A place of searching
This is a strange realm we live in. A place of searching, of questions, of many choices, turns in the road and yes of many endings, the last of course will be our own ending. From our births until we die it is a journey with many highs and lows, and lots of valleys, often dark ones that have to be traversed. There are true forks in the road, but each choice, no matter how little, if it is in fact a choice, will lead to many more avenues that must be chosen. There is no choice possible to not take one of the turns, since to not choose is in fact a choice to perhaps take a road that leads to greater incapacity in being able to choose and a life lived on the surface, without depth or meaning. Failures happen because choices are made, so there is no shame in failing, unless a decision is made to stay in that state and to live in despair.
The reason it is important to grow in self awareness is in the fact that if we don’t, then choices will be made from a place that is often hidden, unconscious and irrational. Fear and anxiety may then be the true rulers of life, with anger being the shield that can become a protector from looking honestly and oneself no matter how painful that process may be. In other cases it may be fear that is the protector, causing a withdrawal from life into an ever narrowing landscape. Anger and fear are good aspects of the self, as well as anxiety if they are dealing with the world and real threats…. it is when they become central to ones life that they can block out the light of a deeper, broader and more loving life. There will always be suffering; it is the types of suffering we are willing to endure that will perhaps dictate the kind of life we will lead.
I believe that life is a process of choosing on a daily basis on what kind of a human being we wish to be. We can’t get away from this reality. No matter what are lives are, be it one of riches, or we have a family to take care of, if we are single and alone; each day will present situations wherein we must choose how we will react. It can be a long road, with many losses along the way, but there is always hope I believe for everyone.
I believe that we all think in terms that flow from our core beliefs. We may say we believe one thing, but act on a daily basis in others ways. Our constant behaviors that we exhibit to the world, is I believe what we truly hold to be true. Any belief system that is worthy, will take a life time to understand, even then, death will come at a time when most of us will still be on the journey seeking to understand as well as to live more deeply what we profess. I believe it is important to be rooted in a tradition, so that other traditions can be studied in ways that will deepen and expand ones insight into the path being walked upon.
I think in the terms of Jesus Christ, his life, death and resurrection. The formulas of any faith or philosophical system that is attempted to be lived, will lead to deeper understandings of the mysteries involved with each life. It is helpful to read from ones own tradition deeply in order to be able answer when people try to reduce the chosen faith to a simple stereotype. It is also helpful to struggle with all that is not right and face evil that is always present in any human system, be it political, scientific or religious. I personally believe that many leave their past beliefs behind too early and miss out on the importance for fighting for what one believes. The way of fighting in this regard is to seek deeper understanding and insight. Not to attack without, but to struggle within.
Today, many lines have been drawn in the sand. It is mostly absurd, much of it adolescent, because in order to understand another’s outlook on life, it is necessary to actually seek understanding from a position of not seeking to prove someone wrong, but to try to understand what is truly believed and why it is lived out. To be a moderate Christian for example, is to not be weak in the faith, but to have a faith strong enough to be able to listen to others and learn, and to even incorporate at times aspects of other systems that will only deepen ones own. Fear is what makes for argument, contempt and discounting of others. Debates can be good if it leads to the above, but if it about winning, then it is just entertainment, sort of like watching a boxing match on TV, just lots of punches and then it is over, with no one watching changed at all.
On the level of discourse, of having people around a table seeking to understand one another, it is then, that the understanding that we live in a world where truth can be found, yet on many levels we simply can’t understand, nor perhaps should we, the deeper broader picture. For some faith is an escape from reality, for me, faith allows the one who bears it to face life with al of its aspects and still retain hope and love in ones heart.