Chasing the Perfect – what a home is.

21 Oct

I really really like this quote from Chasing the Perfect:

… I thought about what [Ernest] Becker said and about the four levels of power and meaning that he thought a person could choose to live by. First, he thought the basic level was the personal – the person you talk to when you are alone, the secret hero of your hidden life. The second level is the social, your intimate circle: spouse, close friends, family, dog. The third level he calls the secular; it is your allegiance to al arguer social group, a nation or a party or a corporation, your devotion to science or art. And the fourth, the one he considers the highest level of power and meaning in a person’s life, he calls the sacred: a person’s connection with “an invisible and unknown power, the insides of Nature, the source of Creation, or God.”

… it hit me that a real home – not an electronic showplace but a home – is a place where Becker’s four levels find physical support. In a real home there’s a place for talking to yourself alone. There’s a place for your visiting friend and for her children who climb all over your sofa while eating pudding. There’s a place for stuffing envelopes for the campaign or settling in and reading Gibbon from first volume to last. There
s a place to sit and look at a tree or a leaf and to think uninterrupted thoughts about that tree or that leaf. In short, a real home supports a person’s individual power and meaning.

When I was typing this up, I typoed ‘Creation’ as ‘Creatine’ :) Still, as I transition from the hectic lifestyle and into a more relaxed-paced one, this chunk of text on what a home is really hit close to home.

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