– No. I think that is the sign of an anomaly – I don’t know if an intellectual one, though. I’m afraid it is more serious than that. Ever since Freud, a mutation has been produced: sex has taken the place of mind. That is the saddest thing of all. You see, there used to be this decency about the Romanian people. You would not say certain words – they weren’t taboos but there was a certain modesty about them. Now, the word ”decency” has all but disappeared from our dictionaries. I have no preconceptions at all, but the way in which we conduct ourselves kills beauty. ”Our bodies are God’s temples”, said Apostle Paul. What do we do with them? We expose them like any other piece of flesh. It’s terrible. It is also terrible to see what has happened to the relationships between men and women. In my opinion, a crime has been done there. The thrill of the first meeting, the love, the anticipation of marriage – all that has disappeared. What is happening to us? We used to be a country of God-fearing peasantry. In the villages, these good habits are still maintained. People there are not haunted by the passion of the exposed flesh. They don’t use bad words and that is good. The Saviour is within us, He is the uncreated Light, and we nail Him to the Cross with every bad or dirty word we say.
* * *
– Why have people lost their desire to read?
– Because we have entered the computer realm. As far as I am concerned, I am a citizen of the Gutenberg galaxy. The humanism of culture relies on reading, not on fugitive images. Reading enables one to make the necessary ”stop-overs” to reflect and ponder. To lose the habit of reading is the greatest danger that threatens our planet, because it weakens one’s intellect, one’s thinking ability, and makes one lose one’s native tongue. Even myself, after having spent five years in Italy, when I got back I had to pick up Eminescu and Sadoveanu* to regain my language.
Mother Benedicta – Academician Zoe Dumitrescu-Buşulenga – Excerpt from “Caietul de la Văratec – Convorbiri şi cuvinte de folos”