>An old friend

>Friend Jim came by with a quote from the work of Laurens van der Post. I enjoyed his books when I read them. A lovely man, great story-teller and lover of humanity. I particulalry remember reading one of his books on a train journey at a time of bereavement, and remember noticing feeling so much better at the end of the journey. Not many writers can be so inspirational.

The quote:

Jung believed that the unique achievement of Western Europe, particularly Christian Europe, was the creation of the individual who would be sufficiently individual and integrated to take the burdens of his community and the world upon himself, to resist this collectivization of the spirit.- he goes on to say that he felt that it was the failure of this in Germany that allowed Hitler to rise to power unchallenged.

And another one from his intriguing solemn requiem (based on the Glass Bead Game by Herman Hesse) by the editor of Feather Fall:

Gradually I have formed the impression, now a certainty, that Laurens van der Post is a member of a vast family which constitutes a community of spirit and heart that has existed throughout our history. Like those wells in the desert that are so difficult to find and so far apart, yet are linked beneath the ground and combine invisibly to quench one’s thirst, this vast and ever growing family of fellow-travellers is the company in which, step by step, century by century, we can all join in the ultimate quest, following the flight of the great white bird of truth, ready in heart and mind for its eventual feather fall.

Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence was a film based on two of Laurens’s books which describe his experience asa japanese prisoner of war where he gained a reputation for building up the morale of people of many different nationalities. here’s the trailer.



>Good authors gift us with pearls. Here are some pearls polished and presented by Timothy radcliffe from my reading today – What is the Point of being a Christian?
How about this?

  • As fish were made to swim in water, human beings were made to thrive in the truth (p121)
  • When Wittgenstein was asked how philosophers should greet each other, he replied ‘Take your time.’ (p123)
  • We come to see people as lovable because we see other people loving them. (p124)

and then Radcliffe uses this story. “one day a rabbi asked his students, ‘How can you tell that night has ended and the day is returning? One student suggested, ‘When you can see clearly that an animal in the distance is a lion and not a leopard.’ ‘No’, said the rabbi. ‘It is when you can look on the face of another person and see that woman or man is your sister or brother. Because until you are able to do so, no matter what time of day it is, it is still night.'”