On Easter Sunday I found myself drawn to this interview with Paul Kingsworth who I had known previously as an environmental activist and editor of ‘the Ecologist’.
What I discovered was that he had gone through an experience during the early Pandemic that in many respects paralelled my own.
I discovered that he has been baptised into the Romanian Orthodox church.
‘Trying to be creators’ is taking us to a ‘sinister place’ | Calvin Robinson & Paul Kingsnorth
Here is an essay on his evolution
“I didn’t know back then that the Christian story is the story of our rebellion against God. I didn’t know that by taking part in that rebellion I had become part of the story, whether I liked it or not. I didn’t know, either, why Christians see pride as the greatest sin. I only knew that I could argue a good case for the injustice of the world made by this “God,” and the silliness of miracles, resurrections, and virgin births. I knew I was cleverer than all the people who believed this sort of rubbish, and I was happy to tell them so”.
“Following the rabbit hole down, I realized that a crisis of limits is a crisis of culture, and a crisis of culture is a crisis of spirit. Every living culture in history, from the smallest tribe to the largest civilization, has been built around a spiritual core: a central claim about the relationship between human culture, nonhuman nature, and divinity. Every culture that lasts, I suspect, understands that living within limits—limits set by natural law, by cultural tradition, by ecological boundaries—is a cultural necessity and a spiritual imperative. There seems to be only one culture in history that has held none of this to be true, and it happens to be the one we’re living in”
He also wrote a series of essays on the pandemic
On the days of revelation
The series can be downloaded HERE
That led me to have another look at Alexandr Solzhenitsyn and I spent much of the day watching this. In it I found an explanation of the spiritual desert we are living through right now.
It is long so if you prefer short, bite-sized portions go to the video below
The usual quote, and the one I love is:
“The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through every human heart — and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained”
Here is a longer quote:
“Looking back, I saw that for my whole conscious life I had not understood either myself or my strivings. What had seemed for so long beneficial now turned out in actuality to be fatal, and I had been striving to go in the opposite direction to that which was truly necessary to me. But just as the waves of the sea knock the inexperienced swimmer off his feet and keep tossing him back on to the shore, so also was I painfully tossed back on dry land by the blows of misfortune. And it was only because of this that I was able to travel the path which I had always really wanted to travel. It was granted me to carry away from my prison years on my bent back, which nearly broke beneath its load, this essential experience: how a human being becomes evil and how good.
In the intoxication of youthful successes I had felt myself to be infallible, and I was therefore cruel. In the surfeit of power I was a murderer and an oppressor. In my most evil moments I was convinced that I was doing good, and I was well supplied with systematic arguments. And it was only when I lay there rotting on prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either – but right through every human heart – and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us it oscillates with the years. And even within the hearts overwhelmed with evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. And even in the best of all hearts, there remains…an un-uprooted small corner of evil.”