Rivers of ink have been spread over the intimate relationship between the human condition and nature that surrounds us. The piece that comes to mind today is from the shining pen of Ernest Hemingway, from the story The Three-Day Blow: “Outside now the Marge business was no longer so tragic. It was not even very important. The wind blew everything like that away. (...) None of it was important now. The wind blew it out of his head. Still he could always go into town Saturday night. It was a good thing to have in reserve.”
Hemingway’s exemplary dry style expresses the conjunction of environmental and emotional conditions.
That man can ignore nature, in the sense of being able to raise himself above it, be governed by his own spirit, is another facile illusion well examined by the Shakespearian hyperbole of Much Ado About Nothing: “I cannot hide what I am: I must bee sad when I haue cause, and smile at no mans iests, eat when I haue stomacke, and wait for no mans leisure: sleepe when I am drowsie, and tend on no mans businesse, laugh when I am merry, and claw no man in his humor.”
Yet when man rises above his social condition, relying on the power of his soul he stumbles, alas, in life and encountering the will of other men. This fact of having to deal with “mans leisure” [i.e. another’s will, tr.] is precisely an insurmountable limitation of his ability to pursue a purely individual happiness, disengaged from sharing with others. A form of participation that finds the names of love and friendship, the greatest levers of action in the world.
This is the message I would like to give you for Holy Christmas: to open yourselves to others and not close yourselves into yourselves. And I wanted to talk about that as an existential necessity, and not as usual, of a dogma, as a bit of religious coercion. A positive natural philosophy that starts from the observation of human behavior and a simple consideration: there is neither happiness nor fulfillment without harmony with nature and sharing one’s feelings with others. In this sense, egoism is the true instrument of the devil, because it condemns his own army to darkness and unhappiness.
Recommended listening. Giorni di vento, Litfiba