A Quest for Plenitude

May 29, 2014

Arranging flowers

This driving force is found in our great desire for plenitude: that is, a sense of full satisfaction or completeness. Because of our composite nature, we are not satisfied with mere material security. In our quest for perfection, we naturally seek after spiritual satisfaction as well. Our souls are strongly attracted to that which moves us towards plenitude. We rejoice in this plenitude and never tire in seeking after it.

A bouquet of gladiolus at Terra Ceia Island Farms, Florida.

A bouquet of gladiolus at Terra Ceia Island Farms, Florida.

This can be seen in the senses. It is proper for our eyes to see, but we are most drawn to very beautiful objects. When we hear, we experience greater delight by listening to the most beautiful harmonies. The sense of smell finds great fulfillment in exquisite perfumes. Even infants in their primitive reactions shun the ordinary and go after that which dazzles and sparkles. We naturally tend to the most expressive plenitude of our legitimate desires.

The object of this surging universal human desire has a name: it is called the sublime.




John Horvat, Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society—Where We’ve Been, How We Got Here, and Where We Need to Go (York, Penn.: York Press, 2013), 315.


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