Brian’s Reflection: Friday, July 16, 2010
The big question is whether you are going to
be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.
Joseph Campbell, philosopher, mythologist
Who, or What, raises these days the critical “big” questions for us, in order for us “to be able to say a hearty yes” to the adventure we call Life? I guess the bottom-line answer is, “Life Itself”. I hope this is so, because there are so many people in the world today who have only their Life experience to guide or teach them. Think of the uneducated. Education is, I believe, one of the primary tools for approaching the Big Questions. Think of the vast numbers of the uneducated poor. Think especially of the vast numbers of women deprived of education by patriarchy or religion. To my mind – though I know it is complex – the French ban on the burka as against “French values” (and I hope they mean any woman of any nationality or religion) is in part a stand for equal opportunity to participate fully in Life.
Besides Education in all aspects, I am willing to say that Religion, properly understood as a path to the full realization of the human person and human community, can be a powerful tool to understanding the Big Questions and to finding trustworthy paths. Alas, here in the USA and other places, Religion, and particularly the Christian religion alas often stripped of any real truth, has essentially been subverted to a methodology of control and power (as the Founders seem to have intuited it would), and rightly is not permitted in public schools. (I am absolutely not in support of publically funded private/charter/religious schools, as you may imagine.)
I could not find any local public schools where philosophy, which usually deals with the Big Questions, was taught. Nor even, rigourously, literature or art, which often deals with the Big Questions, and which many parents oppose their children having to grapple with. This is not just sad; it is a form of genocide. More and more to me, America feels like a country full of the victims of intellectual and moral genocide.
So, I have tried for 40 years in “ministry” and am till trying over the Internet, to do my part in helping to raise the Big Questions.
I profoundly believe that being equipped and freed to be able to say a “Hearty Yes” to the adventure of Life is what will change the World for the better. My plea is: don’t settle for any Education, any Religion, and Philosophy that limits your positive and Life-affirming Yes!