Last week I took some time to reflect, to think about what I really cared about and what I feared the most. As a parent, I fear just about anything that relates to my children’s welfare. As a fourty one year old man, I fear my health and that of my closest friends and family.
Most recently I have started down the path of some sort of enlightenment, I cannot completely say where it is headed yet, but one thing is for certain, something is pulling towards the church at the moment. I will be completely open and honest and say that even though I was christened as a child, I have for most of my adult life been quite agnostic about religion in general. Whilst this recent drive of inquisitiveness might reveal itself one day soon, I am trying to open my mind and soul to something that is outside both my comprehension and world-view. Being an engineer, I have always struggled with the philosophy of faith. I rely on physical proof to verify what my mind has deduced from the surroundings, Galileo had a similar problem when trying to convince the nobility and clergy that the earth was not the centre of the universe, even though he was a christian.
This leads me to the broader concept of this post. The willingness to question your world-view is something for me, part of a personal enlightenment, a path to some sort of spiritual freedom. This is regardless of your faith, or any other social group you belong to. Breaking down our preconceptions about ‘who’ and ‘what’ we are is from my point of view almost like meditation. Are they even questions we need to answer? Is true enlightenment being able to free yourself of all conditional framing? To take in without taking away, to evaluate without devaluing.
Compare this to the sixteenth century and the religious reformation. What sort of social abuse, and stigmatization, did the initial reformists face! Have we as a society progressed as far as openly offering empathy and selflessness to our fellow human being. Lately in the press in Australia there have been several instances of race based crime. This act of vilifying people based on their race and/or religion surely has no place in a modern democracy, especially one that is supposed to be egalitarian, and secular.
In the coming weeks I am traveling to Europe for work and pleasure. I intend to use that time for not only leisure but reflection, and attempt to unpack how some of my own preconceptions shape my world-view. The years roll on…