How Contemplation, Not Ambition, Leads to Happiness

Paperback Theology | 2/12/2018 | Staff
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“Each of us aches for significance, meaning, uniqueness, preciousness, immortality, and great love and great beauty in our lives. This yearning is congenital and incurable. We are as Plato said, fired into life with this divine restlessness in us. But our madness comes… when the pressure for a cure for our mortality and insignificance gets too great and we fabricate the vital lie. We try, through our own efforts, to create significance, uniqueness, and immortality for ourselves.

Where talk and concern centers around money, food, entertainment, sports, sex, and health, there is little sense that the earth is ablaze with the fire of God, and even less of a sense that one should have his shoes off before it.”

Quote - Drive - Significance - Meaning - Lives

What I take from this quote is that we all have an inner drive to feel significance and meaning in our lives. This is our default position–the human condition. From there we can take one of two pathways. We can become ambitious and strive to achieve significance and meaning, to create it for ourselves. Or we can embrace contemplation. Our lives are obviously a mix of both striving and contemplation, but what I take from Rolheiser today is this insight: at any given time we can only choose one of those two pathways.

In order to experience or practice contemplation we are required to leave the striving and achieving behind...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Paperback Theology
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