the archivist August 18, 2021
people touching tree

Wendell Berry delivered a speech at the conference, “Spirituality and Healing”, at Louisville, Kentucky, on October 17, 1994. Below is an excerpt:

So far, I have been implying my beliefs at every turn. Now I had better state them openly.

I take literally the statement in the Gospel of John that God loves the world. I believe that the world was created and approved by love, that it subsists, coheres, and endures by love, and that, insofar as it is redeemable, it can be redeemed only by love. I believe that divine love, incarnate and indwelling in the world, summons the world always toward wholeness, which ultimately is reconciliation and atonement with God.

I believe that health is wholeness. For many years I have returned again and again to the work of the English agriculturist Sir Albert Howard, who said, in The Soil and Health, that “the whole problem of health in soil, plant, animal, and man [is] one great subject.”

I am moreover a Luddite, in what I take to be the true and appropriate sense. I am not “against technology” so much as I am for community. When the choice is between the health of a community and technological innovation, I choose the health of the community. I would unhesitatingly destroy a machine before I would allow the machine to destroy my community.

I believe that the community–in the fullest sense: a place and all its creatures–is the smallest unit of health and that to speak of the health of an isolated individual is a contradiction in terms.

amzn | lib

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