosopher from John Locke to Mill himself had foreseen It was a sort of early 20th century hippie vision of Nimbin-like communes, where happy workers would live together in free co-operative bliss.

I can only presume that Russell seldom if ever (before 1917 at least) became actively involved in local community or sporting associations, school councils, trade union or political party branch meetings, or strata title body corporate affairs. If he had, he would have known with an awful clarity that devolution of power to a local level does nothing at all to reduce coercion or gross unfairness. In fact, without the mediating influence of government checks and balances and regulatory oversight, devolution of power to the local level actually makes oppression, coercion and unfairness even worse. Petty dictators, control freaks, pompous pedants and lovers of rules-for-their-own-sake run rampant and reign supreme in all such organisations, driving the sensible and well-adjusted to retreat into an increasingly narrow zone of personal freedom.

No, I’m afraid Russell’s hybrid vision of classical liberalism in the social sphere with devolved localised economic socialism is just as dangerous and impractical as Clive Hamilton’s more Statist socialist ideal. The only safe political model is classical liberalism with a modest overlay of state-administered social democracy to the extent necessary to maximise equality of opportunity, sustained by a sceptical scientific centrist conviction that we need to be permanently vigilant to keep the bastards honest, along with a humble realisation that the bastards potentially include ourselves and everyone else.

Nevertheless, and despite all those reservations about Russell’s essay, it contains some worthwile insights with which I wholeheartedly concur:

We may distinguish two sorts of goods, and two corresponding sorts of impulses. There are goods in regard to which individual possession is possible, and there are goods in which all can share alike. The food and clothing of one man is not the food and clothing of another; if the supply is insufficient, what one man has is obtained at the expense of some other man. This applies to material goods generally, and therefore to the greater part of the present economic life of the world. On the other hand, mental and spiritual goods do not belong to one man to the exclusion of another. If one man knows a science, that does not prevent others from knowing it; on the contrary, it helps them to acquire the knowledge. If one man is a great artist or poet, that does not prevent others from painting pictures or writing poems, but helps to create the atmosphere in which such things are possible. If one man is full of good-will toward others, that does not mean that there is less good-will to be shared among the rest; the more good-will one man has, the more he is likely to create among others. In such matters there is no possession, because there is not a definite amount to be shared; any increase anywhere tends to produce an increase everywhere.

There are two kinds of impulses, corresponding to the two kinds of goods. There are possessive impulses, which aim at acquiring or retaining private goods that cannot be shared; these center in the impulse of property. And there are creative or constructive impulses, which aim at bringing into the world or making available for use the kind of goods in which there is no privacy and no possession.

The best life is the one in which the creative impulses play the largest part and the possessive impulses the smallest. This is no new discovery. The Gospel says: “Take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?” The thought we give to these things is taken away from matters of more importance. And what is worse, the habit of mind engendered by thinking of these things is a bad one; it leads to competition, envy, domination, cruelty, and almost all the moral evils that infest the world. In particular, it leads to the predatory use of force. Material possessions can be taken by force and enjoyed by the robber. Spiritual possessions cannot be taken in this way. You may kill an artist or a thinker, but you cannot acquire his art or his thought. You may put a man to death because he loves his fellow-men, but you will not by so doing acquire the love which made his happiness. Force is impotent in such matters; it is only as regards material goods that it is effective. For this reason the men who believe in force are the men whose thoughts and desires are preoccupied with material goods.

The possessive impulses, when they are strong, infect activities which ought to be purely creative. A man who has made some valuable discovery may be filled with jealousy of a rival discoverer. If one man has found a cure for cancer and another has found a cure for consumption, one of them may be delighted if the other man’s discovery turns out a mistake, instead of regretting the suffering of patients which would otherwise have been avoided. In such cases, instead of desiring knowledge for its own sake, or for the sake of its usefulness, a man is desiring it as a means to reputation. Every creative impulse is shadowed by a possessive impulse; even the aspirant to saintliness may be jealous of the more successful saint. Most affection is accompanied by some tinge of jealousy, which is a possessive impulse intruding into the creative region. Worst of all, in this direction, is the sheer envy of those who have missed everything worth having in life, and who are instinctively bent on preventing others from enjoying what they have not had. There is often much of this in the attitude of the old toward the young.

There is in human beings, as in plants and animals, a certain natural impulse of growth, and this is just as true of mental as of physical development. Physical development is helped by air and nourishment and exercise, and may be hindered by the sort of treatment which made Chinese women’s feet small. In just the same way mental development may be helped or hindered by outside influences. The outside influences that help are those that merely provide encouragement or mental food or opportunities for exercising mental faculties. The influences that hinder are those that interfere with growth by applying any kind of force, whether discipline or authority or fear or the tyranny of public opinion or the necessity of engaging in some totally incongenial occupation. Worst of all influences are those that thwart or twist a man’s fundamental impulse, which is what shows itself as conscience in the moral sphere; such influences are likely to do a man an inward danger from which he will never recover.

Those who realize the harm that can be done to others by any use of force against them, and the worthlessness of the goods that can be acquired by force, will be very full of respect for the liberty of others; they will not try to bind them or fetter them; they will be slow to judge and swift to sympathize; they will treat every human being with a kind of tenderness, because the principle of good in him is at once fragile and infinitely precious. They will not condemn those who are unlike themselves; they will know and feel that individuality brings differences and uniformity means death. They will wish each human being to be as much a living thing and as little a mechanical product as it is possible to be; they will cherish in each one just those things which the harsh usage of a ruthless world would destroy. In one word, all their dealings with others will be inspired by a deep impulse of reverence.

What we shall desire for individuals is now clear: strong creative impulses, overpowering and absorbing the instinct of possession; reverence for others; respect for the fundamental creative impulse in ourselves. A certain kind of self-respect or native pride is necessary to a good life; a man must not have a sense of utter inward defeat if he is to remain whole, but must feel the courage and the hope and the will to live by the best that is in him, whatever outward or inward obstacles it may encounter. So far as it lies in a man’s own power, his life will realize its best possibilities if it has three things: creative rather than possessive impulses, reverence for others, and respect for the fundamental impulse in himself.

Political and social institutions are to be judged by the good or harm that they do to individuals. Do they encourage creativeness rather than possessiveness? Do they embody or promote a spirit of reverence between human beings? Do they preserve self-respect?

In all these ways the institutions under which we live are very far indeed from what they ought to be.

Quite so, but the realisation that money and property don’t bring happiness can’t be coerced or imposed, either by Russell or Hamilton or any state or local bureaucracy. For most, it has to be achieved by lived experience. Moreover, it’s much easier to achieve the insight that materialism doesn’t bring happiness if you’ve had a secure, happy middle class upbringing yourself and have already achieved a reasonable level of material security. You don’t see too many long-term welfare recipients opting for a mid-life “sea change” (not voluntarily anyway).

Observation of the tiny microcosm of people I’ve known really intimately during my life suggests that people who’ve had a tough, materially and emotionally insecure upbringing find it much more difficult to embrace the sorts of relaxed, creative, non-materialist values that Russell and Hamilton (and me too) see as the ideal. They tend instead to exhibit a desperate compulsive approach to money and possessions, much more intensively and for much longer than objective necessity would seem to dictate. They feel a need to keep storing away nuts and berries for a long snowy winter that they’re subconsciously convinced might arrive at any moment.

Ageing middle class brats like Jen and myself, on the other hand, embrace non-materialism almost instinctively. We believe without thinking that things will somehow always be alright, and that there’s no point in stressing too much about money because we’ll always be able to find enough to do what we want if we really put our minds to it (even if things aren’t looking too flash right this moment).

I’m not suggesting it’s impossible for people with a background on Struggle Street to discover that money (beyond a certain point of reasonable comfort) doesn’t buy happiness, just that it’s a harder-won insight for them. And also that some version of classical liberalism is probably best suited to delivering that certain level of reasonable comfort to the greatest number of people, so that they too can happily embrace gracious, creative non-materialist values without being coerced into them by pompous preachers like Russell and Hamilton who think they know what’s good for us better than we do ourselves.

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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Peter Ransen
Peter Ransen
2021 years ago

What a beautiful post, Ken. Your observations at the end of it are not shared by me, but that is of no matter; more, that we explore!

A couple of things. I’m inspired to think of the Aboriginal way of life in response to this. A hundred thousand years of nurturing the spirit and respecting relationships. Not all pretty, sure, but you’ll know what I mean. So much we could learn from them. And yet what is missing from the Aboriginal culture? To me, it’s a sense of finality, a result, an end point that’s missing. It seems to exist for the sake of existing, which is not a criticism at all, and is to be lived in many ways, yet it doesn’t take into account the human need to discover why and what the fuck it’s all about, and where we’ll end up.

Western culture seems to have adopted materialism as a means of answering why and what the fuck.. sort of as a means to provide a measurable result. Poorer we are for it, too, except for the lessons learned along the way. (Does anyone really think what we are doing is sustainable?).

In the end, it comes down to what we want. Life – creativity – is built on desire.

The western world seems only to be beginning to learn what we want.

Scott Wickstein
2021 years ago

Observation of the tiny microcosm of people I’ve known really intimately during my life suggests that people who’ve had a tough, materially and emotionally insecure upbringing find it much more difficult to embrace the sorts of relaxed, creative, non-materialist values that Russell and Hamilton (and me too) see as the ideal. They tend instead to exhibit a desperate compulsive approach to money and possessions, much more intensively and for much longer than objective necessity would seem to dictate. They feel a need to keep storing away nuts and berries for a long snowy winter that they’re subconsciously convinced might arrive at any moment.

Experience is a bitter teacher.

The problem is, of course, is that people get a set idea in their head of ‘what is happiness’. They get the idea in the head that there is ‘one true path’ and that is the path they then try to impose on the rest of humanity. Religious nutters are of course notorious for this.

To me, it seems obvious that the best course is to have a classical liberal system which seems best equipped to provide the widest range of options for people to pursue their own ‘one true path’ without infringing on the rights of others to find that. We see here that Russell is thinking that because the ‘creative’ path is the best for him that it must be best for everyone else. It is difficult to see how any individual philospher, be he ever so wise, can actually be in the position to work out what is ‘best’ for everyone.

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2021 years ago

Peter

I agree. Jen often makes the same point about Aboriginal people and society, and she’s right. Even in its present debilitated form, Aboriginal society exhibits values of acceptance, non-materialism and sharing that western capitalist society mostly lacks.

However, I think that acceptance etc derives from the tribal group culture, whose downside is narrow conformity, lack of individual freedom and privacy and, as you observe, a rigid, static, unchanging rather incurious attitude towards life and the world. I think that this questing, questioning and curiosity about the world and everything in it is indispensible to the good life. Of course, that sensibility in itself is culturally determined, but so what.

Somehow or other, our western culture needs to find a path to rediscovering those values of acceptance, non-materialism and sharing, but starting from a very different place and without sacrificing the individual freedoms on which classical liberalism is based. It seems to me that the narrow, unchanging conformity of the tribe or feudal village is too high a price to pay for achieving the transcendent values of acceptance, grace and sharing. It’s clearly possible to achieve those transcendent values within a modern liberal democracy. The trick is how to extend and enhance those values and sensibilities without sacrificing liberal freedoms. And I doubt that the answer lies to any significant degree in Aboriginal culture (whatever Germaine Greer may say).

Peter Ransen
Peter Ransen
2021 years ago

How about we start with the Aboriginal understanding of “the environment”. That is, that the environment is a part of us. Western culture exhibits the understanding that the environment is there to serve us in some way, either as a source of material resource or as a source of play or experience. If we understand the environment is a part of our very being, and legislate accordingly, the whole ball game changes.

What happens then is that our commercial approach to living embraces not only a sustainable future, but one which serves to nourish our greater understanding of our place in the world.

The commercial world is unbelievably creative. It will adapt. And it will serve us well.

Rather than, then, trying to work within the problem of materialism and thereby remain stuck within it, let’s change the frame of reference, and have the solutions flow from that.

What do we lose if we make that change? We lose only a sense of, and actual, immediate gratification. We, too, will adapt. And we’ll find that our satisfaction lies just as much in diving into any creative form of expression as it does in the particular form of expression that is materialism.

The environment should be our starting point, and we can do it incrementally.

For that that don’t like it? I reckon we’ll be forced into it, if we don’t move in that direction willingly.

Scott Wickstein
2021 years ago

Hmm Peter sounds like he thinks he knows what is best for me… who’s going to force me, Peter? “The Day after Tomorrow”?

Peter Ransen
Peter Ransen
2021 years ago

My point, Scott, is that plundering the environment in our material lustfest is not sustainable. If we are to survive as a species, we will need to change our frame of reference to it of our own accord, or we’ll find ourselves having to. Clearly, to make the changes now allows for those changes to be incremental, minimising the impact of those changes, and it allows for the saving of much that would be otherwise lost.

Scott Wickstein
2021 years ago

Just because we’re ‘running out of oil’ doesn’t mean we need to go back to the peasant communes. I would have a cold hard stare at any proposal put forward with this justification in mind.

In fact, I would suggest that ‘plundering the environment’ is going along just swimmingly. I have a lot more faith in scientific progress enhancing our enjoyment of life, and also being more efficent in our utilisation of natural resources.

The end of the world syndrome sells a lot of books but I have heard it all before too.

Jacques Chester
Jacques Chester
2021 years ago

My major encounter with Russell was through his History of Western Philosophy. In reading that book, it is difficult to separate out whether Russell or the philosophers he summarises were insufferable gasbags; or indeed both.

I think we in modern western society overlook or underrate the incredible richness of the past 500 years of European, Transatlantic and Anglospheric culture. It is a stupendous tapestry of cumulative genius. From what little I know, only China and its cultural offspring have a cultural history of similar richness, diversity, longevity and volume.

As upsetting as it may be to some that modern westerners do not embrace anti- or even less-materialist lives, I think it’s silly to wring one’s hands too hard. To argue why, I’m going to break from my philosophical tradition and play the utilitarian tune.

Surely, apathy or indifference to spiritual or emotional matters, as a source of misery or unhappiness, pales into insignificant nothingness compared to starvation, base brutality and death from preventable disease. The people of Europe were afforded the choice between the stable, on-the-land, spiritual society, and the Dark Satanic Mills. They voted unequivocally, with grumbling bellies, for the mills.

I don’t think that there should be attempts to “integrate” aboriginals into western culture; neither should we prop up things as they were. Let each people live as they please. Trade will provide whatever level of integration is required between two otherwise utterly unrelated cultures.

Don
Don
2021 years ago

Gosh… I’d almost forgotten about Russell. When I was at school I used to head down to the library to read ‘In Praise of Idleness’ .

Apart from Plato Russell was the first philosopher I read. It took me several years to work out why I’d been wasting my time (with both of them).

As for Hamilton… on the way to work this morning I had a funny (as in peculiar) thought. I was thinking about Clive’s talk about the id and suddenly imagined that he was hoping that the state could be pressed into duty as super-ego. Naturally this reminded me of Forbidden Planet.

I had this strange vision of the power of the state harnessed to one man’s sub-conscious… er… issues.

As Carolinkus knows, blogging is a terrible thing. I already feel a terrible urge to create a blog post titled ‘Clive Hamilton’s Forbidden Planet.’ My irresponsible id and my blog are plotting against me. I know it!

Mark Platt
Mark Platt
2021 years ago

It’s true of course that of themselves money and property can’t give you happiness. But a certain level of money and property allow the sort of relaxed attitude that you display, Ken. I tend to see it like the concept of diminishing marginal returns: up to a certain point, no pay rise or no new BMW will increase your happiness at all. On the other hand, being able to get a litre more milk one week DOES increase happiness, wellbeing etc. Although your general observation seems pretty well on the dot. Many of the working class and lower middle-class people one meets think happiness is a big screen television. I guess, as you said, this can only be learnt through hard experience.

Mark Platt
Mark Platt
2021 years ago

I mean to say, what can be learnt is that that isn’t the way to happiness.

Link (Carolinkus)
2021 years ago

Great post, Ken, thanks very much for the analyses of Russell,(and me!) I must admit I have a more naive view, but I haven’t finished Russell’s book yet! I thought I should’ve read it to the last before I started waxing lyrical about him, but nevertheless I’ve learnt more this way.

Peter I think you’re comments are brilliant, its a real problem, living in a world that does its ‘darndest’ to ignore the environment . . . As to the Devil makes me do it, more like my ego, but also a great need to try and address our/my greatest dilemma thus far. Capitalism will eat itself wont’ it?

wen
wen
2021 years ago

While I’d have to admit to being a moderate non-ideological non-materialist myself (certain ‘choices’ — children, writing — have been made — so maybe I’m just justifying my own inadequacy in that department ), I like Mary McCarthy’s take on a certain view of American materialism. She writes (& the whole essay is worth reading):

“Everybody knows … that America has the most materialistic civilisation in the world, that Americans care only for money, they have no time or talent for living; look at radio, look at advertising, look at life insurance,…at the Frigidaires and Fords. In answer, the reader is asked to look into his own heart and inquire whether he personally feels represented by these things, or whether he does not, on the contrary, feel them to be irrelevant to him, a necessary evil, part of the conditions of life. Other people, he will assume, care about them very much: the man down the street, the entire population of Detroit or Scarsdale, the back country farmer, the urban poor or the rich. But he himself accepts these objects as imposed on him by a collective ‘otherness’ of desire, an otherness he has not met directly but whose existence he infers from the number of automobiles, Frigidaires or television sets he sees around him. Stepping into his new Buick convertible, he knows he would gladly do without it, but imagines that to his neighbour, who is just backing his out of the driveway, this car is the motor of life. More often, however, the otherness is projected farther afield, onto a different class or social group, remote and alien.
Thus the rich, who would like nothing better, they think, than for life to be a perpetual fishing trip with a trout grilled by a native guide, look patronizingly on the whole apparatus of American civilization as a cheap christmas present to the poor, and city people see the radio and the washing machine as the farm-wife’s solace.”

(” The Humanist in The Bathtub” — 1947)

Other People. Not me.

wen
wen
2021 years ago

Argh. Sorry. There was an error message, so I posted twice in panic. Shoulda known better.

Peter Ransen
Peter Ransen
2021 years ago

The fabulous quality of these shared thoughts – and valid reason enough for those who spend precious time allowing it, that is, regular bloggers – is that everyone has a valuable point to contribute.

There is a tremendous truth, or, perhaps, ‘value’ being a better description, of attending to the physical needs of people before embarking on the philosphical tenor of promoting a spiritual search. Perhaps that is of itself intensely spiritual. Feed and clothe our world’s peoples before anything else. And so we come to resources, and the determinate desire preceeding their use.

And Scott, too, warns us of shouting yet another spiritual course from the rooftops, as yet another one driven itself by fear.

Yet the current state of humanity’s relationship with the environment cannot be ignored.

To my eyes, the immediate consumption of resources in such fervour as Westerners have serves as a numbing pill against what we are really seeking. To express, to create, is our need. Why feed and clothe ourselves if we cannot express what is kept alive?

In seeking to express we embrace worlds as yet undiscovered, and there is no greater empowering nor satisfying purpose to life, equal as it is to maintaining the quality we already have.

What then of quality of life? What is important to us? Does it figure in our lives that we wish for future generations to enjoy our own experiences? I don’t think it does on the whole, greatly. I think we pay it scant regard. But I think we do this, on the whole, because we don’t fully understand what we really wish for in life (creative expression), and therefore how to fully go about it for ourselves, and how to maintain the occasion of it for future people.

Mark Bahnisch
Mark Bahnisch
2021 years ago

Ken, great post. I haven’t read Russell (only about him in an excellent bio of Wittgenstein – he seems to have been a fairly loveable if sometimes exasperating chap), but I’d also recommend G. B. Shaw’s “The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialism and Capitalism” – something I bought years ago second hand for a friend’s birthday – a lovely curio from another whimsical Fabian.

On circumstances and materialism, I’ve often thought about that. I had a close friend at school who I think made a series of choices which didn’t lead her to actualise the great capacities she had. I won’t say too much, but I talked to her about that once (her goal was once to work in international development, but later became to marry a specialist and start a PR consultancy) and she argued that her dreams were just dreams and she had to opt for security. This struck me as a little sad, but I’m not judgeing.

Scott Wickstein
2021 years ago

Peter, are you asserting that I am ‘driven by fear’? You really do not know me or my views very well at all, do you?

Peter Ransen
Peter Ransen
2021 years ago

No, Scott, not at all. Sorry, that’s my phrasing which is ambiguous I see.

I’m saying that the environment issue will not be best served by having it made another spiritual issue driven by fear, as, for instance, some religions have a fear factor. I’m saying we need a more wholesome understanding of the environment.

Scott Wickstein
2021 years ago

Good, I’m glad we got that cleared up. There does seem to be a lot of ‘fearmongering’ amoung the ‘environmental’ movement and I think they would advance their cause better if they rid themselves of it.

Link (carolinkus)
Link (carolinkus)
2021 years ago

“Surely, apathy or indifference to spiritual or emotional matters, as a source of misery or unhappiness, pales into insignificant nothingness compared to starvation, base brutality and death from preventable disease”. -Jaques.

I would argue that starvation, brutality and preventable disease are all in the long-run inevitably ‘cured’. Spiritual or emotional matters, some think, continue-on beyond this earth. Spiritual and emotional happiness when evolved, undoubtedly helps to assuage the pain of starvation, brutality . . . etc.

jen
jen
2021 years ago

Peter I agree.
Environment is the only place to start anything and Scott it has nowt to do with resources in the way you are talking ‘oil’and return to ‘peasant communities’ etc.
It has to do with harmony and do no harm. This does not preclude enquiry, imagination and the precocious desire to know. The two can exist together Parish is right when he says that Aboriginal culture achieves this through acceptance that precludes enquiry. Their way is largely set and it works… to an extent. The spirit is right but the desire for acceptance can stop community members from taking leaps of faith in an environment in which change is rapid and dramatic.
IMO Our environment is flexible and resilient – we are of it. Quality of life requires us to question and experiment – but do no harm. The questions are inspired by and of our environment. Acceptance and questing therefore cannot be mutually exclusive. They complement each other perfectly.
There is something delightful about our questioning culture – destabilising – yes- but humble and adventurous too – and active. It is in its infancy and I have a feeling that with thinkers like Davies around it is maturing at just the best rate. I love the whole lot!
I just wish I could have so much equanimity when I’m lost my temper. Aggggh what is it with a bad temper? too stupid!

jen
jen
2021 years ago

Scott – I got carried away and posted without preview – these boxes are too small!
‘just swimmingly’!
Agree – but cannot help feeling apprehensive about the risks that a questioning material culture takes take even while I wholeheartedly believe in the whole process and can see no other way for quality living. Creativity engenders it.
So Parish (‘in the interests of completeness’) rip roaring argument in the front garden can make a difference to my world view. Without too much harm to the neighbours weekend equanimity and environment.