Monday, April 19, 2010

"Becoming Human" Excerpt #1

"This process of searching for truth demands an openness; it demands an evolution of thought, for individuals and entire societies, as the whole world changes and we discover new intimations of what is. There are unchanging principles, such as the call to be people of love and not of hate, which govern our lives. We need to integrate our experiences into these principles and let these principles be enlightened by our experience. Such an evolution in thought can mean searching and grasping in the dark, sometimes in anguish, rethinking answers, formulating them in new words and new ways. Philosophy, anthropology, theology, and those sciences that tell us what it means to be human can be dangerous if they are considered ideologies that dictate reality; instead, they need to be understood as the means by which we humbly listen to and marvel at reality. We must not try to return to the past, but instead launch out into the future - to understand each other and what it means to be human, to understand what is happening in the world - in order to become more fully human and to work for peace and unity. It is only as we begin to integrate such a sense of reality more fully into our being, as we thirst for that which gives meaning to our lives, that we discover the fundamental meaning of loneliness: a cry, often a painful cry of anguish, for more respect and love of others, to be even more enfolded in truth, held in God. Such a cry could bring a new wholeness to humanity.

Jean Vanier in Becoming Human