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Saturday, July 13, 2024


We love to complain! Many times we don’t have reasons at all to do so – but, we love to complain. Especially nowadays. Our world is full of mess- isn’t it? 

We bring many assertions to bear: first, in the past we have been thriftier and economical, more religious and devout, more patriotic, industrious, more hard-working, keen and obedient. And, second, above everything and all: in the past we had more idealists. Third, nowadays we have (mostly?) material things in mind – what a disgrace. 

Materialists or idealists? What do you love?

I just quoted Vox Populi… .

A “materialist” has indeed become a swear word. I don’t mean with “material” the accumulated data out of which a writer creates a work of literary, historical, or scientific value. A materialist is being easily described as someone with an attitude, who ignores spiritual values, compared with an idealist, who has the tendency to seek the highest spiritual perfection.

Idealism means the doctrine that appearance is purely the perception, the idea of subjects, and that the world is to be regarded as consisting of mind. The coquetry of higher philosophy makes it difficult to bear the ups and downs in our daily life.

Sure, we all know that “our last earthly dress has no pockets  any more”. Striving for earthly and terrestrial possession, property and estate might be the hit-man of idealism. That’s how we have been taught. “Wine, women and song”, having the unpleasant feeling of fullness, egoism and bragging as well as showing-off – are these the materialist’s real attitudes?

Is the idealist, many times not being able to stand on earth with both feet, the only one who occupies himself with religion and virtuousness – so to speak, with celestial and heavenly things? Is that really so? Can we make such a distinction? Sure, it’s easy to do so: it’s manageable and comfortable. But well, why is the enjoyment of having a tasty meal BAD, and listening to a recital composed by Johann Sebastian Bach BETTER? Why should art be better than roasted pork and a bottle of wine? Value judgements and moral concepts… .

Owning a house and lot and care are – of course – earthly properties, as well as bank saving accounts, profitable insurances, and invest advantageously in stocks. Is a terrible underpaid nurse or a book author an idealist, because he or she doesn’t work for the filthy lure but for higher values? Has Jesus been an idealist, because He renunciated and died without terrestrial possession? Has Jesus been a materialist, because He fed thousands of people on the breadline? Are we idealists, if we bequeath nothing to our families and might die without a single centavo, because earthly things are bad?


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