Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Seeing the world simply.

Some would call it being simple minded, and I suppose in a way it is. Seeing the world simply is to grasp the world about us as it appears to us by simply standing still and quietly observing with our unaided senses. It's the rejection of the more complex when the more simple will suffice.

God created a world where the men of yesterday were not at a disadvantage to know what it was necessary for them to know. For instance, it was not necessary for men to know and understand metallurgy, but it was necessary for them have sufficient knowledge and understanding of what is the proper ordering of society. And thus God gave us from the beginning the necessary tools to live in harmony with one another in a virtuous society.

Obviously, men do suffer privations, similarly as a blind man does, and so we do end up with exceptions to what is proper such as the Aztecs where human sacrifice was a civic virtue. But the basic principle is God created a world, including ourselves, sufficient to allow for our error if we just get it close enough. God knew we would err and err greatly, but yet designed our world so that we could live in it in spite of our errors.

God gives to each man what is necessary for him, just as he gives to each man sufficient grace to will heaven. What God gives to each man can come through society according to subsidiarity, but it does come to each man.

Thus a farmer in his field knows what he needs to know. He is capable of a sacramental wedding vow and he is capable of knowing the proper ordering of his family including his duty to care for it and defend it. Society likewise knows what it needs to know and is not in need of some knowledge it can never have because that knowledge will not exist for centuries in the future.

It's a common occurrence for moderns to impose their values on those who came before and to hold those who came before to be deficient of being able to have a properly ordered society, but to do so is to hold God incapable of creating a world sufficient for us to live in. God gave us the air to breath and water and plants and all else necessary for us from the beginning.

To see the world simply is to see the world according to simple explanations, such as lions have sharp teeth in order to eat meat, i.e. nature acts for an end, and thus in turn in paradise lions did eat meat. It's taking a simple path to a simple conclusion. As opposed to those who say lions did not eat meat in paradise and are thus in turn forced into a convoluted explanation on why lions had sharp teeth even though they would have been poorly suited for eating plants.

To see the world simply is to look for the simple and easily observable underlying
causes that move all of nature such as all of God's creatures seek stability. For instance, water seeks stability by flowing downward, animals seek stability in propagation of their species and we seek stability in formation of community where we have our place.

To see the world simply is to raise our children to see the poetic in God's creation. Whether it be the appreciation of the difference of candle light versus electric light by the use of candles on a Christmas tree, or the more everyday environment where we dress them in plant fiber cotton versus synthetics made from petroleum.

To see the world simply is for us to look for the poetic as a solution when others are all calling for a complex materialist solution.

To see the world simply is to see the world according to human scale, as opposed to imposing some other unnatural scale on human life lived.

To see the world simply is to look for the simple solutions such as natural child spacing though extended breastfeeding. As opposed to looking first to use some medicinal gadget like NFP as a means of child spacing.

To see the world simply is the opposite of consumerism. It's where stores like Babies R-us would soon be out of business because raising a baby doesn't require more than a dozen cloth diapers, a few garments, and a couple of blankets.

To see the world simply includes knowing what is actually simple versus what is actually complex or medicinal. For instance schools with school teachers are the simple solution, versus homeschooling which is medicinal.

To see the world simply is to recognize that God created a world where our sense of touch and sight are sufficient to know it. Where our the simple explanations of our senses are the correct explanation. As opposed to modern physics explanation that matter is void and what our senses are telling us is an illusion.

As with much of life, God created a world sufficient for our needs where the simple solution that men typically gravitate toward is typically the best because men typically gravitate toward common sense solutions that are at human scale and natural to us.

Where it is at human scale and natural to us as social creatures to tell our children intentional lies such as our folk tradition of telling our children about the tooth fairy, the sandman, Santa Claus down the chimney, Huguenots coming in the dead of night to carry away and eat naughty children and similar.

Or where it is common sense and natural to tell the intentional lies that make up everyday life. Such as when a mother says to her toddler, “where’s Mary, I can’t find her”; or common courtesy the guest who says to his host that he enjoyed the dinner when he did no such thing? As opposed to those who consider any deception an evil where society must conform to some disembodied platonic norm.

To see the world simply is to recognize that how societies organically develop is a sign of what is best and natural to men, and that societies naturally develop hierarchically including economically. As opposed to the unnatural solutions such distributism because men do not naturally come together to form a distributist ordered manufacturing company, but instead a single man or a partnership will form a company that hires workers. In other words, distributist businesses do not form organically, but instead occur when an existing business intentionally changes its existing method of operation.

Luddite types do not see the world simply because they ignore human scale and common social life in favor of some disembodied platonic principle. They make perfection the enemy of the good by letting their enthusiasm for pristine perfection of their pet issue overtake common sense.*

Distributists do not see the world simply because their solution involves absurd complexity that only a naive corporate or institutional drone with zero practical experience could find reasonable.**

For me, seeing the world simply is pretty easy. I spent my entire childhood in classes for those with learning disabilities. I have dyslexia which I think is what causes me to not be able to grasp except intellectually the mathematical conceptualizations of physics and other similar abstractions. The formulas are nothing more than algebraic magic tricks where solutions magically appear at the end of long equations.

In other words, I don't have much choice but to see the world simply.


*When building a house, an electric saw is at human scale, and a hand saw is not.

A push pedal sewing machine is not the more simple solution to an electric one because we live in an environment where electricity is at our disposal because every house is now electrified.

Similarly, horse drawn wagons in a mistaken understanding of subsidiarity are not simple because typically owning a horse in modern society is a complex process. And wagons for occasional use are an obvious luxury. As a child, we had a sulky that required it's own tack shed, most people don't have such luxuries.

**Distributism is the solution of institutional drones who can't figure out that their solution is the same as the problem their trying to solve.

No comments:

Post a Comment