Holly White – In Memoriam
Rest In Peace
“The mass of men have been forced to be gay about the little things, but sad about the big ones. Nevertheless it is not native to man to be so. Man is more himself, man is more manlike, when joy is the fundamental thing in him, and grief the superficial. Melancholy should be an innocent interlude, a tender and fugitive frame of mind; praise should be the permanent pulsation of the soul. Pessimism is at best an emotional half-holiday; joy is the uproarious labour by which all things live… Joy ought to be expansive… Christianity satisfies suddenly and perfectly man’s ancestral instinct for being the right way up; satisfies it supremely in this; that by its creed joy becomes something gigantic and sadness something small. The vault above us is not deaf because the universe is an idiot; the silence is not the heartless silence of an endless and aimless world. Rather the silence around us is a small and pitiful stillness like the prompt stillness in a sick-room… So we sit perhaps in a starry chamber of silence, while the laughter of the heavens is too loud for us to hear.” – G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
From time to time, I will post quotes from books and authors I am currently reading or have read in the past. Happy Friday!
“The modern man says, ‘Let us leave all these arbitrary standards and embrace liberty.’ This is, logically rendered, ‘Let us not decide what is good, but let it be considered good to not decide it.’ He says, ‘Away with your old moral formulae; I am for progress.’ This, logically stated, means, ‘Let us not settle what is good; but let us settle whether we are getting more of it.’ He says, ‘Neither religion nor morality, my friend, lie in the hope of the race, but in education.’ This, clearly expressed, means, ‘We cannot decide what is good, but let us give it to our children.’ … As enunciated today, ‘progress’ is simply a comparative of which we have not settled the superlative. We meet every ideal of religion, patriotism, beauty, or brute pleasure with the alternative ideal of progress–that is to say, we meet every proposal of getting something that we know about, with an alternative proposal of getting a great deal more of nobody knows what. Progress, properly understood, has, indeed, a most dignified and legitimate meaning. But as used in opposition to precise morals, it is ludicrous… For progress by its very name indicates a direction; and the moment we are least doubtful about the direction, we become in the same degree doubtful about the progress. Never perhaps since the beginning of the world has there been an age that had less right to use the word ‘progress’ than we… I do not, therefore, say that the word ‘progress’ is unmeaning; I say it is unmeaning without the previous definition of moral doctrine, and that it can only be applied to groups of persons who hold that doctrine in common. Progress is not an illegitimate word, but it is logically evident that it is illegitimate for us. It is a sacred word, a word which could only be rightly used by rigid believers and in the ages of faith.” (Heretics, G.K. Chesterton)