Ignorance and Fantasy
Are beliefs not often the children of ignorance and fantasy? Consider the heavenly view of the world that young souls entertain at the height of their innocence, when their youth has been surrounded by love and filled with happiness. Hear their laughter. Dreams expand in a vacuity of knowledge like a laughing gas and induce the blindest, the purest joy. Ignorance is bliss, as they say, because it spares us the mental restraints associated with knowledge (which reveals the limits of reality and hence the impossibility of our fantasies). It is the ultimate playground where the mind can build castles in the air, create a wonderland, and live delightedly in this kingdom of reverie. It paves the way for the reign of error, as it leaves us to believe whatever we like. Everything that is desirable is realizable, if not real, until we find evidence to the contrary. Santa Claus eventually dies of our old age ? when we are no longer so young, so green, that we are easily fooled by a tall story.
In truth, however wise we may be, we are still at risk. We spontaneously indulge in fantasies about the world here below, which is never totally known, or the beyond, which is unknowable. We are always tempted to believe that our health, our relationships, our career, or any other part of our life, will be wonderful, or that our death will not be an end, but a passage from here to a paradisal hereafter. This temptation is irresistible for many when they discover a charismatic fortuneteller or spiritual leader who professes this belief, which remains unproven nonetheless. Our believing is then the result of ignorance and fantasy, plus faith.
An example of self-deceit that concerns young idealists and betrays their warm-blooded aspiration for perfect love is the illusive passion they often experience toward attractive members of the opposite sex whom they little know. By perfect love I mean a complete and durable harmony at every level ? physical, psychological, intellectual, and spiritual ? between two lovers. It involves friendship to a high degree, as the words "girlfriend" and "boyfriend" suggest. While it includes lust, it transcends and transfigures it.
Pop songs are common vehicles for this ideal, which entices many young souls. I am thinking of young men in particular, who are usually quick to fantasize about pretty young women and fall madly in love with them, or rather with a fantastical image of them. This quickness is typical of their ardent and imprudent youth. It needs nothing more than a few smiles and nods, a few gracious words of agreement, to make these young men imagine they have found a soul mate, as they pour out their inner self ? their sense of what is good, true, right, or sacred. A few auspicious signs and, voilą, they take the pretty young women for dream girls and are besotted with them! A few misleading signs, in fact. Every charm hides a cause for alarm.
If, in the struggle for survival and happiness, society is a cure for individual limitations (an imperfect cure to be sure, with side effects), it is also a pill hard to swallow. Civility is a smooth sugar coating that eases the swallowing. Give thanks to those who phrase their discontentment with delicacy and embellish it with a compliment and an encouragement. No nagging, no gagging. Sometimes civility excludes honesty and amounts to well-meaning or self-serving hypocrisy. It turns into servility through a mix of kindness and weakness, or through pure selfishness. One way or another, some people are fooled, kept in the dark, while they should live wisely, in the light of knowledge. They are denied truth: the opportunity to conceive of their true situation and achieve their true purpose.Young men, among the fantasizers I referred to earlier, are often lured by the social graces of pretty young women. The poor fish take the hook and eventually discover they have made a mistake, like many others in the same boat. The dream girls were ordinary maidens or vixens who first behaved and talked infinitely sweet, and later proved lovable in a limited way or revealed their sour temper.
A long intimacy is a good test of a couple's true nature. It always strips relationships of the silky appearance they sometimes have initially, when seduction overrides every other consideration. This appearance is superficial and deceptive like the outer layers of an onion. Once it is removed, after a succession of changes that marked a gradual return to naturalness, conflicts arise. The truth is uncovered; tears are shed.
Many young fantasizers part from their lovers at this point. They embark on another relationship until the next disillusion, the next dissolution, then embark on another relationship, and so forth. They do the same in other areas of life, starting this or that with high expectations and quitting upon the first difficulties, time and again. They never settle for less than perfection; they never build anything to speak of.
Some of these fantasizers stop this nonsense after a number of disappointments and finally change into brave realists. Their bravery distinguishes them from other disenchanted souls who give up hope to give in to laziness with a clear conscience. These defeatists confuse their attitude with realism and suffer nullity or mediocrity rather than fight for excellence, which is possible, unlike perfection. In their view, humans are in their element only when fantasizing, like fish when swimming. In fact, humans ? who are adaptable ? are closer to amphibians than to fish. They can come back to earth without dying of frustration, and even better, with a chance to live happily, thanks to a blend of struggle and resignation that yields joy and serenity.
Brave realists know and accept the conditions and limitations of happiness. They think it all the more precious as it has a high cost and is bound to be lost sooner or later. They also understand that although one may indulge in a fickle existence for a while, one must eventually commit and apply oneself to a particular relationship, study, or career, in spite of imperfections and difficulties, if one wishes to achieve something worthy of mention. Nothing good can come from a search for better that always leaves one thing for another.
Laurent Grenier's writing career spans over twenty years. During this time he has broadened and deepened his worldview, by dint of much reflection and study, and in the end has crafted "A Reason for Living," his best work to date.
Official web site: http://laurentgrenier.com/ARFL.html
Five Minutes Before the Miracle
Even though this article was next on my idea list, and I write them in order whether I want to or not, I REALLY didn't want to write this article. Why not? Because it's about not giving up five minutes before the miracle-and I'm in the process of doing just that.
What is Passion?
What is passion? Recently after a presentation, I was once again thanked for my passion. The compliment was genuinely given, as was my returned thank you. However, as the day progressed, my thoughts kept returning to what really is passion? For the next several days as I attempted to ponder this question, other questions surfaced. What does it mean when one has passion? What separates people with passion and those without passion? Is passion always positive? Could passion be negative? Is there a relationship between passion and purpose? How does it fit me?
Been There, Done That
Fourteen years ago I was divorced from my second wife, her idea. I'll call her Kay. But I never lost my love for her. She married again and had two children. We always remained friends, however my new wife could not relate to that, so contact via any manner was limited.
Make A Difference - Just Go Make A Difference!
Three Words That Can Help Us Live Exceptional Lives
Dont Ask Your Doctor
Perhaps I should ask my doctor if there is a drug to take to combat frustration from seeing so many drug ads. You know the ones I'm talking about. They always start out with a list of questions. Then they tell you that a new drug might be just the thing for you--all you have to do is ask your doctor.
FEAR Don?t Let it Control You!
Fear. What is it? Can you touch it? Can you hold it? Can you show it to another person? I can almost hear you from where I am sitting. No, no, no. Okay then, so you can't touch it, you can't hold it, and you can't show it to another person. The question then is, why? Why do we have fear? Fear is nothing more than an emotion or a feeling that we hold in our mind. We fear either the emotional or physical pain something may cause. The problem is, these emotions and feeling affect the way we live our lives. We fear doing certain things because we think we might fail. This may be due to past failures we have actually experienced or it may be due to failures we fear we might experience.
Walking The Walk
Direct Answers - Column for the week of July 14, 2003
Anamchara - Making Sense of Life
Many successful persons advise you start your day with a list of what you intend to do and achieve during your day. This is extended to include a week. It moves forward at specified time intervals until you advance through the years and the decades.
Life After Death: The Story of the Green Donkey
This is the true story of what Deepak Chopra would call a "Whopper". It is a story so touched with the hand of God it seems almost impossible to believe, and yet, there can be NO doubt for those of us who are believers that this really happened!
Direct Answers - Column for the week of September 22, 2003
Learn From Failure and Confirm with Success
Both failure and success are good... if you know what their specific purpose is.
Stay With It!
I walked out of his office inspired. All I could immediately recall were those soft-spoken words, "STAY WITH IT". They were from no less a person than Rev. Sam Adeyemi of Success Power fame, on whom I had gone to pay a courtesy call. The first time we met was two years earlier when he came to my campus to speak to students about success. Then I was an undergraduate with a fledging media outfit and, most naturally, the privilege fell on me to interview him for a story for my readers.
War, Disasters and All is Well
It is not very often that I have an issue with writing an article or even a book for that matter. There are so many things to write about, the world is a goldmine of information and stories.
Adversity, What Is It Good For?
As I sat down to write this article, I was reflecting back over the last week ? a week filled with adversity. We all go through it and it is during those times that we may often wonder what is it all for anyway? What is the point? What is it good for?
In the Eyes of a Child
It was way past 10:00 pm when I came home from a grueling day of schoolwork and extracurricular activities. The wind was rustling about overhead as I paced through the door of our humble abode. I moved towards the nearest couch and plumped myself to rest. Defeat and exhaustion filled my frame as I laid back against the soft cushions. But then I remembered our Hematology project which was due the next day. Galvanized, I scrambled off my feet and immediately headed towards the personal computer situated on the other side of the room. Just then, my little brother Michael dashed out of his room and came straight at me. He was holding a pen on his right hand and a piece of paper on the other.
Embracing Your Wildness
As small children, we were all wild. Not unlike the wolf pup in the den, we ran when we felt like it, sniffed or tasted things to see what they were, yelled when the mood struck us and danced at the drop of a hat. We loved to dig in the earth, heave a rock into a pool, roll and tumble on the ground and run naked whenever we could. We loved ourselves and we loved our bodies. We knew no fear.
Silence means no voice input of any sort. What happens when there is silence? We cannot hear anything from the outside, but the voices inside are what we hear pretty clearly. We can hear ourselves. We can loudly hear to what we think and how we think, if we do.
A Little Blessing Changes Everything
"We're on a one-game winning streak!" That's what freshman Dawan Boxley said after his basketball team, the Rutgers-Camden Pioneers, beat Bloomfield College 77 to 72, snapping a five-year, 117-game losing streak. Imagine losing every game for five years; how depressing that must have been for the team, the coach, and the entire school! But what a joy when that buzzer sounded and game 118 turned out differently.
Being Relatable in Todays World as a Christian
There are reasons we cross paths with those that we do. Sometimes its SO obvious, because we have walked a mile or two in what that person is going thru. But other time's we scratch our head and wonder why. In any case, it's important to be relatable to those around you in life.
The Author Within You!
I always had an active imagination when I was young. I hated school, and would pass the time away day- dreaming about things I should not even have known about at such a young age. I used to make up stories in my head, that would always have me as the centre of attention, like collecting an Oscar for a Hollywood film that I had starred in, or recovering from a major operation or accident. I think I was like this because I was a shy kid who lacked a lot of confidence. It was no different when I started work.
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