Vaclav Havel: Wonder as an end in itself

The recently-deceased Vaclav Havel, the Czech playwright-philosopher who became liberator and president, is worth listening to.  He thought our greatest shortcoming was pride in our own understanding:

'Strange things are happening and will happen. Not to bring oneself to admit it is the path to hell. Strangeness, unnaturalness, mystery, inconceivability… Until they are released and allowed to return to our minds things will not go well.

'Wonder… is, after all, the first impulse to the question: "What purpose does it all have?" "Why does it all exist?" "Why does anything exist at all?" We don’t know and we will never find it out. It is quite possible that everything is here in order for us to have something to wonder at. And that we are here simply so that there is someone to wonder…

'In all events, I am certain that our civilisation is heading for catastrophe unless present-day humankind comes to its senses. And it can only come to its senses if it grapples with its short-sightedness, its stupid conviction of its omniscience and its swollen pride, which have been so deeply anchored in its thinking and actions.'

Vaclav havel
[quote pinched from Archbishop Cranmer]


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