Perennial Philosophy: Are All Religions Guiding us to the Same Destination?

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Some ideas sound great but don’t work in reality.
 

Wouldn’t it be great if all religions pointed towards the same truth?
 

Is it possible, taking all religions in existence today as they are now, that this statement could be taken as true?
 

I find the idea hard to reconcile, if not impossible.
 

One man likened all the different religions in the world to a group of blind men all feeling a different part of the same elephant and describing these parts accurately, therefore far differently, despite the fact that they all had the same underlying source.
 

It sounds a bit like the great unifying theory which Einstein sought after: to put these seemingly incongruous parts into a neat and unified whole.
 

The fundamental flaw of the elephant argument is this: the existence of an elephant ear does not negate the existence of the tail.
 

Likewise the existence of the tail does not negate the existence of the trunk, and so on. Each blind man could describe his part of the elephant without denying the existence of the others.
 

Religions claims are not like this.
 

Their ideologies are, in the fullest sense of the word, contradictory.
 

One claims there is only one God and that no others exist, while some religions claim the existence of multiple gods.
 

Many religions claim that to follow anything different is to cause one’s damnation, and others state that we need not worry about death for every time we will come back for a second, third, and fourth chance, ad infinitum.
 

The bottom line is: these ideas of truth cannot co-exist, they cannot all be right.
 

Now I can say with certainty that there is a common human hunger that fuels the vast majority of all religious searching. This hunger, I believe, is the underlying truly universal principle in this equation. I must recognize that all religions are invariably products of the same source, though their contents are not equal.
 

If we acknowledge that all religions are pointing to the same truth, even though they contradict one another, then we must assume that some contain errors. If we acknowledge the existence of errors then we must also acknowledge the existence of the truth they contradict.
 

So the greatest question of all is not how can we reconcile our differences and accept every religion equally, rather how can we discern which religion contains the truth?
 

Only by answering this question will true fruit be drawn from such a perplexing tree.
 

Can the answer be known with certainty?
 

Yes.
 

How do I know when someone loves me?
 

It is the moment when I realise that they know me almost as well as I know myself.
 

Perhaps they indicate this with the perfect gift, or with a healing gesture that gives aid where I didn’t realise I needed it. Somehow, somewhere they communicate their love.
 

It is by this qualification (in combination with others) that I assert that God is not only knowable, but we can discern even His personality. One quality of which is His love.
 

I will go even a step further and state that the Catholic Church, the body of Christ, contains the Truth which our hearts hunger for and that this spiritual body is the fullest expression of God’s life within us.
 

Truth is a Person who awakens, enlivens, and beautifies every mind and heart that will accept Him.
 

My only supporting argument for my claim is the fire which burns in my heart, the vibrant life which pours out from my adherence to the Church’s principles, sacraments, and community.
 

All Christians come to the realisation sooner or later that their word is not good enough. I will take it as no surprise if any of my readers refuse to take my claims to heart based upon my words alone.
 

However, compelling me from within is the obligation of Truth.
 

Each human being is individually responsible to hunt out honestly what is, and what is not.
 

Even this pursuit, as with every worthwhile adventure, requires a leap of faith.
 

Someone reading this article who did not believe me but wanted to know more would have to trust me on at least one point: there is something in the universe worth knowing that they do not yet know.
 

I could repeat a thousand times that to be in communion with Jesus Christ is more valuable, more satisfying, more joyful than every pleasurable experience I have had combined.
 

However, my claim is easy to dismiss.
 

I would ask any doubtful person just this one question: If you had found something that truly achieved everything I have just claimed, wouldn’t you too be eager to share the news of this beautiful gift?
 

Wouldn’t it be supremely selfish to keep this knowledge hidden?
 

To conclude, I must reassert that all religions are not just different hands pointing to the same door. They are not different paths leading up the same mountain.
 

They are a multifaceted intersection departing and heading in different directions. Some lead to ruin, and others to life.
 

Truth can be known and there is no greater joy to not only know Truth, but to live it out as well.

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Can We Fight Ideologies?

Many people today will tell you that they don’t care what ideology people adhere to, so long as they don’t harm anyone else.

 

Harm is a complicated matter though.

 

Harm comes in a myriad of forms: emotional, spiritual, physical.

 

In order for one human being to lash out at another a cascade of decisions must be made before that one action can be reached.

 

In a moment of heated passion even the greatest pacifist may lash out. However, this outcome is far less likely than another person who has been trained their whole life in the art of death, retaliation, and vindication.

 

What is often left unsaid is the underlying force that ideology plays on our actions.

 

In Islamic fundamentalism jihad is a reality.

 

Kill those who do not conform.

 

This form of killing, otherwise totally unknown in the natural world outside of human beings, is borne heavily out of ideological motivation. It is the fundamental element that separates human beings from animals: ideology, belief, the capacity to choose ideas, to be influenced by ideas. From this reality a great chasm is formed which enables we human beings to be both capable of loving, but also capable of cruelty.

 

If we, as humans, seek to end cruelty, torture, and war, what path must we take?

 

To simply kill our enemy is never a sufficient end; if his ideology lives on, then more will simply follow in his footsteps. In addition, dealing death to end death only results with more broken hearts, more grieving souls, more people willing to do whatever it takes to get revenge.

 

Sometimes, war is necessary, especially against a determined and violent invader. To decide when this is or is not the case is to stand on a line with an enormous grey expanse, and I pray that I will never find myself standing upon it.

 

There is a form of warfare that lies outside the battlefields, the training camps, and the broad expanse of military actions.

 

The ideology of death must be overcome.

 

Not destroyed or obliterated as in typical warfare, but consumed wholly by an ideology of life.

 

In the same way an animal grazes grass and incorporates that very grass to become part of it’s own self, transformed irreversibly into its own strength, in this way life must consume and eliminate death.

 

People don’t seem to realise the role that ideology plays in war.

 

We criticize unjust wars, we condemn the killing of civilians, but we rarely condemn the specific ideologies that lead to these atrocities.

 

Some have taken the path of making broad strokes and saying things like “religion is to blame,” but that is never an accurate insight into the stark reality.

 

Many operate under the pretense “believe what you like, as long as you don’t hurt anyone else.”

 

The problem is, is that once a person is harming someone else, it is already too late. Their ideologies have already poisoned their reason, their love, their compassion.

 

So what is left to do for this soul?

 

Do we kill them and prevent them from hurting others? Or do we try to indoctrinate them to understand that killing indiscriminately is not ok? Or do we take another route and put them in prison and isolate them to protect society?

 

The point is, we don’t want to arrive at this crossroads at all.

 

If we want to prevent such choices, then it means taking ideology seriously. It means understanding that belief is the fundamental trigger for violent human action.

 

Whether we would like to realise it or not, we are at war.war_and_love

Anyone who has taken part in a debate about abortion, for example, knows this well.

 

Our ideas can lead us to believe that life is wanton and a commodity to played with; conversely, we may see that it is immutably precious and deserving of rights. It can lead us to think that foreigners are somehow of lesser value, or that every human person is equally deserving of life. The results of devaluing human life can be seen in history over and over again.

 

The morality of war begins at home, in our living rooms, our kitchens, and our bedrooms. It starts in our workplaces and most especially in our thoughts.

 

I do not believe in and defend the existence of a loving God because belief is innocuous, but because of both a personal experience and the pain I see when I take a long sober look at the world news feed; I witness the price we are paying for our choices in the realm of belief. With Russia poised to invade the Ukraine under a guise of “humanitarian aid”, with ISIS enacting what is looking more and more like a genocide in northern Iraq, it is not difficult to witness firsthand.

 

In our own country we decry the death of innocent civilians in Gaza, especially children, while happily supporting our own assault on defenceless children in the womb.

 

We are in the fullest sense hypocrites.

 

Belief matters.

 

It is not just a choice we make, like which bananas to buy.

 

It is to pick a seed.

 

The seeds which I plant, consciously or not, become the tree of my own knowledge.

 

Either I choose the seeds of selfishness, death, and chaos, or the seeds of selflessness, love, and meaning.

 

When stated so simply it seems so simple, but the fact remains that it is not.

 

It is complicated because few spend time in prayer, in honest contemplation, in time spent sincerely exploring, reading, and sharing ideas.

 

Often I meet those who are capable of retorting to me the popular opinions shared on Reddit or other social media sites, but rarely do these thoughts contain personal insight.

 

I can respect an atheist who brings to me ideas, thoughts, and arguments which construct upon already known ideas, which respond to my own. But what is there in a person who merely takes something they heard the other day and regurgitates it, and nothing else?

 

The problem is not social media, but the death of curiosity.

 

The cultural gold of our current generation is the great advances in technology and education. With great advances we thrust ourselves into the world of technological innovation. This advancement will be forfeit, however, without the sobering and enabling qualities of morality and spirituality.

 

The use the of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima is a poignant reminder that all technological advance is not necessarily good in its own regard, but only good if wielded with a conscience.

 

If we simply take the opinion that sounds the best on the internet without personal reflection, we become no different than the unwillingly indoctrinated.

 

Freedom is popular in North America, but often times it is never exercised in a meaningful way.

 

To be free is not to idly accept the rebellion of others, but to understand and honestly accept or reject this rebellion based upon its actual merit and not its allure.

 

It is like a man who fought tooth and nail for a piece of farm equipment which was stolen from him. He argued that without this machinery he could not live, could not support his family. Finally, after a long, arduous battle, he wins the machine back. Except, in his victory he merely parks it in the shed, and leaves it unused for many years.

 

Few things are more exciting than climbing the machine of our freedom and taking it for a joy ride.

 

To see just what is out there, what of the world brings life, and what only leads to death.

Belief (Part 3 of 3): The Simplicity of The Ancients

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It has been said that God makes sages out of fools, that the intelligence of the intelligentsia will become their own stupidity; the simplicity of the fool will become his path to true wisdom.

 

While pondering these words I couldn’t help but compare ourselves, living in the age of over-abundant skepticism, to our more straightforward precursors.

 

Think of the times of the Romans and the barbaric clans who surrounded the refined Roman borders. Or of the ancient Jews who were a seemingly insignificant people in the ancient historical records. Or of the ancient pagan civilizations of the Middle East, Indian, Mesopotamia, Egypt etc.

 

Perhaps you have no experience of these cultures? Allow me to entertain you with a few ideas of these times.

 

The people in Old Testament biblical times were pretty straight forward about their gods. You worship the god you need to worship in order to avoid being fried from the earth. Simple. If some passer-by could introduce to you another god who visibly and tangibly displayed his power, then by all means you were forced to believe in this new god.

 

There was a certain poetic practicality to their believing: believe and worship the right god, get all the good stuff, avoid destruction.

 

Though not perfect, I can admire this mentality. Where they have one up on us, is that they actually looked for signs of the power of another god, they even had recorded competitions between their gods.

 

These people, through not experiencing the delusion that they had mastered the world via modern science, still understood their powerlessness. They still understood themselves within the most awesome perspective of mystery and wonder.

 

This reality has not died, but man in his limited scientific success has deemed himself deity of the world. It may come as a surprise that curing illness does not grant man supernatural power, like creating something from nothing.

 

Likewise, none of our technologies, bound by the laws of the universe, are capable of anything beyond the predictable reality of the universe.

 

We cannot even create one speck, one atom, one iota of the most fundamental part of every person’s, every animal’s, and ever living thing’s existence: life.

 

Admittedly we may borrow the faculties which have been given us to create life via the known methods of procreation, but even then we only take the seed and the egg which have already been given us. No man or woman has ever truly, from nothing, produced life.

 

I digress: Do you know why science is often very exhausting? Because some prune has the audacity to claim that he has mastered some field of the universe! When he truly is nothing more than a careful observer.

 

Yes, I know that many a scientist exclaim regularly about the great realities and mysteries of things like quantum physics and black holes and relativity. Yes they say these things, but something like atheism would never exist if they didn’t believe in their hearts at a deep fundamental level that everything left unknown is just more stuff to be discovered; like finding more species at the bottom of the ocean. Even when considering the awesome possibilities of worm holes or parallel universes, you can’t help but get the impression they are just describing an ultra-complicated jigsaw puzzle that has a simple, materialistic explanation after all.

 

Fairy tales are not interesting because they present impossible realities for the fancies of children. If that were true no adult would love a good sci-fi or fantasy novel. We love fairy tales because they resound with the mystery which resides daily in our hearts.

 

No scientist, philosopher, or everyday thinker should ever claim to understand the universe, or to be at the verge of understanding it, or something so inane as that science is about to break the boundaries and understand all things.

 

Nothing could be less scientific.

 

One man once said to me that ‘science was on the verge of proving that God does not exist’.

 

I could say in reply, “It is fairly definitive that your curiosity does not exist.”

 

It should be remembered that without curiosity, a hunger into knowing the unknown, a field like science would never exist.

 

In knowing our boundaries we discover mystery, and in knowing mystery we begin to open our eyes to the places and parts of the universe which cannot be found in telescopes, microscopes, or in the tired fancies of egoists.

 

Everyone who’s ever read a good fairy tale knows that the things that cannot be seen contain the greatest powers and are integral parts of every great adventure. What would happen if we all had a little more simplicity like our ancient brethren and awoke our eyes to see beyond the veil of being “masters of our universe”?

Belief (Part 2 of 3): Belief and Happiness

The questions begs asking: Why can’t people just believe whatever makes them happy?
 

We live in a time where the notion of truth is treated like a fancy. Some like it, others do not, who really cares?
 

There is something wholly silly about not believing what is true simply because I fancy to believe in something different. Perhaps this view can be forgiven, for knowing what is true is not always simple and straightforward.
 

The question remains, if you knew what was true, beyond a doubt, would you not be inclined to believe it no matter how contrary to your own current beliefs it was?
 

If your answer to that question is no, I would find that profoundly curious. If your answer is yes, this bodes well, for this discussion may continue.
 

We are all forced to believe in the existence of a table we’ve just walked into.
 

The person who claims that the table does not exist will only walk into it again, causing no small discomfort.
 

Each person may believe that the table exists or not: why couldn’t they hold this belief so long as they are happy? I cannot help but suggest: who cares what people want to believe, we can all recognize that the table does exist.
 

It is plain that fact is not a matter of opinion. It never has been and it never will be.
 

No amount of forceful mental exertion will ever alter a fact.
 

I will also go one full step further and say that knowing truth is fundamentally a profound and joyful experience, and likewise knowing lies is tragic.
 

The reason people cannot just believe what they want so long as it makes them happy is that the truth sets us free, and lies do not.
 

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In order to believe that all people firm in their beliefs are happy requires that we never dig any deeper than the surface level of things.
 

For the person who dares to venture deeper into the hearts, the wounds, the psyche of the everyday person, they will find great sorrow and confusion mixed alongside joys and love. After a little further experience they will discover that some have far more pain than joy, and others far more love than confusion.
 

If you go into an intense discussion with someone like a neo-Nazi who still believes that the non-Aryans are to be exterminated, you will find great hatred being the source of this lie. This person will no doubt claim they have the truth and that this truth has set them free. It is simple to recognize that they have been sold a lie and that this lie has poisoned their reason.
 

As a direct result his joy will be diminished, his love decrepit, and everything that could hold meaning will be lost to him.
 

That is an extreme example but one important reality cannot be ignored:
In as much as our beliefs are based on lies we will discover pain and confusion.
In as much as our beliefs are based on truths, we will discover, inevitably, peace and joy.
 

So you can see, it is always in our best interest to embrace truth and not lies.
 

Why then has our culture, or society, abandoned truth and chosen personal whim instead?
 

Here is a complicated question that is not easy to answer.
 

I argue that we all still truly want truth, we’ve just become jaded to the multiplicity of claims in the world.
 

Which one of us has not been deceived at one time or another?
 

This is a painful experience which makes us more hesitant to trust again. It seems a universal mistrust in anything not proven in a laboratory has overcome our ability for clear thinking.
 

Some may argue that this is just fine, but I argue that those who ignore all truth not discovered within the scientific method will inevitably miss the most profound, joyful, enlightening, and meaningful moments life has to offer.
 

They are free to encourage their own willful ignorance of all else there is to know, but I strongly recommend a different course of action.

Underlying it All

 

One common thread amongst modern liberal thinkers is the one which labels any institution or person with rigid moral beliefs as being close minded and outdated. The label of close mindedness can often be a hypocritical one. Many of the people I have met who hold all the modernly appropriate liberal beliefs, are also some of the most close minded people I have ever met.

 

Why?

 

Because they refuse to discuss, to explore, to engage in meaningful dialogue. They may be wholly accepting of alternative lifestyles, but are unwilling to even try to understand how someone may not write a blank cheque to all of humanity to do whatever it pleases.

 

Liberalism tends to stand for one type of freedom: complete freedom to act as one chooses.

 

Freedom can be the capacity to choose what we aught to, and not just the ability to choose anything. Let us not forget that a drunk is free to take another drink, but that doesn’t mean that’s what’s best for him. In addition, is he really free not to take another drink? In theory yes, but in practice?

 

Most modern liberal thinkers see religious moral formation as something outdated, and even laughable. Many liberals would accuse those with rigid moral beliefs as deceived, unloving, and unbending. To tell you the truth, sometimes they are right. Our confused brothers and sisters in the south holding signs which read, “God Hates Gays,” are ten examples in one.

 

But does that mean that all morals which find their foundation in religion are somehow second class and liable to error?

 

Well it might suffice to say that the truth favours those who are right. The words of Abraham Lincoln sum up perfectly the situation when any two people propose opposing claims: “Both may be, and one must be, wrong.”

 

Liberalism is usually founded within an understanding of the world devoid of any notion of either God or the soul—though usually there is some clause about ‘believe what you want, but keep it to yourself’. They treat the possibility of God like a person choosing between types of fruit at the grocery store: irrelevant or inconsequential. ‘Some like this, some like that, to each their own’. The question of the existence of God or the soul, however, has enormous implications.

 

For example: It is easy to answer questions about abortion and euthanasia if people are just lumps of matter that happen to be awake. If human life is something precious and profound, these questions become real actions with dire consequences. Murder is taken seriously and considered a grave error by even the most extreme liberals. If the human soul is a reality, then abortion is murder. Which, as I’m sure you can see, means that the belief that abortion is just, is a false one.

 

If the creation of human life is happenstance, and as a result no more meaningful than an ultra-rare chemical reaction, it is no different to chop a tree down as it is to end a human life.

 

The fact that very few people in existence would agree with that statement, shows that most people have some awareness of the preciousness of human life.

 

Trees do not have rights, and neither should they. Some people may argue that trees should have rights, but no one argues that all human beings should not have rights. In history some have argued that some human races should not have rights, but they are obviously confused and depraved of wisdom. So if even the most stark liberal, pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro-euthanasia, pro-everything, has some awareness of the rights of man, then where does this awareness come from?

 

As I mentioned before, if we are nothing more than complicated dirt, then why do we have particular rights unique to humans, but tigers, crickets, and whales do not? Are they not living creatures made of the same essential substances?

 

So if there is no distinction between our life force and the life force within a cow, from what standpoint can the claim be made that to kill a human is a crime, but to kill a cow is just part of life?

 

Only if human life is somehow unique or different, is our current understanding of the world meaningful. If human life is unique and different from other living things, how else could this be the case if not for the intervention of some outside force? A force that could neither be human nor earthly. A tree cannot render itself into a baseball bat anymore than a human could produce her own soul. So what force has granted humanity its unique nature?

 

Furthermore, if we are solely the products of amoebas getting struck by lightning, or some other entirely natural process, we are no different than the animal kingdom or any other life form on earth; which leaves us with an uncomfortable state of affairs: either all living things need equal rights, or everything should have an absence of rights. Equality is good, right?

 

Which would you prefer?

 

If the former is true then we’ll all end up in prison for killing and eating other animals. The vegans might get off, but most likely they’ll be guilty of manslaughter at best. If it’s the latter, well who wants to live in that kind of world? That is a world were only the most violent, powerful, and brutal get their way.

 

The fact remains that the vast majority of human beings both existing today, and that have ever existed, believe that to some degree humanity is unique and deserving of special rights. This notion is embedded so deeply within us, it is rarely even mentioned or discussed. Some, like those who adhere to Jainism, have. However, they offer a religious and moral outlook which suggests that death by starvation is the highest possible religious achievement: all to avoid harming any living thing. To consider all life equal means either suicide or a forever guilty conscience.

 

It may be argued that mankind has adopted this mentality out of necessity due to the relationship between us and the rest of the universe, a kind of evolutionary byproduct of our existence. This explanation fails to explain the intrinsic and powerful awareness within every human being of their natural value, the visceral and burning fire which prods human beings to fight back against injustice.

 

file0001871625573Our notion of uniqueness is a rich and indivisible part of the human tapestry.

 

It is not a construct of the human mind, but a facet of truth from which our very understanding of right and wrong is born. It is what is commonly called the soul. This distinctive mark, written indelibly within the human heart, is the foundation of our self-knowledge. Through this self-knowledge comes a deep and powerful understanding of our nature as humans on earth, as humans within the vast and awe inspiring universe.

 

More importantly, it is the first clue upon an ever deepening and profound trail which leads to Truth.

 

Without Truth there is no wisdom, and without wisdom we are doomed to hurl ourselves into the fires of our own design. Such a torment is one I hope to avoid, both for myself and for all those I love. If freedom is what we crave, then it is imperative that we understand fully for what we have been created. The journey of self discovery is a powerful one filled with joy and trials. If freedom is the true desire of our hearts, and not just guiltless self-indulgence, then there is no other path that can be taken but to plunge into the mysteries and complexities of the human heart and soul.

Appetite for Love

 

file0001923782950Have you ever taken time to meditate upon the content of our favourite social media sites like Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, and many others? An abundance of entertainment, humour, irony, affection, anger, cuteness, hatred, feeling, and distraction can be found. What is it that we are so hungry for? What motivates the hours spent searching, clicking, and looking on these mainstream websites? I have given much thought to how our social media behaviour reflects upon ourselves. In one interesting psychological study it was observed that an everyday person could predict rather accurately the major personality traits of a total stranger just by being given a short view of their bedroom, up to thirty seconds and even as short as six seconds. If the state of our bedroom walls speaks so clearly about us, what are our Facebook walls saying?
 

I closed my Facebook account for three years at one point, my motivation stemmed from close observation of how I felt and what I did while surfing the site, either through messages or browsing what other’s had posted. I saw with a new clarity my neediness, the perpetuation of empty message strings all so I could feel something when I logged on and would see that I had a new message or notification. I saw the surge of emotion I’d get when I realised that I had something waiting for me, or conversely the disappointment when there was nothing.
 

It scared me.
 

Most recently I’ve decided to significantly reduce my exposure to Facebook. In order to come to this conclusion I asked myself some tough questions. Was my exposure to the content on the site leading me to grow as a person? Was the content teaching me to be stronger and more passionate about loving? Was the content leading me somewhere better?
 

With the exception of a small amount of the content, the answer was no to all three.
 

In the rock opera Tommy, the protagonist cries out with one visceral cry, the same tangible and overwhelming outpouring revealed by the activity on Facebook: See me. Feel me. Touch me. Heal me. In essence, over and over again, “will someone love me?”
 

We all have this longing to be loved, called by name, to be known completely, but all choose to express this longing differently.
 

Can our need for love be answered on Facebook? What troubles me about this state of affairs is that I know that these cries are, for the vast majority, unanswered. Having someone comment on your post feels good, but it will never fulfill. Having someone share your picture is gratifying, but it will never satisfy. In a large way, there are many who live in this poverty of love, but who is going to do the loving?
 

My roommate asked me as we drove together to buy some groceries, “What is your current aspiration in life?”
I responded, “To be a witness to love and compassion.”
In return he asked, “So you want to watch people being compassionate?” To this I had a good chuckle because it never occurred to me that the word witness is both a word for someone who observes something, but also something much greater and altogether different.
I thought over my viewpoint and responded, “A professor is someone who teaches with words, but a witness if someone who teaches with actions.”
 

Facebook is a powerful tool which can either be used for great good, banality, or for harm. I use the site regularly to settle plans with friends, to learn about great events and ways of connecting with the community, and to promote this blog. For these reasons I will continue to use Facebook. I feel, however, a keen awareness of the feeding frenzy of “me, me, me.” I often ask myself what can be done to help, how can I live out my life’s aspiration?
 

I must become a stronger, more loving, and compassionate man.
 

In order to achieve this goal I must be honest and clearly aware of what I am feeding my soul. A person cannot grow strong from eating garbage, and neither can I learn to love if everything I consume with my eyes and heart is mundane, thoughtless, and egocentric. True, there is great wit, links to profound articles, and interesting information on most popular social media sites. However, these insightful markers are swallowed up by a sea of debris and clutter. Moreover, there are better places to hunt for that which expands the mind, challenges the wit, and guides a person to become more open and aware. The library is an excellent starting point.
 

One of the dangers of social media is that there’s enough thought out opinions circulating that people get the impression that they are becoming well informed, that their time spent thus is justified. If you happen to disagree with the current cultural slogans you will notice an incredible bias towards one way of thinking, and little to discuss the opposite.
 

As I am not advocating outright absenteeism from social media, I do promote awareness of how much time a person spends within these sites and with what purpose. What a stark contrast in the way I feel after spending a half hour reading a well thought out essay, as opposed to spending the same amount of time learning what Jim-Bob cooked up in his microwave, or seeing the outfit Sally-Mae wore to the club last weekend. The impact of thoughtful reading cascades into other areas of a person’s life. If I avoid large amounts of mindless internet time I am more productive, internally aware, and more willing to come to the aid others. The brain and will move into a very different state of being. One altogether more satisfying and encouraging to the growth in wisdom and productivity. Though I should mention, productivity is not my aim in and of itself. Being alive is my goal; being awake enough to embrace the adventure of life is my aim.
 

The weight of our need on Facebook rests upon all humanity, our entire global family. I pray that I will be granted the grace to live as a man of love, to give so completely to the people in my life, that they will never feel like Facebook is somewhere they should go to find the attention and love they deserve.