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There is only one goal. That is to be whole again.

There is only one goal. That is to be whole again. How human beings live and work determines whether they remain whole or are split. ...

10/9/17

We are gathered amongst friends. The conversation is warm and engaging. Towards the end of the evening I am asked to say something on the two interrelated topics that have sprung up -- human nature and freedom. This is what I say: 

It is dangerous and misleading to talk about 'human nature' being this way or that way. When we do that we are in the world of half-truths.

Are humans rational? Sure, but they are also irrational. Are we driven by self interest? Yes, but we are also moved into other interest.

To pick a few extreme tendencies of human nature while ignoring their opposites -- opposites that are just as much a part of human nature -- as does modern economics, is wrong.

Modern life has made us split. Instead of whole people we are consumers, producers, 'economic agents' casting 'dollar votes', profit maximizers. 

When repeatedly told that and forced into situations where these ideas are reinforced -- work life separated from family life -- an education that identifies and extolls certain extreme tendencies of human nature -- a cash based economy combined with money-controlled television and social media which dramatically change and shape lifestyles -- we are thoroughly conditioned into the 'products' that can be fed into the ever hungry, ever greedy system of modern life. 

And then we behave largely, though not entirely, as modern economics describes us: not as people but as products.

But therein lies the beauty of God's gift to us -- that of free choice. We can never be completely conditioned! So how do we find our way out?

We must watch ourselves very carefully, and that watching (called meditation in many traditions, awareness or mindfulness in others) is the key.

It is this watching of ourselves that allows us to see successively:

1. That our lives are unsatisfactory

2. That we are expressing a very limited number of extreme proclivities

3. That there is a system at work that shapes society

4. That it is possible to break out of the system

5. That we can live lives where we are no longer split but rather whole, expressing a beautiful range of tendencies lead by love. 

The way God has created us we have every proclivity as well as its opposite. Our work on this planet is to find a way of appropriately expressing the right balance of these proclivities and develop ones we may initially be unaware of. That, to me, if freedom. 


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