Ordinary life

2019-08-10 ☼ DesignBooks

William Morris, in The Aims of Art:

In short, men will find out that the men of our days were wrong in first multiplying their needs, and then trying, each man of them, to evade all participation in the means and processes whereby those needs are satisfied; that this kind of division of labour is really only a new and wilful form of arrogant and slothful ignorance, far more injurious to the happiness and contentment of life than the ignorance of the processes of Nature, of what we sometimes call science, which men of the earlier days unwittingly lived in. They will discover, or rediscover rather, that the true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.

Christopher Alexander, in The Timeless Way of Building:

We have a habit of thinking that the deepest insights, the most mystical, and spiritual insights, are somehow less ordinary than most things—that they are extraordinary. This is only the shallow refuge of the person who does not yet know what he is doing. In fact, the opposite is true: the most mystical, most religious, most wonderful—these are not less ordinary than most things—they are more ordinary than most things. It is because they are so ordinary, indeed, that they strike to the core.

T. S. Eliot, in Little Gidding from the Four Quartets:

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

William Schutz, in Profound Simplicity:

Understanding evolves through three phases: simplistic, complex, and profoundly simple.