harvey cox | feast of fools
I know nothing, except what everyone knows--
if there when Grace dances, I should dance.
W.H. Auden, "Whitsunday in Kirchstetten"
Mankind has paid a frightful price for the present opulence of Western industrial society. Part of the price is exacted daily from the poor nations of the world whose fields and forests garnish our tables while we push their people further into poverty. Part is paid by the plundered poor who dwell within the gates of the rich nations without sharing in the plenty. But part of the price has been paid by affluent Western man himself. While gaining the whole world he has been losing his own soul. He has purchased prosperity at the cost of a staggering impoverishment of the vital elements of his life. These elements are festivity -- the capacity for genuine revelry and joyous celebration -- and fantasy -- the faculty for envisioning radically alternate life situations. Festivity and fantasy are not only worthwhile in themselves, they are absolutely vital to human life.
Harvey Cox, 1969
The Feast Of Fools