I've yet to finish this chapter, but I was delighted to see The Peregrine make an appearance. It's one of my favourite books. I recently read Baker's biography where it is surmised that the reason he was able to observe peregrines so well was because of the effect of DDT, which made them sickly and slothful -- a scientific detail that only serves to reinforce the perspective you give here. On Klages, however, I do find myself wondering whether 'calculating reason' alone suffices to explain the behaviour of, say, modern, industrial 'farmers'. In their rape of the countryside, I see a kind of maniacal will-to-power and enchantment with technique, to which they then apply their reason, but which precedes, and is distinct from, that reason. Finally, I am reading a late essay by Toynbee, titled "The religious background of the present environmental crisis" (1972) in which he, of all people, advocates the abandonment of the monotheistic religions and the embrace of pantheism and Buddhism as way of reorienting our relationship with the natural world. I couldn't help thinking of you on DHL as I read it.

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I think Klages was spot-on regarding profit-driven farmers of his era, but today I would have to say it is a rather moot point, since, today, there are no farmers, or so few as to be insignificant. "Farming" is simply one large mechanized industry among others, controlled by a small cartel of profit-driven companies. Wendell Berry, the Amish, or some small-time organic farmer who tills the land with his own hands (supposing that he exists and isn't just a marketing ploy to get hipsters to pay more) are exceptions that proove the rule.

That is interesting regarding Toynbee. I do want to make it clear, I have no beef with monotheistic religions, as such, but only particular historical manifestations of those religions. I spent most of yesterday in the Milan Duomo, praying to the Fire that lies behind and beyond all the multitudinous manifestations of the Gods, and I realized clearly that even the most decadent forms of classical religion are much more alive than the insipid, vapid religions of the moderns. There is nothing like praying in an old cathedral with some of the most sublime art mankind has fashined, yet surrounded by obnoxious tourists, and trying to block out the insistent calls to buy, spend, consume, shouted from every street corner, to make one's hatred of the modern world reach new heights.

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