“ALL’S RIGHT WITH THE WORLD” – HUH?
(some backyard philosophy today, from ducks to caesars.)
I wrote in the last post about an amazing new fact I learned recently: that a bumble bee’s mouth is filled with little hairs! Yuck. But they serve as receptors for important little electrical signals put out by … flower petals!
Honestly! All of creation fits together in the most remarkable ways, one part made for the other. Creation works:
It’s spring, and the ducks have returned to my backyard pond. When they are resting like this they signal peace. Peace in my backyard. Peace. Sometimes I’m consciously grateful for the time to watch them for a while. They are there because “All’s right with the world,” however temporarily for them.
Another sign of nature working well:
Well, it works well for her, at least. She’s made her nest – and laid her eggs now – in the porch light just outside my front door. That means, once again, that I can’t use my front door for a while; and it means I have to duct-tape over the light switch or else the light bulb turned on will set fire to the nest (as it almost did last year).
But for her – and we’re beginning to think this is Mama Robin – she has found a peaceful place to make a home and nurture her chicks. “All’s right with (her) world.”
We can multiply this millions of times in the natural world.
However, when it comes to humans, who are part of the natural world, well, we sometimes get in the way of our own well-being. Observe this excerpt from a famous poem . . .
The year’s at the spring,
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hill-side’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in his Heaven –
All’s right with the world!
( by Robert Browning.)* It’s a portion of a poem that presents the terrible life a young girl who has been oppressed and ground down by her society. Society (politics and culture and social conventions) had gotten so far from the natural order of Creation that a young girl is cruelly victimized unto death. That society was in the midst of its collapse.
Yet look at the context in which this societal collapse took place!
“The year’s at the Spring” – as usual – “the day’s at the morn” – as expected – “the lark’s on the wing” – as normal – All of nature works, just as the Creator created it. And what does Nature care of the risings and fallings of societies and civilizations — which have learned to ignore natural, commonsense ways of Truth and Reality?
We build ourselves up:
Oh, yeah – you just know what’s going to happen next! One unstable house of cards; one push; one gust of wind; one accident; one deliberate undermining of the foundational layer.
Poof! The house of cards that man has built lies in a heap – to be discovered, perhaps, by archeologists thousands of years in the future.
There are certain truths about who and what Man is that cannot be contradicted for very long. Natural laws determine human growth beginning from a few cells to mature old age; one of two sexes; fresh and clean air, water, and food for optimum health; and certain ways to associate with each other, summarized efficiently in the Ten Commandments, for instance.
Here is one Truth about Man: “. . . man was formed for society . . .” a partial quote ** from Sir William Blackstone, who wrote his famous volumes of commentary on the Law, as England knew it in the 18th century.
Man was formed for society. . . . As such, it is of utmost importance that Man in his society reflects the reality of Man in Natural Truth. It’s common sense. But if our society, or our culture, departs from Natural Law, then it begins to erode and to corrupt.
“All’s right with the world . . . “ Evidence seems to be that all is NOT right with our society. Our foundations have been corrupted. Our foundational layer has been undermined. Poof!
But when I write about this in the weeks to come, I’m writing within the context of the existence of Natural Law at work in the Natural World. That Natural Law applies not only to Ducks and Robins (!) but also surely to us human beings.
The R word is very much on my mind these days, but I don’t know if it should be Recovery, Restoration, or Rebuilding.
This man had an idea:
Augustus Caesar sought to restore the Roman Republic to its higher moral foundations. He succeeded, somewhat, and built the Roman Empire, which lasted a few centuries more; not because its succeeding leaders were good and moral men, but because the momentum of a restored higher moral foundation made a few more centuries possible.
Good laws. Good men. Good moral foundation.
The new society worked — “All was well” with society, as in the natural world.
For a while, at least.
But it can be done.
. * Pippa’s Passing (Well-educated children used to have this portion of the poem memorized, but I fear that they were not taught the irony it presents. Modern society continued to collapse.)
. ** “But man was formed for society; and as is demonstrated by writers on the subject, is neither capable of living alone, nor indeed has the courage to do it.” (speaking, of course, of normal, healthy individuals)