Certain and deep green clover.

I drove more than an hour round trip to the dentist today and listened to A Little History of Philosophy by Nigel Warburton on the way. At the same time I was drinking in the information all my senses were sending me, especially the visual. Glory!

I stopped on the way home to take pictures, in the only spot that gave me room to pull over, and where there happened to be some fava beans growing in the field, maybe “drop-ins” (as my Syrian neighbor used to call volunteers) left over from a long-ago planting.

I was sad to hear on the recording about Pyrrho of Elis (c. 360–270 BC) and how, according to this admittedly simplified and somewhat satiric introduction, he constantly doubted his senses and intuitions and even what common knowledge had been handed down through the ages. He focused on man’s inability to know anything for sure. Many funny legends — such as, his friends had to protect him from falling off cliffs, etc, because he couldn’t trust what his eyes were telling him, that he was on the cliff’s edge — are told about Pyrrho, who wrote nothing and probably was not as crazy as his Skeptic philosophy might have made him if carried to extremes.

I thought about what G.K. Chesterton said about modern skeptics: “It is assumed that the skeptic has no bias; whereas he has a very obvious bias in favour of skepticism.” 

As I was looking at the poppies and the green fields, the cows and blue sky and the clouds, yes, I was certain that I was not hallucinating. That was truly deep green clover and a purple flower. And I knew that God meant for me to receive all these gifts from nature and the Creator without doubting everything at the outset. We should protect our children from the skeptical mind which does pervade modern society in more subtle ways, so that their natural human receptivity to the world and inclination to believe are not deadened. The best way to guard their minds against error is not to teach them to doubt, but to nurture them in beauty and truth.

8 thoughts on “Certain and deep green clover.

  1. Loved this line, Gretchen: “And I knew that God meant for me to receive all these gifts from nature and the Creator without doubting everything at the outset.” I cannot imagine the torment of that fellow who doubted everything.

    Your trip to the dentist and back surely provided some lovely vistas for nourishment of soul and mind.

    It is also my prayer as you put it so succinctly: “… that their natural human receptivity to the world and inclination to believe are not deadened.” Oh yes.

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  2. Yes, yes yes, to this: “We should protect our children from the skeptical mind which does pervade modern society in more subtle ways, so that their natural human receptivity to the world and inclination to believe are not deadened. The best way to guard their minds against error is not to teach them to doubt, but to nurture them in beauty and truth.”

    Victor Davis Hanson was recently lamenting that Universities are very busy schooling their pledges in skepticism before they know any better about life. Early inoculation with truth, beauty and goodness seems an awfully good call.

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  3. There’s no doubting that lovely little flower, or the green clover. The key is to learn to stop and look, as you so often do. A good lesson for children, yes, but more so perhaps for busy adults too. Thanks for your faithful reminders!

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  4. Yes, I can see how Pyrrho’s philosophy of life could drive one mad! Though God is capable of “blowing our minds” with complexity, I believe He loves us enough to have created a world we could understand at our level and where we could find some absolutes to hold onto. Call me simple, ha ha! 🙂

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  5. The gift of seeing what is all around is truly a great one and having an abundance of beauty as there is in your pictures is a blessing.

    Thank you for visiting my blog during a very difficult time for me.

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