I think I love Marilynne Robinson

for her work, ‘Absence of Mind’. Well, I could try to describe the exquisite read from the slender publication of a type that barely seems to exist anymore.  Not half way through the volume, I just have to laud it’s praises. Insightful and erudite seem not to do her poignant text, justice. And so, it must be love.

Here are a few exerpts that have me standing from my chair, and throwing roses at her feet.

“As is usual, Rus­sell blames Christian violence on the traditions of Jewish monotheism, not on the norms of the pagan civilization in which the faith took root.

Not long be­fore Russell spoke, Christian Europe had been engulfed in a terrible war whose causes seem to have been secular ones— the fears and ambitions of rival states and empires.

Whoever controls the definition of mind controls the definition of humankind itself, and culture, and history. There is something uniquely human in the fact that we can pose questions to ourselves about ourselves, and questions that actually matter, that actually change reality.

The voices that have said, “There is something more, knowledge to be had beyond and other than this knowledge,” have always been right.

We have had a place in the universe since it occurred to the first of our species to ask what our place might be. ”

To say there is aspect of being that metaphysics can meaningfully address is a metaphysical statement. To say that metaphysics is a cultural phase or misapprehension that can be put aside is also a metaphysical statement.

Assuming that there is indeed a modern malaise, one contributing factor might be the exclusion of the felt life of the mind from the accounts of reality proposed by the oddly authoritative and deeply influential parascientific literature that has long associated itself with intellectual progress, and the exclusion of felt life from the varieties of thought and art that reflect the influence of these accounts.

To the great degree that theology has accommodated the para-scientific world view, it too has tended to forget the beauty and strangeness of the individual soul, that is, of the world as perceived in the course of a human life, of the mind as it exists in time. But the beauty and strangeness persist just the same.”


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