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Les hommes ont banni la Divinité d’entr’eux; ils l’ont réleguée dans un Sanctuaire; les murs d’un temple bornent sa vue; elle n’éxiste point au-delà. Insensés que vous êtes, détruisez ces enceintes qui rétrécissent vos idées, élargissez Dieu: voyez-le partout où il est, ou dites qu’il n’est point.
Men have banned divinity from their midst, they have relegated it to their sanctuary. The walls of a temple are the limits of its view; beyond these walls it does not exist. Crazed as you are, you must destroy these enclosures that limit your horizon; liberate God; see Him where he actually is, or otherwise say that He does not exist.
–Denis Diderot, Pensées philosophiques pp. 21-22 (1746)(S.H. transl.)
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — August 5, 2016, 12:08 pm
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Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
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Years ago, I lived in Montana, a land of purple sunsets, clear streams, and snowflakes the size of silver dollars drifting through the cold air. There were no speed limits and you could legally drive drunk. My small apartment in Missoula had little privacy. In order to write, I rented an off-season fishing cabin on Rock Creek, a one-room place with a bed and a bureau. I lacked the budget for a desk. My idea was to remove a sliding door from a closet in my apartment and place it over a couple of hastily cobbled-together sawhorses.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”