Well, it’s been awhile since anyone has posted anything, so I thought I’d put up a thought-provoking passage I read recently. To be honest, I haven’t been reading all that much lately; this is actually something I read more than a month ago. We’re in the middle of trying to move in to a house that’s been all but completely renovated, but we’re currently staying with my parents-in-law and it’s left us feeling a little displaced (even though her parents are great). I realize I seem to have a penchant for longer quotes, but I promise if you read the whole passage it will make sense why I have to include it all. 🙂
Anyway, the quote is from Aldous Huxley’s Huxley and God: Essays on Religious Experience. I picked it up off the bargain rack in a bookstore across from Yale University (I was only there on business) and although Mr. Huxley is anything but Christian, he is a deep thinker and careful observer. The following was written in 1941:
… it is upon fashions, cars, and gadgets, upon news and the advertising upon which news exists, that our present industrial and economic system depends for its proper functioning. For, as ex-President Hoover pointed out not long ago, this system cannot work unless the demand for non-necessaries is not merely kept up, but continually expanded; and of course it cannot be kept up and expanded except by incessant appeals to greed, competitiveness, and love of aimless stimulation. Men have always been a prey to distractions, which are the original sin of the mind; but never before today has an attempt been made to organize and exploit distractions, to make of them, because of their economic importance, the core and vital center of human life, to idealize them as the highest manifestations of mental activity. Ours is an age of systematized irrelevances, and the imbecile within us has become one of the Titans, upon whose shoulders rests the weight of the social and economic system. Recollectedness, or the overcoming of distractions, has never been more necessary than now; it has also, we may guess, never been so difficult.