Friday, September 09, 2011

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

I go to the library.  It seems such a long time since I've been there, - the summer has not been conducive to long lazy spells with a book in my hand,and not much else on my mind but the enjoyment of a leisurely summer afternoon.

I come home with Wendell Berry's Essay, 'Life is a Miracle' and I can hardly wait to put everything aside and take it to bed with me......

Wendell Berry is a good antidote to Marvin Minsky.

He is of the opinion that "the most radical influence of reductive science has been the virtually universal adoption of the idea that the world, its creatures, and all the parts of its creatures are machines - that is, that there is no difference between creature and artifice, birth and manufacture, thought and computation.  Our language, wherever it is used, is now almost invariably conditioned by the assumption that fleshly bodies are machines full of mechanisms, fully compatible with the mechanisms of medicine, industry, and commerce, and that minds are computers fully compatible with electronic technology"

Berry contends that we must go beyond empirical knowledge to imaginative knowledge, - to knowing things "intimately, particularly, precisely, gratefully, reverently, and with affection."

There, that makes me feel much better, - I really didn't like the idea of being a machine and giving up my old traditional ideas and the faith which supposes that life is full of unpredictable mysteries.

This evening there was a pale moon rising as the sun turned the western sky a lovely apricot colour, and as I dug a nice moist spot for the lavender and astilbe plants I brought down from the garden-on-the-hill.

Of course  no matter how I aimed the camera there were still wires to remind me that the moon shines with equal elegance on town and country.

and the Cawston hills still glow with the setting sun.

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