Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Prison of Materialism

Man that is born of woman has short days and full of trouble; but he is a nobler and a happier being than this would make him out. I will not deign to answer even Mr. Blatchford when he asks “how” a man born in filth and sin can live a noble life. I know so many who are doing it, within a stone’s throw of my own house, in Battersea, that I care little how it is done. Man has something in him always which is not conquered by conditions. Yes, there is a liberty that has never been chained. There is a liberty that has made men happy in dungeons, as it may make then happy in slums. It is the liberty of the mind, that is to say, it is the one liberty on which Mr. Blatchford makes war. That which all the tyrants have left, he would extinguish. That which no jailer could ever deny to a prisoner, Nunquam would deny. More numerous than can be counted, in all the wars and persecutions of the world, men have looked out of their little grated windows and said, “at least my thoughts are free.” “No, No,” says the face of Mr. Blatchford, suddenly appearing at the window, “your thoughts are the inevitable result of heredity and environment. Your thoughts are as material as your dungeons. Your thoughts are as mechanical as the guillotine.” So pants this strange comforter, from cell to cell. --- G. K. Chesterton.

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