Does this mean we should neglect our intellect? Absolutely not.
In fact, the opposite. We should strive to cultivate both mind and body to become the most perfect specimen we can become, daily.
I came across this passage while reading a bit this morning from Amateur Joinery in the Home (1916) by George and Berthold Audsley and thought it would be worthwhile to share.
There is a lot of good advice here but the above sentences stuck with me while taking the morning walk. “One never knows when life or limb may depend on the expert use of the hand and ordinary tools.” This could be applied to so many facets of an interesting life and is the basis of human survival that has put us where we are for a million years.
I have been using the down time afforded us by the events of 2020 to catch up on an ever-growing list of books and articles I have been amassing for decades. When I was working in archaeology full-time, the hundreds of pages of reading most weeks necessary just to keep current pushed many other interests into side avenues. I hope you all are using your time in a way that works well for you. In the mean time, this book is available for anyone with an interest in tools and working with their hands. It may even inspire new projects.
New Year’s resolutions from Woody Guthrie’s notebook 1943. It was an interesting time; the world was at war, America was coming out of an economic depression coupled with huge crop failures and sleazy bank practices, and the Guthries had made their way West to California with record numbers of displaced migrants looking for a better life.
“One of the reasons for its success is is that science has a built-in, error correcting machinery at its very heart. Some may consider this an overbroad characterization, but to me every time we exercise self-criticism, every time we test against the outside world, we are doing science. When we are self-indulgent and uncritical, when we confuse hopes and facts, we slide into pseudoscience and superstition.”
Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, p. 27
“When you feel you are sleeping on the breast of your mother, the earth, while your father, the sky, with his millions of eyes is watching over you, and that you are surrounded by your brother, the plants, the wilderness is no longer lonesome even to the solitary traveler.”
To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.
Chesterton self-portrait based on the Distributist slogan “Three acres and a cow.”
I’ve had an interest in Chesterton for quite a few years now and have really enjoyed reading his philosophy. I’m no expert, but know that I find myself in congruence with many of his thoughts. His famous and odd novel, The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare was my first real introduction beyond reading some of his more famous quotes and I suggest it for anyone as an interesting story. It is a story of anarchists, detective work, poets, and Edwardian politics; what more do you need? I certainly don’t agree with many of his tenets but he is a gem of a thinker for sure.
“The aim of the laborer should be, not to get his living, to get “a good job,” but to perform well a certain work; and, even in a pecuniary sense, it would be economy for a town to pay its laborers so well that they would not feel that they were working for low ends, as for a livelihood merely, but for scientific, or even moral ends. Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love of it.”
“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life. Awakening from the stupefying effects of the vice of over-industry and the deadly apathy of luxury, they are trying as best they can to mix and enrich their own little ongoings with those of Nature, and to get rid of rust and disease.” — John Muir (1838-1914)
The serenity of the forest. Photo from The Outdoor Project. Click the image for more information.
These thoughts are over 100 years old when the human population of the world was about 1/4 of what it is today… We need to take heed of these thoughts more than ever.