Plea to my Future Self:

Do Not Alienate a Questioning Mind

Throughout my journey in academia I have encountered variant professors. Certain scholars stand out from others – the Profs passionate about knowledge and curious for new solutions to old problems. I have been fortunate. The minds I have studied under are a vibrant tapestry of diverse thought; I know poetesses and writers, historians and seekers, deep-thinkers and intense pacifists. However, lurking in unsuspecting courses, one may encounter the false teacher:  one who is concerned more with their personal life than with their responsibilities of guiding eager minds, or…worse still… one who wears the shirt of religious toleration yet demonstrates vindictive sidespeak to the secular student.

I am a secular student. I look to science and empirical evidence in efforts to discover truth. I will not apologize for this as the scientific method is the most reasonable procedure available to integral consciousness. I have many questions, and I will not be held down by traditional convention. Not in life, not in philosophy, not in theory.

What I need to remember – for that glorious time when I am the Prof – is that minds have the right to question everything. Passion can be found in doubt. I will change, over time, as human nature is apt to do, but may I hold this always:  Beauty is found in doubt; therein lies our ability to search for truth.  I want to remember that not everyone thinks the same. Many people prefer following models set by tradition. I do not want to alienate the religious minds anymore than I would want them to alienate my #FreeThinkingMind. Human beings are diverse, we work with what we relate and understand.

Picture c/o:  https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/76/Secular_Student_Alliance_%28logo%29.jpg

~ Neither here nor there, but…when I searched “free image darwin and women” the first page is filled with woman’s shoes. {gnashing of teeth} We are so much more than footwear.

 

Meditation as Technology

I see how – when viewed as a human expression – both religion and science could be evolutionary modifiers of the human species.

 

Concerning meditation, {Peer} wrote: “The consensus was that these changes helped the individual become less self-aware and more universally conscience.”

This is an interesting point; as we’ve noted in other aspects, the Enlightenment acknowledged the individual as well as one’s natural right to liberty and freedom. However, in efforts to draw the individuals back into communal concerns, meditation presented the participant with connective abilities of relating not just to one’s own life but to life in general.

Jay Michaelson wrote “Evolving Dharma: Meditation, Buddhism, and the Next Generation of Enlightenment” (North Atlantic, 2013) to suggest that a healthy practice of meditation could improve an individual’s life. In his article, “Meditation is Not Religion or Spirituality—It’s Technology,” posted on the University of Southern California’s Religious Dispatch page, he describes meditation as “a technology of upgrading the mind that can enrich one’s life, including one’s religious life. We’re used to the idea of physical fitness. Time to get used to the idea of contemplative fitness, and practice at least as diligently.”[1] Meditation can soothe the mind and body.

This is not new information, however, the original concept of meditation according to Buddhism does not encourage change, only a passive state of being.[2] Michaelson believes there is more action available to an individual through heightened awareness. Knowing is not enough, positive actions should be taken to incorporate change for the betterment of the species. Michaelson thinks that by incorporating meditation the aware individual will develop a method to implement change for universal life.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Michaelson, Jay. “Meditation is not Religion or Spirituality – It’s Technology.” Religiondispatches.org, 23 Oct 2013. Web. 17 Jan 2016.

Picture c/o:  http://thumbs.dreamstime.com/z/creative-mind-meditation-to-be-you-need-to-free-your-here-connection-both-combined-together-create-50876497.jpg

[1] Michaelson, “Meditation is not Religion.”

[2] Michaelson, “Meditation is not Religion.”