ESSENCE OF NATURE

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JIM’S FUNERAL today was a really wonderful occasion. The weather lifted spirits and the tribute from his grand-daughter was both apposite and touching. Jim was loved dearly by his family, but also by a huge assembly of valued friends who, in their turn, thought the world of him. I thought of the Scottish philosopher John Macmurray (1) and Anaïs Nin (2), both quoted in Michael Paul Gallagher’s The Human Poetry of Faith

1 From Reason and Emotion: I am prepared to bank upon the faith that the essence of nature – human and divine – is love. The personal life is essentially a life of relations between people; to be ourselves at all we need other people. Religion grows out of our relation to persons.

2 Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive.

We need each other, and I find few things more reassuring than a gathering of family and friends (in person or “in spirit”) who walk the whole way with someone they’ve loved well, all the way to the gates of Paradise.

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