Friday, September 17, 2010

Life Divine is still better

That is the new Roger Scruton book, which I finished with pleasure.  Here is one good passage:
“Optimism...is the other side of a kind of existential despair, a longing to retreat from the complexities of the great society to the primordial simplicity of the undifferentiated tribe.  It expresses a kind of distrust of humanity, an inability to allow that we can actually move on from our original nature, and create a flexible, reasonable and charitable "we," which is not a collective "I" at all, but the by-product of individual freedom.  But this distrust is unfounded.  The world is, in fact, a much better place than the optimists allow: and that is why pessimism is needed.”]

The Mother & Sri Aurobindo’s vision, we take pride, are the most optimist. But optimism as portrayed by Scruton seems to be an escapist propensity bordering on the Freudian longing for the idyllic idleness of the mother’s womb. He, however, rightly concludes that the world is a better place but a Life Divine is still better. [TNM]

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