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Material things anchor one in life much more firmly than purists would like to believe.

We seem to face an enemy who, no matter how many times we win, will best us in the end. He has so many allies: time, disease, boredom, stupidity, religious quackery, and bad habits. Maybe, as Dr. Dannyboy has postulated, all these things, including disease and our relationship with time, are merely bad habits. If so, an ultimate victory is possible. For individuals, if not for the mass. And maybe evolution — playful, adventurous, unpredictable, infuriatingly slow (by our standards of time) evolution — will rescue us eventually, according to a master plan.

Meanwhile, we are beleaguered. We hold the pass. The fragile hold the pass precariously, hiding behind boulders of ego and dogma. The heroic hold the pass a bit more tenaciously, gracefully acknowledging their follies and absurdities, but insisting, nevertheless, on heroism. Instead of shrinking, the hero moves ever toward life. Life is largely material, and there is no small heroism in the full and open enjoyment of material things. The accumulation of material things i