In an age that offers us so much, there sure is a lot of dissatisfaction. I'm not old comparitively speaking, but I do remember the dial phone, and the novelty of the microwave and the first VCR's. Wired remotes for tv's with switches rather than buttons...I remember cordless phones that cost hundreds of dollars with foot long antennae. Cartoons only on in the mornings, Mon-Saturday, and then on Sundays we were stuck watching old Robin Hood and Spiderman.
So much has progressed.
Yet it seems that it has only fed our hunger for more.
I was reading in Stephen Hoeller's Gnosticism today about our addiction for knowlege. The Information Age.
It got me to thinking about something else that I had been contemplating for some time.
We get online and have access to so much information, and misinformation. This (mis)information is so easy to come by. You can pick one topic that you want to find out more about, Google it, and come up with thousands of places on the net that can offer you almost as many different definitions, and opinions.
I am thankful for the internet, because I do not think I would have found myself where I am if I had not had the good chance to stumble upon some great sites that introduced me to people I would have not likely met up with by coincidence alone. Living in an area that I am, there is not a huge opportunity to meet others who are interested in Gnosticism.
I have met others, asked questions, been given helpful guidance, learned about the Nag Hammadi, and much more.
However, it has also taken the place in many circumstances of good old fashioned 'Get out there and figure it out!'
The internet has also become a place for people to rally together and really get the Anti 'this' or Pro'this' messages out.
This brings me to my next thought. Us and Them. Pro and Anti.
Often I feel like they are both on the same side.
It isn't the cause itself. Obviously there are many situations where this has been needed. Lobbying for children's safety, gay rights, race equality, etc., is all very necessary. But it goes a bit further.
Let's take for example the H1N1. I won't share my personal opinion here, because it doesn't matter.
Pro- vaccine people feel they are making the right choice.
Anti-vaccine people feel they are making the right choice.
We will assume that they have spent time reading internet sites on this matter.
People that don't research it, and just go ahead and do or don't vaccinate without the label Pro or Anti probably aren't the ones who sat on the net reading and debating it all. I am referring here to those who label themselves.
Pro vaccine people think that the Anti vaccine people are just giving in to the fear mongering and conspiracy theorists online.
Anti vaccine people think that the Pro people are just blindly following the hidden agenda by our corrupt governments.
Yes, this is much over generalizing, but I'm only trying to make a point with this. I did not conduct a poll or anything.
Being for or against can take it's toll on friendships, or can stop new ones from arising. Both parties are SURE that they are correct and both parties can back up their claims by simply adding a link to a site within their message or email. Or both parties can print out literature from sites showing statistics that will further their own convictions.
This is not limited to H1N1, but expands to include many other controversies.
I can't help but feel, as I said earlier, that both sides are governed by the same figurehead.
That which governs our world of illusions.Our mythical Demiurge. The System.
When people feel torn this way or that, they are left weakened. Or, if they already have formed a strong pro or anti stance, they often feel an obsessive need to enlighten everyone else. Focus gets turned away from our inner spiritual self and instead gets directed at this world of form, trying to right wrongs and change opinions.
In small doses, this is ok. But if we let it become who we are, we lose ourselves.
It reminds me of a passage that I was refamiliarized with today when reading Hoeller's Gnosticism. In The Apocalypse of Peter, at Jesus' crucifixion Peter says to Jesus "Lord, no one is looking at thee." Jesus replies, "I have told you:Leave the blind alone".
Is it so hard to look past all of the discontent, and controversy and remain true to our destiny? Not to ignore it, but to acknowledge it and move on?
Is the end of suffering not more about transcending this world of form?
We do what we can do to add beauty and love to the world around us,starting from square one. Our Self. But when it begins to turn into a battle of Us and Them, Pro and Con, For and Against, it seems that at that point, we have already lost. For by then we are caught up in the whirlwind of this realm, and swept away from our path.
As usual, only my own opinion, and not a reflection of Gnostics in general. I am not a voice for Gnosticism. Just a voice for myself, and the journey that this Self is on.