We can’t control most of what happens to us, but we can choose to learn from the good, the bad and the ugly.
Ignorance is not bliss, but ignorance of ignorance can be bliss. Those who reside in the certainty of simple pieties are often happier than those . . . who toss and turn in their incertitudes. For the person who is willing to live with complexity, ignorance is a provocation, a goad, a confining screen to be pricked through. What we see when we prick through the screen is as often bedevilment as delight. Beyond the screen is another screen, and beyond that, another.” – Chet Raymo
To “prick through the screens” is to search for the purpose and meaning behind everything. It’s a quest for an ultimate frame of reference. Einstein’s well-established theories of relativity show that no such a rara avis exists in the physical universe. But as any good Cartesian will tell you, the spiritual realm is another matter (sic). There is more to mankind than molecules.
The Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner once argued that it is the consciousness of God, the acceptance that there is a power outside and above ourselves, to whom we owe allegiance and whose guidance we must follow, which essentially distinguishes mankind from other creatures. If belief in God were ever to fade completely from the human mind, we would not, Promethean-like, become masters of our fate; on the contrary, we would descend to the status of very clever animals, and our ultimate destiny would be too horrible to contemplate.” – Paul Johnson
Glimpses into the stark reality of this truth were afforded by Hitler, Stalin, Mao and the societies they tried to build. Our spiritual natures can’t be ignored by megalomaniacs or minions.
Man does not live on bread (physical processes) alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” – Jesus
The learner’s challenge is to listen for the voice through the cacophony of naysayers and self-appointed translators.