(99) St Augustine on Waste

Okay not that these passages from St Augustine  fit exactly what our approach is but there is something  to the worldly life being one of waste (and sin) in contrast to the city of god.  Of course his style of contrasting dualities (properly then subsumed within the Oneness of God) mirrors dialectics of production and excertion: purity of affection vs unholy desire; bright path of friendship versus dark concupiscence. There is a more modern sophisticated approach to trash seeing it as an engineering problem, but I wonder if it is ever possible to divorce waste from ethics (guilt, etc) and valuation (be it a commodity or a sin).

Book 2 of his Confessions begins and ends with something very similar to the modern concept of being a waste or being wasted.

Book 2   

Chapter II.-Stricken with Exceeding Grief, He Remembers the Dissolute Passions in Which, in His Sixteenth Year, He Used to Indulge

   2. But what was it that I delighted in save to love and to be beloved? But I held it not in moderation, mind to mind, the bright path of friendship, but out of the dark concupiscence of the flesh and the effervescence of youth exhalations came forth which obscured and overcast my heart, so that I was unable to discern pure affection from unholy desire. Both boiled confusedly within me, and dragged away my unstable youth into the rough places of unchaste desires, and plunged me into a gulf of infamy. Thy anger had overshadowed me, and I knew it not. I was become deaf by the rattling of the chins of my mortality, the punishment for my soul’s pride; and I wandered farther from Thee, and Thou didst “suffer” 114 me; and I was tossed to and fro, and wasted, and poured out, and boiled over in my fornications, and Thou didst hold Thy peace, O Thou my tardy joy! Thou then didst hold Thy peace, and I wandered still farther from Thee, into more and more barren seed-plots of sorrows, with proud dejection and restless lassitude.

Book 2

Chapter X.- “A Soul in Waste” ( as translated by John Ryan)

   18. Who can unravel that twisted and tangled knottiness? It is foul. I hate to reflect on it. I hate to look on it. But thee do I long for, O righteousness and innocency, fair and comely to all virtuous eyes, and of a satisfaction that never palls! With thee is perfect rest, and life unchanging. He who enters into thee enters into the joy of his Lord, 143 and shall have no fear, and shall do excellently in the most Excellent. I sank away from Thee, O my God, and I wandered too far from Thee, my stay, in my youth, and became to myself an unfruitful land.

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