That Wrong Measure

Nor mete out truth and right-deserving praise,  By that wrong measure of confusion  The vulgar foot: that never takes his ways  By reason, but by imitation;  Rolling on with the rest, and never weighs  The course which he should go, but what is gone.Nor mete out truth and right-deserving praise,

By that wrong measure of confusion

The vulgar foot: that never takes his ways

By reason, but by imitation;

Rolling on with the rest, and never weighs

The course which he should go, but what is gone.

Well were it with mankind, if what the most

Did like were best, but ignorance will live

By others square, as by example lost;

And man to man must the hand of error give

That none can fall alone at their own cost,

And all because men judge not, but believe.

For what poor bounds have they whom but the earth bounds,

What is their end whereto their care attains,

When the thing got relieves not, but confounds

Having but travail to succeed their pains?

What joy hath he of living that propounds

Affliction but his end, and grief his gains?

Gathering, encroching, wresting, joining to,

Destroying, building, decking, furnishing,

Repairing, altering, and so much ado

To his soul’s toil, and bodies travailing:

And all this doth he little knowing who

Fortune ordains to have the inheriting.

And his fair house raised high in envy’s eye,

Whose pillars reared perhaps on blood & wrong

Wake, my Soul. 

      But he who would be born again indeed,

     Must wake his soul unnumbered times a day,

     And urge himself to life with holy greed;

     Now ope his bosom to the Wind’s free play;

     And now, with patience forceful, hard, lie still,

     Submiss and ready to the making will,

     Athirst and empty, for God’s breath to fill. 
George MacDonald

Truths Ancient and Simple

The process of living seems to consist in coming to realise truths so ancient and simple that, if stated, they sound like barren platitudes. They cannot sound otherwise to those who have not had the relevant experience: that is why there is no real teaching of such truths possible and every generation starts from scratch.

~CS Lewis, Letters of CS Lewis (8 May, 1939), p. 166

The Servants of the Visible, and of the Invisible

“IN one sense, to do him justice, this melancholy materialist is the most disinterested of men. The mystic is one who will serve something invisible for his own reasons. The materialist is one who will serve anything visible for no reason.”
~G.K. Chesterton: “On Flocking.”

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