Saturday, December 26, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Many similes link human and plants, so that a creeper around a tree is compared to the arms of a young girl “chained around my neck” (Caurapañcaśikā), and the trees moved by winds in the Rāmāyaṇa rustle and seem “almost …to weep”. Do such literary instances prove something about their authors' view of plants? Did they believe that trees feel love and suffer? By and large, I think that plants in such similes do not express love, etc. It is rather up to poets to read a vegetal behaviour along the line of a human one, so that a creeper is poetically described as wanting to adhere to its beloved tree. Therefore, the burden of the expression of love or grief is on the poet, not on the plants. Similarly, in many Western languages, some sorts of willows are called “weeping willows”, not because one believes them to grieve for something, but rather because their branches, bent downwards, remind us of our behaviour while grieving.
But what about the pre-history of such expressions? Are they grounded in an older belief in the common nature of all parts of the cosmos?
Thursday, December 3, 2009
“To regard wedded love as exclusively an objective means to the union of wedlock, and the latter in turn as a means to procreation, would be to subordinate entirely man in quantum homo to man in quantum animal — a thoroughly materialistic view” (D. von Hildebrand, In Defense of Purity, 10-11.).
To me, this view sound ultimately convincing. Still, recently the Catholic Church (to name the one I am more familiar with) has often been upholding this kind of materialistic views on many themes. For instance, one thinks at the stress on the necessity of keeping artificially alive even people who will never regain consciousness (after, e.g., a major car accident) and had previously expressed the desire NOT to be kept alive in similar extreme conditions. Does not this amount to preferring a materialistic identification of (animal or even "vegetal") life as what has anyway to be preserved, independent of its worth as the life of a human person?
Similarly, the stress on the necessity to preserve every single (human) zygote does not seem to regard its spiritual potentiality, but is rather often motivated by the need to safeguard life –understood in a positivistic, materialistic way, that is, as cells and DNA.
I am not saying I do not agree on the content of such actions. I am just disappointed by the materialistic attitude by which they seem to be motivated.