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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Diagnosed by Palmer

If you are human, especially an educator or minister kind of human, then you should read Parker Palmer's little book called, "To Know as We Are Known: Education as a Spiritual Journey."

The whole book is good, toggling between the philosophical and practical. It relies on wisdom of the Desert Fathers and a saying by Abba Felix.

What struck me this morning on the thrid to last page was this excerpt:

But most of us in our daily lives exist neither in solitude nor in community, but somewhere in between. We sacrifice both form and content of truth. Seldom are we truly alone, and seldom are we truly in relationship to others. This is the vacuousness of mass society and mass education: our lives alternate between collective busyness and individual isolation, but rarely allow for an authentically solitary or corporate experience. In this half-lived middle ground, our solitude is loneliness and our attempts at community are fleeting and defeating. We are alone in the crowd, unable to touch the heart of love in ourselves or to touch others in ways that draw out the heart.

2 comments:

Joe James said...

I love the Desert Fathers! Do you have that little book by Thomas Merton "The Wisdom of the Desert"???

Steve said...

I had encountered his books by surfing through Amazon before but hadn't taken the bait yet. Now I have the recommendation of a friend I will do it.