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The Holy Earth   By: (1858-1954)

Book cover

First Page:





Copyright, 1915, by CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS

Published September, 1915



First, The Statement: Pages 1 16

In the beginning 5

The earth is good 7

It is kindly 10

The earth is holy 14

Second, The Consequences: Pages 17 171

The habit of destruction 18

The new hold 22

The brotherhood relation 30

The farmer's relation 32

The underlying training of a people 39

The neighbor's access to the earth 42

The subdividing of the land 48

A new map 55

The public program 61

The honest day's work 66

The group reaction 70

The spiritual contact with nature 75

The struggle for existence: war 80

The daily fare 90

The admiration of good materials 103

The keeping of the beautiful earth 115

The tones of industry 120

The threatened literature 124

The separate soul 130

The element of separateness in society 136

The democratic basis in agriculture 139

The background spaces. The forest 150

A forest background for a reformatory 156

The background spaces. The open fields 164

The background spaces. The ancestral sea 167



First, the Statement

So bountiful hath been the earth and so securely have we drawn from it our substance, that we have taken it all for granted as if it were only a gift, and with little care or conscious thought of the consequences of our use of it; nor have we very much considered the essential relation that we bear to it as living parts in the vast creation.

It is good to think of ourselves of this teeming, tense, and aspiring human race as a helpful and contributing part in the plan of a cosmos, and as participators in some far reaching destiny. The idea of responsibility is much asserted of late, but we relate it mostly to the attitude of persons in the realm of conventional conduct, which we have come to regard as very exclusively the realm of morals; and we have established certain formalities that satisfy the conscience. But there is some deeper relation than all this, which we must recognize and the consequences of which we must practise. There is a directer and more personal obligation than that which expends itself in loyalty to the manifold organizations and social requirements of the present day. There is a more fundamental co operation in the scheme of things than that which deals with the proprieties or which centres about the selfishness too often expressed in the salvation of one's soul.

We can be only onlookers on that part of the cosmos that we call the far heavens, but it is possible to co operate in the processes on the surface of the sphere. This co operation may be conscious and definite, and also useful to the earth; that is, it may be real. What means this contact with our natural situation, this relationship to the earth to which we are born, and what signify this new exploration and conquest of the planet and these accumulating prophecies of science? Does the mothership of the earth have any real meaning to us?

All this does not imply a relation only with material and physical things, nor any effort to substitute a nature religion. Our relation with the planet must be raised into the realm of spirit; we cannot be fully useful otherwise... Continue reading book >>

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