“News from the real world!”

Felicia: And I remain unmoved by your prophetic dooming and damning. We’re not decadent, as you imply. We’re just into our feelings.
Socrates: Feeling-fondling? Is not auto-eroticism a form of decadence?
Felicia: What is your music into, Socrates?
Socrates: If you mean what is it about, it is about its source, the Muses. It is a divine glory.
Felicia: Well, our music comes from us, not from the Muses.
Socrates: I rest my case.
Felicia: What do you mean?
Socrates: That fact itself is evidence of your decadence. For you know neither the heights nor the depths of the music, if you think it comes only from you. I seem to see a picture of the two castaways on a desert island suddenly receiving a message in a bottle. They feel a sudden hope: news from the real world! Then they read it and their faces fall: they realize it came only from them. No wonder you do not hear the Muses; your ears are turned inward. And I will hazard a guess that Plato was right in seeing decadence in music as prophetic of all further decadence, for once the most primitive and appealing voice of the gods is subjectivized, other, harder things will follow: you will begin to think that you invented society, and civilization, and religion; you will subjectivize right and wrong, and finally even reality itself. Eventually you will believe that the world itself is only a projection of your consciousness.

Peter Kreeft, Best Things in Life, 106.

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