The moral sense of nature

by JordanB

It is remarkable how much we let our technologies run the game for us. Two in particular–money and the clock–we let run rampant, to the point that they have actually changed the way we understand reality and our place in reality. Money has dehumanized our labor, and the clock has detached us from the natural rhythm of the seasons and the day. How did we let that happen? How does it happen that the tools we use to interact more easily with the world around us come to define reality for us? What is time without the clock? I think many of us take it for granted that time is a thing that ticks on, uniformly and infinitely. We have no moral sense of time – the fitting season, the right time. As it says in Ecclesiastes, “there is a time for gathering, and a time for scattering.”

In fact I would even suggest that “reason” is yet another tool that has come to define reality for us in a distorted way. Reason is a tool that we use to conceptualize the world in order to think about it. But somehow we come to believe that our concepts of the world are actually the world.

It is almost enough to make me a Marxist, but it is deeper than history, and so history can not save us. Somehow we must learn to recover the awe of the world as it is in itself, not as it is defined by our tools and technologies.