Ancient Questions, Modern Answers

When we consider regions of the world less “developed” than ours, let’s keep in mind Europe (and its imperialist offspring around the globe, like the United States) were also once Medieval. We, too, were once benighted, ignorant, backwards. Long ago, our civilization preferred the mystical powers of alchemy to the rational comforts of science, the narrative charms of priests and sorcerers to the cold logic of mathematics.

Do we still? (That’s a rhetorical question. Answer: Of course we do. Many of us. E.g., astrology, palm readers, Catholicism, etc.)

The following questions aren’t rhetorical. They’re questions. The answers you give might help you better understand yourself.

Are mystical experiences as real and meaningful as corporeal experiences and material results?

Are power, wealth, and wars in pursuit of them, inevitable human goals or merely shallow illusions unworthy of an enlightened thinker?

Are physics and chemistry and all our other tools of explanation simply another form of religious faith, with an alternate set of allegedly holy books?

Who is poorer, the Indian peasant tilling the soil with his hands or the average American dominated and impoverished by his machines?

What newly formed religious faith will finally encourage humanity to end hunger, cruelty, and injustice?

What has happened to the countless millions of souls who had the misfortune of occupying this planet for thousands of years before God made his wishes known in the Bible?

Does the wisest person of all admit she knows nothing?


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2 Responses

  1. Chris Zambon says:

    I so wonder. I know many intoxicated by religions, looking for answers that don’t exist.

  2. Chris Zambon says:

    The Artist as Saint. When I was a teenager I was wondering how Rodin could treat his women so badly and then create such beauty. I am not sure there is an excuse or reason for “bad behavior” and wonder if it is worse or more prevalent among artists than in the general population. Do artists have more tortured souls ….. maybe because the “answers” are always so intangible.