Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Happened Again

Yesterday, I wrote: "There are times when I'm reading a book and I will notice a different author has said something similar. I will then head over to the bookshelf, pull down the book, and look for the quote. This morning it happened."

Well, this morning it happened again. I started out with Lewis Mumford and ended with Robert Bly's book about Henry David Thoureau.

"The new attitude toward time and space infected the workshop and the counting house, the army and the city. The tempo became faster: the magnitudes became greater: conceptually, modern culture launched itself into space and gave itself over to movement. What Max Weber called the "romanticism of numbers" grew naturally out of this interest. In time-keeping, in trading, in fighting, men counted numbers: and finally, as the habit grew, only numbers counted." [Lewis Mumford, Pg. 278, Interpretations and Forecasts]

"To many Americans in the generation of the 1840's it felt as if the United States had fallen into mesmeric attention to external forces and a shameless obedience to them. The swift development of the Northeast, with its numerous factories, its urban workshops for immigrants, its network of free-acting capitalists, its centralized industry, showed that external forces can and do overwhelm forces of soul and conscience, changing everyone's life for the worse. To many in New England it felt as if some sort of Village King had been killed; the ancient, grounded religious way was passing; a new dispensation had arrived, The sovereign of the new administration was not a king or a human being, but what Blake called "a ratio of numbers," and this ominous, bodiless king lived in the next county, the next state, the next planet. Living under the power of a bodiless king is a bad way to live." [Robert Bly, Pg. 3, The Winged Life]

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