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This is the next excerpt from Beatrice Allen Page’s unpublished manuscript, Landscape With Figures:

“Just read a newspaper article maintaining that the human organism can learn to adapt itself  to a contaminated environment. Even supposing that is so, can the human spirit transcend an atmosphere of ugliness and callousness?

How can we have any reverence for human life if we have no reverence for other forms of life and for the earth on which all life dwells and which is part and parcel of it?

Not that I’m advocating a simple back-to-nature movement as a cure-all for the world’s ills. As George Eliot wrote somewhere, it takes more than turning a man loose in a field of buttercups to make him moral. As long as we have closed our minds and dulled our senses to everything that does not serve our immediate needs and greeds, it won’t avail us much to move to the country or the mountains or the seashore. But if we could look beyond those immediate needs and greeds…

More and more I am coming to believe that if we have become alienated from one another, it is in part because we have become alienated from our common ground of being, in a quite literal sense.”