Friday, May 2, 2014

Preoccupation with Trifles and the Meaning of Human Life

Our mass preoccupation with distractions indicates a spiritual illness. How so? Humans are not made to be bored, to have our energies dissipated, unfocused. We have within us incredible stores of energy and desire but nowhere to focus these powers. Grace has nothing to latch onto because nature itself has become ambivalent and apathetic as to its very purpose.

What are we collectively stating about what it means to be human when, say, nearly everyone waiting in a line must occupy themselves by looking at their smart phones, usually texting, checking email, or watching some media? Few people can endure even a silent car ride. The proliferation of social media and websites that capitalize on uploading and sharing such media reveals a deep desire to entertain ourselves, to occupy ourselves... with something, anything.

Again, this desire to be occupied, to focus our desire simply indicates that we have huge stores of energy, untapped and ready to be used. But the fact that we invest it all in trifles indicates that we have no sense of what to do with ourselves, of whom we are, of what our purpose is. If we would make great strides in virtue, we must put away these trifles, not because they are intrinsically evil but because they are the modern day's, everyman temptation to forget about God and forget about ourselves. We forget God because our mind can be focused on only one thing at a time. And we forget about ourselves because by continually occupying our attention on something exterior, we have no psychological space for self-reflection, no way to realize our sinfulness, our brokenness, our desperation.

Silence and solitude are the only way for a person to face themselves squarely, and it is also, not coincidentally, only in the silence that we find God as the Scriptures tell us (1 Kg. 19:11-13).

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments ad hominem or deemed offensive by the moderator will be subject to immediate deletion.