Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Prince Charles, champion of the holistic approach to life

Seeing this, I began to realize that the great juggernaut of industrialization relies upon a somewhat aberrant kind of language–a man-made one–which articulates a world view that ignores Nature’s grammar. Much of the syntax of this synthetic language is out of synchrony with Nature’s patterns and proportions and this is why it so often jars with the language of Nature. This is why so many Modernist buildings don’t feel ‘right’ to so many people, even though they may find them clever; or perhaps why we feel uncomfortable with factory farming, even though it makes economic sense because it supplies such a lot of food at such low prices; or why we feel something is missing from a form of medicine that treats the body like a machine and does not accommodate the needs of the mind or the spirit.
I find, by contrast, that if people are encouraged to immerse themselves in Nature’s grammar and geometry–discovering how it works, how it controls life on Earth, and how humanity has expressed it in so many great works of art and architecture–they are often led to acquire some remarkably deep philosophical insights into the meaning and purpose of Nature and into what it means to be aware and alive in this extraordinary Universe. This is particularly so in young people and the results of such immersion are as heartening as they are surprising.
The Prince argues that the modern rejection of the spiritual dimension of the universe led directly to the confrontation of fundamentalist secularism (materialist, atheist) with fundamentalist forms of religion (puritanical, literal). “Science can tell us how things work, but it is not equipped to tell us what they mean. That is the domain of philosophy and religion and spirituality.” But the religion we need has to be authentic, not an ideological substitute for the real thing. We need to get beyond those forms of tradition that have become empty shells or been corrupted by “mechanistic thinking.”

Prince Charles, as quoted by Stratford Caldecott in Prince Charles: Imaginative Conservative

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