Two Fruit Trees

There was a gardener who filled his garden with plants of all kinds that he might have good food to eat throughout the long year. In that garden were fruits and vegetables, nuts, herbs, spices, and vines. He hedged his garden about with strong walls to protect it, and to each plant he gave water … Continue reading Two Fruit Trees

Squeamish About Our Bodies (The Third of Three Meditations on A Brave New World)

Parenthood in A Brave New World is considered obscene. Motherhood, fatherhood, and family-life are looked upon, not only as antiquated, but as shameful. There is a powerful logic at work in the novel, a logic which is at work in our own culture. When sex ceases to be linked with marriage or reproduction, our bodies and our bodily existence can … Continue reading Squeamish About Our Bodies (The Third of Three Meditations on A Brave New World)

Unity vs. Uniformity (The Second of Three Meditations on A Brave New World)

Social conditioning in A Brave New World (coupled with genetic and pharmacological engineering) succeeds in eliminating nearly all conflict, but it also undermines certain fundamental elements of a truly human polis. Ironically, in this highly uniform society, it is unity which is undermined most of all. This is because social unity, understood as a communion of persons, cannot be achieved merely … Continue reading Unity vs. Uniformity (The Second of Three Meditations on A Brave New World)

The Failed Promise of the Enlightenment (The First of Three Meditations on A Brave New World)

The success of the political order in A Brave New World comes at the price of social and personal maturity. Yet, it is a price the controllers and engineers of that society willingly pay, making the very success of their social experiment a failure. Remarkably, the failure of this system finds its origin in values first codified during the Enlightenment. It was during … Continue reading The Failed Promise of the Enlightenment (The First of Three Meditations on A Brave New World)

In Defense of the Useless, Part I

A liberal arts education, like love, is best when it is useless. ‘Useless’ is a philosophic term which refers to that which is enjoyed for its own sake, that which has purpose, value, and meaning in and of itself. Joseph Pieper discusses the useless on page 41 of  his essay In Defense of Philosophy. What he refers to as “philosophy,” he elsewhere refers to … Continue reading In Defense of the Useless, Part I