August 5, 2014

It is only the living churches we don’t show

Schumacher messes with my head. If you haven't read Small is Beautiful, you should. I love this quote–which I was recently reminded of–from A Guide for the Perplexed:
"On a visit to Leningrad some years ago I consulted a map to find out where I was, but I could not make it out. I could see several enormous churches, yet there was no trace of them on my map. When finally an interpreter came to help me, he said 'We don’t show churches on our maps.' Contradicting him, I pointed to one that was very clearly marked. 'This is a museum,' he said, 'not what we call a living church. It is only the living churches we don’t show.'

It then occurred to me that this was not the first time I had been given a map that failed to show many of the things I could see right in front of my eyes. All through school and university I had been given maps of life and knowledge on which there was hardly a trace of many of the things that I most cared about and that seemed to me to be of the greatest possible importance for the conduct of my life. I remembered that for many years my perplexity was complete; and no interpreter came along to help me. It remained complete until I ceased to suspect the sanity of my perceptions and began, instead, to suspect the soundness of the maps." (emphasis mine)
HT: Brainpickings

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