If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is: infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.”
William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
I’m in the middle of reading Norman Wirzba’s From Nature to Creation: A Christian Vision for Understanding and Loving Our World. So much good stuff there, so many questions percolating in my mind about how to live faithfully in the suburban context. One topic that’s been on my mind for a while, and which Wirzba’s book addresses, is the tourist mentality. He shows how the celebration of wilderness is really only for wealthy city folks, who are already alienated from the land. He writes,
The paradox of the romantic view of wilderness is that it results in a view of nature in which people are welcome only as tourists and in which they cannot make a durable home. By sequestering nature to that realm apart from culture, people give themselves an excuse to be inattentive to and irresponsible with the urban/suburban areas in which they live and the farm fields from which they draw their daily sustenance.
He quotes Blake, above, and I’m struck again by the lie that Satan told Eve: “Your eyes will be opened.” Surely our sin only clouds our vision, obscuring the glorious reality of all things, and twisting our sight to be idolatrous.