Anglo-Saxon culture is unique in its dour and sour outlook. The world of Beowulf was always gloomy and dark. Despite some moderation through centuries of technological advancement and multicultural exposure, the under-layer of Western expectation is still that sad existence.
We don’t go there; it’s the prison we have escaped. Most Westerners who come to the heart-led way find it quite liberating and giddy by comparison. But what we experience as excessive brightness is actually the norm. That Anglo-Saxon moral sense has truly damaged us and the wounds may be long in healing.
It’s like so many other things so deeply wrong in Western Civilization. I recently commented on Psalm 133 how Westerners can never understand genuine male tenderness without first removing manhood. Just the same, we cannot enjoy life without sacrificing sobriety and good sense. Then again, “good sense” in the Anglo-Saxon tradition is simply a very harsh and guarded brand of cynicism and fearful self-control. Rooted in a materialistic grubbiness, it amounts to self-hate.
Communion with Creation, to include communion with your own body and soul, is a shocking change. And it brings with it a merciful cynicism that is never surprised by how fallen men can come up with new ways to sin. But we aren’t afraid to sacrifice some of the material things in this world, because they are both wonderful gifts and expendable in God’s abundant supply.
We live the paradox of faith.