Living in the sight of God

February 10 2014

The worth of a blind and paralyzed painter who has never dipped a brush in paint would be no less than if he were articulate. I do believe that there is an absolute value in the human spirit quite apart from its material effects on society. There are many such people in the world. They would probably say – if they were religious – that their emotional and spiritual life was between them and God, that living and working in the sight of God was sufficient for them; they didn’t need their fellow men. Would this impoverish the spiritual estate of man? Yes, I think it would, not only because the estate of man is poorer for not having these people being articulate, but also because they had some unique and priceless quality to give which they have, in fact, not given.

Toynbee on Toynbee, A Conversation between Arnold J Toynbee and GR Urban, New York, OUP, 1974

2 Responses to “Living in the sight of God”

  1. davidderrick Says:

    … on top of mere articulateness.

  2. davidderrick Says:

    Did Toynbee have Milton’s On His Blindness in his mind here?

    The poem is quoted in

    God and the Persian kings (old post).

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