Belief (Part 1 of 3): Something More

Someone once said to me, “There has to be more out of life…”

 

What is this more?

 

I have walked to the brink of despair, and said these very words: “there has to be more out of life…”

 

Is it more video games? More ice cream? More sex? More late nights watching movies? More work? More entertainment? More time spent with friends?

 

What is this more!?

 

This question burns in the hearts of so many searching souls.

 

For some this question turns into a lifelong pursuit, for others it means only a temporary interlude until they return to the same rat race as before which lead to the despair in the first place.

 

One thing is clear: there is a more!

 

It’s not more stuff, more notoriety, more friends, or more money. It’s not more recognition, more power, more wealth, or more sexual freedom.

 

This more is something beyond the senses, beyond the happenstance of our lives.

 

Lately there is a rising notion that the more we search for is in the literal sense of the word: extra, surplus, addition, enlarged.

 

The height of this illusion is expressed most fully by a billboard I saw advertising for a beauty clinic, “A woman should only ever be two things, who and what she wants.”

 

Unless technology has surpassed my awareness, since when did we get the ability to change who we are like a character in a video game? It is simply not possible. Further, coming from a place which alters surface appearances to make a woman more “beautiful”, that’s a desperately shallow statement. They might as well say, “Change your exterior, that’s all you really are anyways!”

 

Here is the more they are ignoring: A woman’s beauty is intrinsically tied with her actions, her thoughts, her love, her compassion, her womanhood, her motherhood, her strength, her choices, her beliefs, and her resolution. It is a shameful lie to suggest that exterior appearance changes who a woman is, or a man for that matter.

 

Yet this is the more that we are being offered everyday. “Be who you want to be!” “Choose and customize everything you like!” “Choose your expression, your identity, and your existence!”

 

Except all these customizations are just surface level clutter. Your cell phone cover does not identify you anymore than having knockoff corn flakes in your pantry does. Having a maple tree in your yard does not increase your worth as a human being anymore than having a Ferrari.

 

The more we are being offered involves zero personal change and expects everyone around us to bend to our will. “If they don’t love you at your worst, then they don’t deserve you at your best.” This is the motto of the stubborn, the loveless, the selfish.

 

There is a more but it requires change, and not superficial change. We must be honest, great good only ever comes from real change! You can’t change the cell phone covers of every rotten politician and expect the world to be a better place. Likewise, giving an extreme makeover to every hate filled extremist will do nothing for the good of human beings.

 

Minds and hearts need to be formed by something that is greater!

 

This formation takes the external appearance of conformity, which is treated like death by North Americans. Conformity happens in thousands of different ways. For example, feminists expect people to conform to the idea of equal wages for both sexes. This is a good thing, a form of conformity which is directed towards the good. Thus, not all conformity is bad.

 

Conforming because I’m too lazy or apathetic to search for answers myself is definitely a bad thing, but lets stick with the good for now.

 

The greatest possible thing that could ever happen in the universe today is that every human person should allow themselves to be formed by universal and perfect love. Goes without saying. It is easy to agree about this.

 

Problem is, this formation requires self sacrifice! This conformity requires us to acknowledge that some forms of what we call “individual freedom” are actually acts of hatred towards others, towards life itself.

 

This is a great problem indeed, because now its no longer the world of me.

 

What a blessing is the fact that the world is not centered on me, or you, or any one of us.

 

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The expression of self gift is exceptionally more satisfying than any number of hours spent playing video games. The
expression of my love is a million times more fulfilling, even if its painful, than a lifetime of relaxation and indulgence. Yet if the world is centered on me, then playing video games and relaxing is the only priority I will have.

 

It is time to start living for others.

 

There is more; there is more that we can give and receive. Until this becomes a reality the burning questions surrounding the statement “there must be more in life…” will plague us until the sun ceases to burn.

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10 comments on “Belief (Part 1 of 3): Something More

  1. harmamae says:

    Read Ecclesiastes yesterday – that book ties in very well with the whole ‘what is the point of life?’ thing.
    Also, I always thought that quote, “If they don’t love you at your worst, then they don’t deserve you at your best,” was ridiculous. So just go around being your worst self, and if someone somehow falls in love with you in spite of it, they must be ‘the one’? Good luck.

    • Adam says:

      Indeed it does! There is that very existential angst and yet he draws it all back to God. Like the psalms, speaks to human experience.

      I actually used that quote from an article you shared on the subject. So, thank you! 🙂

      • harmamae says:

        Wow, I’m honored 🙂

        Ecclesiastes has frustrated me in the past. But this time it didn’t, which made me happy. Maybe you need some kind of maturity and life experience to handle its ‘existential angst.’

  2. Jennifer says:

    The question “Is there more to life?” pulls you out of the present and presence of God. Life is. That is why we suffer because we don’t like what “is”. I think we need to find better questions to ask ourselves.

    • Adam says:

      Hey Jennifer!

      This may be true that the question takes us from the present and that it is not the “best” question, but that is presuming we already know the value of the present or of God. Without such a question most people would never discover the journey which finds its fruition in the realisation that God and the present are more meaningful than pleasure and enjoyment. I see it not as an end, but when appropriate a necessary means to an end.

      Perhaps the best question any one person can ask is directly relevant to their position in life and their current understanding of the universe, of God, of reality, etc.

  3. Jennifer says:

    I like this quote of a contemporary mystic…

    The Christian sets his eyes on a single point – God – and let’s everything else assume a peripheral place in life. There is no concentration on self or on what is going on in our ticker-tape heads. We do not even concentrate on getting rid of things in ourselves. Somehow the single focus on God takes care of all that, dumps out what does not fit or what is incompatible. This works not only in times of prayer (or sitting) but in the whole of our daily affairs.”

    Copyright, Bernadette Roberts
         (unpublished essay)

  4. Jennifer says:

    Hi Adam,

    Ha ha! You are right in that it is a good question for someone who has the fame, fortune and all the material things that aim to please.

    Spiritual materialism also exists…..LOL.

    • Adam says:

      And not just the rich and famous, but also anyone who has ever tried to achieve lasting happiness from material things or even worldly aspirations like power. Doesn’t need to be a grand surplus of things, doesn’t even need to be a medium amount, just simply the belief that the goods of life will provide fulfilment.

      It is good that this belief leads to a kind of depression, because through this depression we start to ask questions about what really gives meaning in life. It can become an impetus of change, and that can be a very grace filled state!

      Spiritual materialism is yet another pitfall that even the best of us will fall into from time to time. But again, these falls become discomforting and fail to fulfil, enabling God’s message to reach us anew!

      I guess what I’m getting at, is that if we never asked the “bad questions” we would miss the stepping stone into finding the “good questions”.

      • Jennifer says:

        Good Morning Adam,

        Well I don’t know if I would say bad questions….but some questions will produce different inner results. For the spiritual seeker to continue to ask … Is there more…will provide a set of answers that might or might not be valuable. I don’t know the best questions myself. Some that are fun right now are “who are You?”. How can I know You better? Then try to listen. 🙂

        And you…questions? 🙂

      • Adam says:

        I cannot think to suggest any specific question or questions, but simply a recommendation of the hunger itself, the drive to know, to be known.

Thanks!

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