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[[strikethrough]] THURSDAY, JUNE 4, 1936 [[/strikethrough]] 156th Day 210 Days to come Cont "You say you can't understand how I seem to hold my own in the world without faith, & almost without the world. It is quite simple. I have the Epicurean contentment which was not far removed from asceticism: & besides I have a spiritual allegiance of my own that hardly requires faith, that is, only a humorous animal faith in nature & history, & no religious faith: & this commonsense world suffices for intellectual satisfaction; partly in observing & in understanding it, partly in dismissing it all; from the point of view of the spirit, a transitory & local accident. You say I don't love life, & that faith is necessary. Very true. I don't love life unconditionally; but I enjoy the "mere living," when I am in good health, which is most of the time; & I enjoy the episodes, unless I am rudely prevented from doing so. It was Oliver (in The Last Puritan) not I who didn't enjoy life, because [[strikethrough]] FRIDAY, JUNE 5, 1936 [[/strikethrough]] 157th Day Ember Day 209 Days to come cont. he hadn't the animal Epicurean faculty of enjoying it in its arbitraryness & transciency. He was a spiritual man, incapacitated to be anything else, like Christ who couldn't be a soldier, or athelete or lover of women (or, even though I don't say so in the book, a good believing Christian). Now that is a tragic vocation, like the vocation of a poet: it demands sacrifice & devotion to a divine allegiance: but poor Oliver, ready for every sacrifice, had nothing to pin his allegiance to. He was what the rich young man in the Gospel would have been if he had been ready to sell his goods & give to the poor, but then had no cross to take up, & no Jesus to follow. Faith as you say, is needed; but faith is an assurance inwardly prompted, springing from the irrepressible impulse to do, to fight, to triumph. Here is where the third sloppy wash in the family teapot is insufficient & without robustness an imposed intellectual faith wouldn't do, it would only make a [[strikethrough]] conf [[/strikethrough]] conventional person."
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