The Reason for the Hope

The next chapter I read in The Art of Living is also written by Dietrich’s widow Alice von Hildebrand and it’s on the subject of hope. In it, she begins by diagnosing despair as “the consciousness of a metaphysical calling, a metaphysical destiny left unfulfilled.” And she argues that whenever a person despairs and says about his life, “It’s too late”, this betrays a lack of confidence “in the eternal renewal of the generous creativity of God.” Continue reading “The Reason for the Hope”

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How telling people what you do for a living affects your personality

The newly republished book by Dietrich von Hildebrand, The Art of Living, includes two beautiful essays by his widow, Alice, on the topics of communion and hope.

The chapter on communion is marvellous and incisive. She begins by discussing the various crises of communion in our contemporary society. There are different types of solitude. Sometimes being alone can be a source of anxiety and other times it can be a relief. The peculiar and unsettling loneliness is that of being alone in a crowd, which Hannah Arendt discussed as the social realm (neither the public nor the private sphere but some collapsed in-between) and which Sherry Turkle discusses in the context of technology in her book Alone Together.
Continue reading “How telling people what you do for a living affects your personality”