Implicit Materialism

“Implicit Materialism─that is, an underlying, unexpressed, conception that material causes explain all things─survives. Men do not commonly say, nowadays, as many did not so long ago, that man is to be explained as a machine or a set of chemical formulae. They no longer, in any great numbers, deny flatly the presence of immaterial factors in the universe. But when they speak of life or death, or when they propose an explanation of anything, they imply, often without knowing it, that all of which they talk is material: that life is a material process, death but a cessation of that process, and that any human occasion─for instance any social development─can be completely understood when it is stated in terms of material things.”

~Hilaire Belloc: “Survivals and New Arrivals”

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On Song

“Song remains until at last the notes of singing become like a sort of sacrament outside time, not subject to decay, but always nourishing men, for song gives a permanent sense of futurity and a permanent sense of the presence of Divine things. Nor is there any pleasure which you will take away from middle age and leave it more lonely, than this pleasure of hearing song.

It is that immortal quality in the business which makes it of a different kind from the other efforts of men. Write a good song and the tune leaps up to meet it out of nothingness. It clothes itself with tune, and once so clothed it continues on through generations, eternally young, always smiling, and always ready with strong hands for mankind. On this account every man who has written a song can be certain that he has done good; any man who has continually sung can be certain that he has lived and has communicated life to others.

It is the best of all trades, to make songs, and the second best to sing them.”

– Hilaire Belloc, ‘On Song‘ (Essay)

Shining Transitions

There is a glory in all completion, and all good endings are but shining transitions. ALL you that feel youth slipping past you and that are desolate at the approach of age, be merry; it is not what it looks like from in front and from outside. There is a glory in all completion, and all good endings are but shining transitions. There will come a sharp moment of revelation when you shall bless the effect of time… All you that have loved passionately and have torn your hearts asunder in disillusions, do not imagine that things broken cannot be mended by the good angels.
~Hilaire Belloc: “The Path to Rome.”