Walker Percy Wednesday 154

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THE DELTA FACTOR

How I Discovered the Delta Factor Sitting at My Desk One Summer Day in Louisiana in the 1950’s Thinking about an Event in the Life of Helen Keller on Another Summer Day in Alabama in 1887

In the beginning was Alpha and the end is Omega, but somewhere between occurred Delta, which was nothing less than the arrival of man himself and his breakthrough into the daylight of language and consciousness and knowing, of happiness and sadness, of being with and being alone, of being right and being wrong, of being himself and being not himself, and of being at home and being a stranger.

WHY DOES MAN feel so sad in the twentieth century? Why does man feel so bad in the very age when, more than in any other age, he has succeeded in satisfying his needs and making over the world for his own use? Why has man entered on an orgy of war, murder, torture, and self-destruction unparalleled in history and in the very century when he had hoped to see the dawn of universal peace and brotherhood? Why do people often feel bad in good environments and good in bad environments? Why do people often feel so bad in good environments that they prefer bad environments?

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