The Modern Man has not only forgotten how to be alone;
he finds it difficult even to be with his fellow man.
He not only runs away from himself;
he runs away from his family.
The heart of the Ten Commandments is to be found in the words:
Revere thy father and thy mother.
Without profound reverence for father and mother,
our ability to observe the other commandments is dangerously impaired.
The problem of living does not arise
with the question of how to take care of
the rascals or with the realization of how
we blunder in dealing with other people.
It begins in the relation to our own selves,
in the handling of our physiological and
emotional functions. What is first at stake
in the life of man is not the fact of sin, of
the wrong and corrupt, but the natural acts,
the needs. Our possessions pose no less a
problem than our passions.
The fear of living arises most
commonly out of experience of failure or
insult, of having gone astray or having been
rebuffed. It is rooted in the encounter with
other human beings, in not knowing how
to be with other beings, in the inability
or refusal to communicate, but above all in
the failure to live in complete involvement
with what transcends our living.
Man's quest for a meaning of existence
is essentially a quest for the lasting...
The way to the lasting does not lie on
the other side of life; it does not begin
where time breaks off. The lasting begins
not beyond but within time, within the
moment, within the concrete... The
days of our lives are representatives of
eternity rather than fugitives, and we must
live as if the fate of all of time would totally
depend on a single moment.
Animals are content when their
needs are satisfied; man insists not only on
being satisfied but also on being able to
satisfy, on being a need... Personal needs
come and go, but one anxiety remains:
Am I needed? There is no man who has
not been moved by that anxiety.