Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy Quotes #20

“People who take seriously battles over philosophies of life or views of the world [Weltanschauung] are especially likely to be interested in pursuing the riddles of the soul.”

~from Practical Knowledge of the Soul, page 3

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God Speaks. You Live. Have Faith.

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In the Bible, faith is not said to be needed in order to believe that God exists. Rather, faith is needed to believe that what God says is true. This is the greatest temptation to doubt: “Did God really say…?”

God speaks, and if He didn’t, we wouldn’t exist. The atheist says he doesn’t believe in God. That’s what he thinks, but what he really doesn’t believe in is that God speaks, and speaks truthfully. God’s existence goes without saying — God is the unspoken Speaker. The atheist would disagree, but that’s because the conditions of proof for God in his mind are incompatible with reality. The atheist demands that God be an objective product of speech. Whose speech? No one’s.

“The atheist says, ‘Believe me that there is no God.’… He invokes your and my belief in the power to speak the truth… Atheism is self-contradictory, because to speak means to believe in God — to say something that has validity before and after my physical existence.”
~Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy

God says, “I am,” and all of humanity hears it. To make the claim that God does not exist is really not a valid claim, and anyone who makes it is really saying that he doesn’t believe God’s claim. We all have a belief in God built into us. We all have to choose to believe if God speaks truthfully or not. The atheist takes one extreme and believes that God is lying always. The Christian takes the opposite extreme and believes God never lies (although, he will struggle much with that belief). Most people live somewhere in between those extremes.

Related reading: God’s Idea; The Kingdom of Speech; Past & Future: Connected by Speech

Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy Quotes #19

“Jesus … would have been nothing but a fanatic dreamer had He not carried within His own soul the full time span from Adam and Moses to Himself. Only because He did was He later accorded a corresponding power to shape the future. That power reaches from Him — through the Church and Christendom — to the end of the world, and is undeniably still being revealed to us every day since we are still fighting about Him as much as ever before.”

~from Practical Knowledge of the Soul, page 13

Live and Let Live

“And they made good laws and kept the peace and saved good trees from being unnecessarily cut down, and liberated young dwarfs and young satyrs from being sent to school, and generally stopped busybodies and interferers and encouraged ordinary people who wanted to live and let live.”

~C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy Quotes #18

War and Murder

Some pacifists indulge in calling war murder. Ever since men could speak, murder and war stood approximately at opposite ends of the scale of social processes. The murderer was and is pre-tribal; he expresses his will against another will. War defends the order to which the warrior has surrendered part of his will because he believes in a higher, supernatural peace and order between men which depends for its existence on his acts. Not to go to war, means to desert the peace which my body politic has established. Not to murder means to respect the continuity which my body politic has built up.

~from The Origin of Speech, page 29