Pray Brethren

Pray Brethren

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Words of Wisdom

Sometimes the wisest words are spoken by fictional characters. In the Lord of the Rings, Gandalf offers the following words of wisdom to the civic and military leaders confronting the evil in their days.

" is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succor of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule."

Confronting evil is a chief duty of man. We cannot run away from evil, nor ought we to recklessly engage in battles from which little would be gained. Courage, as Aristotle said, is the mean between the two. The original duty of Adam was to "till and to keep" the Garden. Adam failed, but now that we have been reborn as the sons of God in the one Son, we must do our protective duty and leave for our sons "clean earth to till."

We must also not fall prey to what Nietzsche called the will to power, the desire to control our surroundings in order to prevent future evils. Machiavelli forwarded a similar principle when he taught that one should work to minimize fortune or chance while maximizing power or control over fortune. Francis Bacon furthered this philosophy when he saw his new scientific method as the tool through which nature could be conquered and controlled for the sake of power through technology. In our modern technological age, we must be conscious of our duty as men while remembering the gates to Eden are now blocked by the seraphim.

If we attempt to create a technological pseudo-Eden, a godless paradise on Earth, then we have succumbed to the Ring of Power which Gandalf, and the men of the Fellowship, worked so hard to destroy.

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