Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Holy Earth for Earth Day

We have assumed that there is no obligation to an inanimate thing, as we consider the earth to be: but man should respect the conditions in which he is placed; the earth yields the living creature; man is a living creature; science constantly narrows the gulf between the animate and the inanimate, between the organized and the inorganized; evolution derives the creatures from the earth; the creation is one creation. I must accept all or reject all.
It is good to live. We talk of death and of lifelessness, but we know only of life. Even our prophecies of death are prophecies of more life. We know no better world: whatever else there may be is of things hoped for, not of things seen. The objects are here, not hidden nor far to seek: And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.
    These good things are the present things and the living things. The account is silent on the things that were not created, the chaos, the darkness, the abyss. Plato, in the "Republic," reasoned that the works of the creator must be good because the creator is good. This goodness is in the essence of things; and we sadly need to make it a part in our philosophy of life. The earth is the scene of our life, and probably the very source of it. The heaven, so far as human beings know, is the source only of death; in fact, we have peopled it with the dead. We have built our philosophy on the dead.
    We seem to have overlooked the goodness of the earth in the establishing of our affairs, and even in our philosophies. It is reserved as a theme for preachers and for poets. And yet, the goodness of the planet is the basic fact in our existence. -L.H. Bailey, The Holy Earth

Thursday, April 19, 2012

L.H. Bailey Message for Earth Day

The planet is part of a program we do not comprehend but in which we may partake. We manipulate the surface of the earth for good or for ill. We must keep and protect the heritage for the millions who are to come after us. This is a moral obligation. We did not make the earth. We have received it and its bounties. If it is beyond us, so is it divine. We have inescapable responsibilities. It is our privilege so to comprehend the use of the earth as to develop a spiritual stature. When the epoch of mere exploitation of the earth shall have worn itself out, we shall realize the heritage that remains and enter new realms of satisfaction. -L.H. Bailey, Retrospect for The Holy Earth, 1943

Monday, April 02, 2012

The Country Point of View

     Half of country life is in the living. It is in the point of view. It is in the way in which we look at things. Thoreau rejoiced when it rained, because he knew that his beans were happy. One day my man was agitated because the woodchucks were eating the beans. He would go to town at once and buy a gun. I asked him how many beans the woodchucks would probably destroy. He thought from one-eighth to one-quarter of an acre. Now, one-quarter of an acre of field beans should bring me a net cash return of three or four dollars. I told him that he could not buy a gun for that money. If he had a gun, he would waste more time killing the woodchucks than the beans would be worth. But the worst part of it would be that he would kill the woodchucks, and at daylight, morning after morning, I had watched the animals as they stole from the bushes, sniffed the morning air, and nibbled the crisp young leaves. Many a time I had spent twice four dollars for much less entertainment. -L.H. Bailey, Farm and Forest, 1911