January 5, 2005

Only when we take human existence upon ourselves...

The Romero quote that I posted in the Christmas Thoughts thread sparked such great discussion that I thought I'd toss this one out and see what we come up with.

I'm not sure what I think of the quote yet. My initial reaction was to think that he's off his rocker. But Eberhard was a good guy and very thoughtful (I believe his dissertation was on Nietsze), so my second thought was that I shouldn't blow him off so quickly. Here's the quote:

"Only when we take human existence upon ourselves in its starkest and most humiliating misery--a misery in which nothing has meaning--can we win through to the only possible way to live. Only when we taste the lot of all, when we become involved deeply in world suffering, one in heart with the need of humanity, can we win through to our true vocation. Only when the conscience becomes active, only when love is born out of suffering, only when hardship leads to liberating action, is victory near." -- Eberhard Arnold

(I should add that Eberhard was around in the early 1900's. He was forced out of Germany by the Nazis during the second world war. He started a community called the Bruderhof that was an attemp to get back to anabaptist roots (away from the Lutheranism that ruled Germany at the time). The Bruderhof still exists. I've met people from it though I haven't been to one. Whether Eberhard would agree with where the Bruderhof is today would probably be fodder for another discussion.)