Tuesday, 27 November 2007
The Purpose of Life
Looking to Georgeham, from the hills above Croyde
… The purpose of life is entirely individual and personal, a certain secret adjustment between ourselves, as lonely organic unites of consciousness, and the imponderable multiverse that surrounds us. We each, if we have any sense of honour or any virtue in us, feel we must share the practical labour of housing, feeding, and clothing the naked bodies of men; but all this is merely the means of life, Life itself, the purpose and entelechy of life, does not even begin until both the tiresomeness of “work” and the tiresomeness of “play” are laid aside and we obtain leisure to enjoy those dreamy, sensual, imaginative feelings out of which our inmost identity or interior “ego” weaves its unique material material-spiritual cocoon.
Everyone has a natural right to advocate the kind of economic or political arrangements – however shocking to the majority-opinion – that one feels lends itself best to the housing, clothing, and feeding of human beings. But all these matters are irrelevant to the main issue. Whatever economic or political system we ironically endure or passionately seek to bring about, out real life goes on its way, through good luck and bad luck, through comfort, through poverty, seeking its true happiness in the imaginative sensuality of its contemplative day-dreams.
In Defense of Sensuality
John Cowper Powys
Victor Gollancz Ltd 1930