To Rebel Against Necessity and More

12 October 2020 — Edward Curtin

“Compassion has no place in the natural order of the world, which operates on the basis of necessity. The laws of necessity are as unexceptional as the laws of gravitation. The human faculty of compassion opposes this order and is therefore best thought of as being in some way supernatural. To forget oneself, however briefly, to identify with a stranger to the point of fully recognizing her or him, is to defy necessity, and in this defiance, even if small and quiet and even if measuring only 60cm. x 50cm., there is a power that cannot be measured by the limits of the natural order. It is not a means and it has no end. The Ancients knew this.”

– John Berger, “A Man with Tousled Hair,” from The Shape of a Pocket Continue reading