In keeping with our themes of Christian nihilism and Dudist abiding, I reread an essay by Peiper -- the limber lama of leisure -- on the ins & outs of these complicated subjects.
The Resistance. Just how does one resist a totalitarian worker state that seeks to enclose man in the Matrix, in service to the Conspiracy? "In the long run, the only adequate resistance" involves rediscovery and realization of the idea that "we work in order to have leisure."
Yes, but what is leisure for? That's the point: it is for nothing, bearing in mind that nothing isn't just anything. It must be distinguished from the mere nothing of nihilists, pacifists, and other perverts lacking any real ethos. In this context, "doing nothing" would be the opposite of the One True Leisure:
we work in order to do something, in order to be able to do something that is not work. What sort of activity is being referred to here? Recreation, entertainment, amusement, play -- none of these is meant here.
No, what we're talking about here is "activity which is meaningful in itself." Work, for example, is indeed meaningful, but not for itself, rather, for the sake of other things.
This touches on the original meaning of "liberal arts," which were in contradistinction to the servile arts. One might say that the purpose of the latter is to provide us the slack to indulge in the former -- as in how John Adams studied the arts of politics and war in the hope that his sons might have the slack to pursue mathematics and philosophy, and their children to fool around with painting, poetry, and music.
Of course, nowadays the liberal arts have been subsumed by the servile and worse; indeed, a man who does an honest day's labor with his hands is infinitely preferable to those tenured vulgarians who have transformed the liberal arts into a club with which to beat the restavus into ideological submission. The humanities now serve only to further our dehumanization.
Yes, literally, bearing in mind the related questions of 1) what is a person?, and 2) what are persons for?
Clearly, it is only possible to give an answer to this if one has a particular conception of the human person. What concerns us here is nothing less than the fulfillment of human existence. In what does this fulfillment consist?
The lapidary leisurist speaks for me and perhaps a few other cosmic misfits: "The answer offered by Western tradition would be this: whenever, when seeing, watching, contemplating"
we make make contact with the center of the world, with the hidden, ultimate meanings of life as a whole, with the divine root of things, with the quintessence of all archetypes... wherever and whenever we turn in this way to reality as a whole, we are involved in activity which is meaningful in itself.
I'm gonna guess that contemplating reality as a whole requires the whole of man.
To know God with all that we are: the very infinity of the object of knowledge requires the totality of the act of knowing.... he who wants the center must realize the whole (Schuon).
This contemplative contact with the Center of the world requires "an attitude of receptive openness and listening silence -- an attitude, therefore, which is completely contrary to the attitude of labor, i.e., of strained activity." Rather, "the fulfilling things in life... come to us only when we are able to receive them as gift" (Pieper).
This checks out. For example,
The routine is the preferred scene of epiphanies.
In reality the only worthwhile thing is the spontaneous fruit of forgotten meditations.
Religion is not a set of solutions to known problems, but a new dimension of the universe. The religious man lives among realities that the secular man ignores, but he does not hold the key to a riddle. Religious peace is not the peace of the problem solved, but of the love accepted. --Dávila x 3