In the end cathedrals may prove to be the necessity, sanitation the luxury.

"To the modern Rational mind, the universe is a gigantic fact, reducible to an infinity of constituent facts. To the medieval mind it was a gigantic symbol; in which phenomena in all their diversity were but reflections of the will of God. Indifferent, or downright hostile to matters of fact, the medieval mind was interested only in the principle behind the fact. To the modern mind, only facts count and principles take care of themselves. The scientist distrusts or even denies the reality of inner experience.... He relies upon the evidence of his senses. If he can measure it, it is 'real'. The medievalist called the world of sense an illusion; only inner experience was real. He may have believed the world was flat but he understood the universe to be a hierarchy of values, because that was his experience. Our modern thinkers may know the earth is round, but they think value is `subjective`, a mere invention of man (perhaps because their own inner experience is so poverty-stricken and disordered they cannot trust it). The medieval mind ignored the facts of the physical world, and so produced a society that was all cathedrals and no sanitation. The modern mind ignores the value of the spiritual world and so has produced a society that is all sanitation and no cathedrals. Rationalists rejoice and call this progress. But the increasingly fraught psychological state of our sanitary society suggests that in the end cathedrals may prove to be the necessity, sanitation the luxury.”


John Anthony West. 1973. The Case for Astrology. Pelican Books, Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England. 310 pp.