Friday, June 08, 2007

Tolle, lege!

In 1336, Petrarch arduously ascended Mount Ventoux in order simply "to see what so great an elevation had to offer." At the time, climbing a mountain for fun was an unheard-of pursuit. One went around mountains whenever possible, and only climbed them if no other path to the other side presented itself, and if tunneling proved too costly. The idea of looking down from a mountain in order to enjoy the view was quite radical. Many scholars trace the eruption of a new worldview to Petrarch's climb; this worldview, they argue, precipitated the Renaissance.

Petrarch himself opened Augustine's Confessions at random whilst sitting on the peak and read:

And men go about admiring the high mountains and the mighty waves of the sea and the wide sweep of rivers and the sound of the ocean and the movement of the stars, but they themselves they abandon.
This apparent synchronicity deeply impacted the young man.

As the Aquarian Age dawns, we require a new Petrarch to shake us from our complacent slumber. Who shall rouse us with a new clarion, renewing the stale post-Enlightenment mindset and ushering in an age of unparalled creative vigor?

Hint: It won't be Glenn Beck.

Perhaps it is you? Get busy, dammit!

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