In this modern age, we are comfortably lured by the word “modern”. Therefore, it is quite modern to love anything labeled as modern. Modern amenities abound for our love of the modern. One way we are provided a sense of forward movement or modernity is by the provision of electronic devices which are upgraded in a time frame most of us would consider fast, very fast. If we had to wait as long as we did for VCR’s to convert to DVD players, a slight fear may be induced that the world will revert to something as archaic as the use of stone tools. We have been persuaded to adopt consumerism and accept it as an assurance of the growth and, dare I say, magnificence of humanity. For some of us, before we even come to know the meaning of hashtag, LOL, or Bluetooth, there come new concepts, new devices, new modes, new styles, new fashions, new shoe heel lengths, new anti-wrinkle creams, new sugar drinks and chips to prove we are savvy and superb evolutionaries.
For the questioning heart, why is it we pay for this beauty of modernity with an achy heart, soul weariness, knotty throat, “slumpy” shoulders, puzzled stares, tired movements, inaudible speech, and an overall I-don’t-belong-here attitude? One of these days, real soon, one of us may demand the creation of a gadget to filter the winds of isolation, the visions of a ghostly town-world, the zombie-like faces of our loved ones staring at their cell phones, the terror of countless store shelves and stacks of products promising a zillion beauty miracles, the mental anguish of deciphering the scientific names of our food ingredients, the tension caused by realizing our futuristic television set may not have sufficient realistic sound and image, or the felt hopelessness because our job title does not include words like “specialist”, “consultant”, or “ceo”, I mean CEO.
I often and intuitively sing quietly, in my mind, Once there was a way to get back home… The song casually floats through my mind, and I can’t help but think The Beatles offered a seed of wisdom in those lyrics. I remember in the religious teachings of my early youth learning about the masters and prophets of long, long ago and far, far away. I remember the gradual process of feeling, thinking, believing and accepting they were too far away. I lived separated from them for most of my life. They were the divine ones. They were the healers. They were the righteous and honorable. Then, I became the questioning heart. No story from long ago and far away satisfied my hungry spirit. For a while, I was truly infatuated with modernity, but, alas, I continued to thirst in the desert of forgotten truths. One day, not entirely out of the blue, I found my way back home. One may call it a true calling, divine intervention, a miracle, or, simply, the course of a new life and world promised to each of us. Whatever it may be called, it happened and it has been a wondrous, beautiful, magical experience. I discovered the modernity of archaism, and now I don’t ache as much when I’m commercially reminded my shoe heels are several inches too short or my cell phone takes grainy pictures. Now I know the masters and prophets promised us the gift of their divinity, their healing power, their righteousness and honor. Those things belong to us. They are us.