Lovely. simply lovely.
This 10 minute essay, “The Ecological Sublime”, originally heard on BBC January 2011, considers our human place on earth and in the cosmos. Words are spoken from the mind of one on behalf of all of us, in a way that touches us, but that we might not think to express.
The words review our thoughts, now that we’ve arrived to present circumstances. They recognize our potential to do lasting damage, perhaps to lead ourselves to our own end.
They ask us to consider that, by our ‘unconquerable’ human power, we have shifted our relationship with nature. Not every individual, but in our cultural voice and practice, we have lost the innocence, wonder, and awe experienced by star-gazers, nature watchers, of times past.
We have shifted into a state of worry on the fragility of nature. Rather than fearing nature, culturally, we feel responsible – we are preoccupied with our impact, our role as villain in this once awe-inspiring relationship.
But the words are not dark, not scolding, not blame-laden. They somehow re-assure, soothe. They encourage. We hear description of a relationship with nature that lets us continue watchful stewardship while re-connecting to awe. Awe that grows out of our own time, our 21st Century experience.
Neither ‘religious’ nor political, this reading is unique, a welcome treat.
Quality of recording: excellent. Quality of voice of Alain de Botton, philosopher who wrote and reads the piece: excellent. Insight offered: excellent.
A Point of View – Link: Alain de Botton: “The Ecological Sublime“
Note: The podcast, originally aired in 2011, is now (July 2013) available with a ‘window’ described as “over a year to listen”. Hopefully it will be available for an indefinite time!
I hope you find the podcast offers 10 minutes words and thought we often wish to hear but seldom do!
My Best! –MaggieAnn