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excellent schoolmasters

21 July 2010 3 comments

Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.

Isaiah 40:4, NIV

What a boring, colorless, featureless place.  I prefer this:


  • Deb Seaton said:

    What prompted the use of that particular verse? Meaning, was it part of last Sunday’s sermon, or similar? And from where is this vista?

  • dan (author) said:

    Upon reading an excerpt from MLK’s “I Have A Dream” speech, the words struck me. I appreciate his usage and the intent therein, but the original text calls to mind the sense of ownership/abuse the authors of the Bible designed for themselves, and the contrast of more modern sensibilities of not being “stewards,” but responsible creatures of nature ourselves, accepting the beauty of nature as a thing in itself, not something merely to be used or dominated.

  • Deb Seaton said:

    Your “not being stewards but creatures of nature ourselves” is why I cannot call myself a humanist. It seems disingenuous (at best) and hubristic (at worst) to presume we are capable of what some would say are “great things,” merely because we are human. Yes, humans have done big things. Big good things, but also big bad things. Which seems no better, proportionally, than any other species. In fact, in many ways humans do more harm than good, or so it seems to me.

    That said, I do relish the intended sentiment of “Know ye not that ye are gods” (Hermes Trismegistos). It appeals to my idealist perspective, if not my pessimistic nature. We are capable of so much more. If there is any beauty in our collective humanity, it is our ability to hope. (Although for all we know, every other animal hopes, too. What we call habit or training in animals might just be insatiable, undying hope. Perhaps it is only our egos that say differently.)

    Excellent post, BTW. “Vigorous writing is concise.” (William Strunk, Jr.)