New Coomarswamy Quote

Look…I know said I wouldn’t be writing on The Corporate Asylum anymore…seeing as I don’t work for a corporation  and now that I actually like my job (I’m even looking forward to work tomorrow), but I went into the bathroom to sit down for some unknown reason where my wife left a book she was reading, a book that I had read probably 20 years ago: Christian & Oriental Philosophy of Art by Ananda K. Coomaraswamy. I’m flipping through this book looking at things I underlined back in my youth or at least in my more youthful days and came across this:

Our hankering for a state of leisure or leisure state is the proof of the fact that most of us are working at a task to which we could never have been called by anyone but a salesman, certainly not by God or by our own natures. Traditional craftsmen whom I have known in the East cannot be dragged away from their work, and will work overtime to their own pecuniary loss.

He then goes on to say:

We have gone so far as to divorce work from culture, and to think of culture as something to be acquired in hours of leisure; but there can be only a hothouse of unreal culture where work itself is not its means; if culture does not show itself in all we make we are not cultured.

Ouch! I like these quotes but they seem a bit unrealistic to me. I agree with the first one. Clearly this is the state of many of us who work (my state for 17 years)…..but is it realistic for ALL work to be a means to a significant cultural experience, particularly in our society today that needs many mundane jobs in order to exist? Does that mean our society is at its root flawed?

Oh hell, I don’t know. I’m tired and I’m ready to go to sleep.…..I’ll let all of you think about it….ahhh….that would be you, Mom.

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