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Stumbling out — 2 Comments

  1. Thank you for this.

    I have just come across this blog while pursuing the poem at the end of the Branagh Wallander series, and am now intrigued to have serendipitously found something that I wasn’t consciously looking for, but that speaks to me with surprising resonance. To call it a voice of sanity would be too glib, perhaps a quiet voice, of connection.

    This issue, and the wider historic trends that are visible in it, have been much on my mind. After arguing for the ideas of interconnection and interdependence, on another blog, and experiencing at first hand, albeit virtually, the dispiriting nature of this debate, I have been left with a new sense of how bleak things are, how values that we’ve more or less taken for granted, in a fond idea of progressive history, are proving to have become so corroded, to be disintegrating so quickly, that one wonders if they were always entirely illusory.

    I am not, beyond a lazy interest in Buddhist philosophy, of a religious mindset, but the conclusion I am coming to is that one needs to be prepared to approach life more like a monk during the so-called dark ages: do what one can certainly, but also accept that perhaps the most one can hope for is to help preserve the seed-memory of ideas, and values, that are quite likely to be largely eradicated in the coming period, so that future generations might yet be able to regrow them in more favourable times.

    Difficult as it is to imagine exactly how that might be possible, there is nevertheless some hope that in this internet age we all have the opportunity to preserve meaningful fragments in digital niches such as this, and that joined together, these may yet amount to the substance of a monastic library of old.

  2. I would share your sense of bleakness but would also have confidence in the example left by those Dark Age monks.

    Just to the south of my parish lies the site of the abbey of Aghaboe, from where, in the year 784, Feargal followed the example of many other Irish monks and ventured into a hostile Europe. He was to found the cathedral in Salzburg and, if one visits the abbey ruins today there is a commemorative stone placed by the Bishop of Salzburg in 1984 to mark the 1200th anniversary of the founding of the cathedral. Feargal could not have begun to imagine his legacy would thus endure.

    I watch BBC 4 and find encouragement that even in the midst of bleak times, great advances are being passed on

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