Materialism Musing

When we can enjoy all these things as holy, “the world becomes a communion of subjects more than a collection of objects.” These words were said by Fr. Thomas Berry (1914–2009) who changed from theologian to geologian. For more on this epiphany of theologian to geologian, and the man himself, check out the following link: http://thomasberry.org/life-and-thought/about-thomas-berry/geologian

Purpose in Life and St. Catherine of Siena

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Howard Thurman quote from the book ‘The Living Wisdom of Howard Thurman: A Visionary for Our Time’

This reminded of someone who said this succinctly a lot earlier, St. Catherine of Siena, whose feast day is today. One of her famous quotes says:

“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”

There is a free screening of the St. Catherine of Siena movie available through the end of tomorrow, link follows, if anyone is interested in learning more about this remarkable individual: https://special.wordonfire.org/stcatherinebook?

Life ‘n Teleology

With so many beginnings and endings – end of the Western calendar year fast approaching and the new beginning, my birthday recently past, the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ today, my cousin’s wedding tomorrow – it is easy to be swept aside and forget the point of it all.  It is at these times that I am reminded of the following excerpt from Catholicism – A Journey to the Heart of the Faith:

“Aristotle said that the best activities are the most useless. This is because such things are not simply means to a further end, but are done entirely for their own sake.”

 

And in doing so one fulfills one’s teleology: being human, and what being human means.

For those who wish to learn more and understand the Catholic faith better I highly recommend checking out Catholicism – A Journey to the Heart of the Faith, by Bishop Robert Barron. And for the more visually inclined there is the Catholicism DVD box set  The Catholicism video series was also shown on PBS and was well received.

What is My Reality? What is Yours? The Possible Limitations of Evaluation Tools.

Becoming self aware and using this knowledge helps us to lead fulfilling lives.  We have many tests/tools that evaluate personal characteristics to help with this such as EQ, MBTI and StrengthFinder so you become better at knowing yourself.  Yet, how often is it taken into account what language/culture you are part of.

Let’s look at a real life example, a colleague of mine.  You have grown up in China.  Coming to the US and doing the MBTI test in English and Chinese results in significant differences.  Then the next question is to what extent the latest MBTI test creators – originally designed by English cultural people – understand the Chinese culture and language to create an accurate test?

Becoming more self aware is great and it is nice to have tools that facilitate that. At the same time it is just as important to question the underpinnings of these tools, their possible biases and limitations.

Examples of the role language plays in behavior as well as links to interesting talks and more can be found here on the TED website.