Monday, February 17, 2014

Hope and Captivity

During the last war I devoted much thought to the characteristics of hope and to the tragic state of prisoners of war. I concluded by asking myself whether in the last analysis hope might not always be looked on as an active reaction against a state of captivity. It may be that we are capable of hoping only in so far as we start by realizing that we are captives. Our slavery, moreover, may take very different forms, such as sickness or exile. (This will help us to understand why it is that in some countries where social technique is over-developed, in which a sort of ease is assured to everyone, hope fades and withers, and with it the whole of religious life. Life stands still and there is nothing that does not labour under an invincible boredom. This seems to be so in Sweden, to a large extent.) From this it would appear that at the back of hope lies some sort of tragedy. To hope is to carry within me the private assurance that however black things may seem, my present intolerable situation cannot be final; there must be some way out.

Gabriel Marcel, The Mystery of Being, Volume II, Chapter IX.

1 comment:

  1. Martin T.2:54 PM

    In my own life I had hope before I had faith. It seems that the atheists I know are more" hopeless" than faithless.


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