Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Past

"Most modern people appear to resent the past and seek to deny its substance for either of two reasons: (1) it confuses them, or (2) it inhibits them. If it confuses them, they have not thought enough about it; if it inhibits them, we should look with a curious eye upon whatever schemes they have afoot. Imagination enables us to know that people of past generations lived and had their being amid circumstances just as solid as those surrounding us. And piety accepts them, their words and deeds, as part of the total reality, not to be ignored in any summing-up of experience. Are those who died heroes' and martyrs' deaths really dead? It is not an idle question. In a way, they live on as forces, helping to shape our dream of the world. The spirit of modern impiety would inter their memory with their bones and hope to create a new world out of good will and ignorance."
~ p. 176-7
Ideas Have Consequences