Vail Daily letter: Superior in spirit
June 25, 2013
There is that often overlooked spiritual dimension that necessarily must be associated with Peter Runyon’s column and Karl Lundgren’s letter concerning the proposed Wolcott development.
When one first happens upon Vail Valley, even to this day, the normal, natural, human response is: “Oh! How beautiful!”
And “response” is the correct emotion, for the person in possession of right reason recognizes that he cannot, nor did not, create its beauty.
Though he may touch it and experience it in many physical ways, its highest effect may never be completely understood or satisfied.
This is because the equation that many hope exists between spirit and matter is comprised of unequal components.
To the man with legitimate scientific training, one factor must logicially predominate. And that training reveals that spirit (which is eternal) is superior to matter (which exists but in time).
In 1932, Jose Ortega Y Gasset’s “ The Revolt of the Masses” (W.W.Norton) explains: “The one fact … of utmost importance … is the acession of the masses to complete social power. … As they … neither should, nor can, direct their own personal existence … still less rule society in general. … The fact is quite simple to enunciate, though not … to analyze. … I shall call it the fact of agglomeration, of ‘plentitude.’
“Towns are full of people, houses full of tenants, hotels full of guests … cafes full of customers … consulting rooms full of famous doctors full of patients … theatres full of spectators. … What previously was, in general, no problem, now begins to be an everyday one, namely, to find room.”
There are still some of us around living in Vail Village who years ago considered Lionhead “out of town,” and a rather shabby construct at that.
Imagine what we thought of what happened westward, for mass appeal quickly and vulgarly ignored the superior spiritual truth that originally caused the now resident masses to say: “Oh! How beautiful!”
And so, the Spanish writer’s treatise: “The mass is the assemblage of persons not specially qualified … the mass is the average man.”
“Average men,” unable to understand the damage done due to their inability to think above the level of matter, have destroyed not only the material benefits of this valley, but more importantly, its spirit.
Mass interests prevailed within the local political and economic realm, causing the average man, unqualified to “direct his own personal existence,” to succeed in “ruling society in general.”