The Sentiment of the Sublime

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In the sentiment of beauty we feel the purposiveness
and intelligibility of everything that surrounds us,
while in the sentiment of the sublime we seem to see
beyond the world, to something overwhelming and
inexpressible in which it is somehow grounded.

–Roger Scruton,
Modern Culture

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Why Is The World So Fair?

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If it be all for naught, for nothingness
At last, why does God make the world so fair?
Why spill this golden splendor out across
The western hills, and light the silver lamp
Of eve? Why give me eyes to see, and soul
To love so strong and deep? Then, with a pang
This brightness stabs me through, and wakes within
Rebellious voice to cry against all death?
Why set this hunger for eternity
To gnaw my heartstrings through, if death ends all?
If death ends all, then evil must be good,
Wrong must be right, and beauty ugliness.
God is a Judas who betrays His Son,
And with a kiss, damns all the world to hell,–
If Christ rose not again.

–Anonymous soldier killed in World War I,
from: Masterpieces of Religious Verse

Sublime Artistry

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What angels invented these splendid ornaments,
these rich conveniences, this ocean of air above,
this ocean of water beneath, this firmament of earth between?
this zodiac of lights, this tent of dropping clouds,
this striped coat of climates, this fourfold year?

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Miraculous World

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The real miracle is not getting healed or surviving an accident but living with five senses on a planet where we experience strawberries, hummingbirds, sunsets, waterfalls, penguins, butterflies, ice cream, romance, roses, humor, chocolate, wine, kittens, coffee, and tropical beaches. Einstein got it right: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is.”

–J.O. Schulz