In the situation in which many of us find ourselves, a world in which unbridled greed and constant grabs for more power are valued the most and seem increasingly to dominate, I find it difficult to match what my religious sources and aesthetics sources tell/show me. Beauty and love, silence, solitude and contemplation sometimes seem not only naive and ineffective, but escapist at best. And yet . . . I think about the desert fathers and mothers, and about Christian and Buddhist monastics (among so many others) who also live(d) in times that must have seemed just as despairing. How does one negotiate a world which grows emotionally and spiritually colder (while—which may come to much the same thing—more heated in atmospheric temperatures)? Of course, one can say (hope?) that every act, no matter how limited, that demonstrates kindness and appreciation of what is matters because it reveals another way. But is anyone really listening . . .? Can such voices even be heard over the babble which fills the air and the air waves?
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