Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The importance of destructive energy

found a lovely example of the importance of the "destructive" flow of energy, as he often called it, or as you could also say, "the defining" force. A couple of centuries ago there was a group of intellectuals in New England of whom Ralph Waldo Emerson is now best remembered. One of that circle, Henry Ward Beecher wrote, "it is an honorable thing thing for a man to acquire several books a year." Or close to. Now what I am pointing to is that this sentence, while it still makes sense, has no staying power, no magnetism. Like portions of many manuscripts from earlier times, this sentence seems to be on the border of making sense. Most of the time reading historical documents, we misinterpret them because we are not aware that we are only hearing one side of a dialogue. In the present example of Beecher's sentiment, we do not, two centuries later, need to defend the manliess of reading. Such was not the case in the 19th century America. Then it was worth writing down, worth quoting. It could be used as a cudgel in an argument. Today it has no force, and is easily forgotten, for it is no longer part of the dance of the three forces which the mystic this blog is about identified. To exist you need to draw resistance. There was resistance to the idea of owning books two hundred years ago. There is not now, and so this sentiment is forgotten. Not even part of history really, just on the brink of non-existence, because it is non debatable. Every thing that lives needs resistance, the glow of destructive energy.

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