By Stephen Russell-Lacy. At the time of writing, normal politics in the UK is on hold. At least nothing much is happening until the issue of Brexit is resolved – if it is to be resolved. The country is divided sometimes bitterly so. Add to this social division the normal conflict between conservative, liberal and socialist … Continue reading Social division – How to reduce it?
The United States Bureau of the Census says the fastest-growing household type since the 1980s has been the single person. The same is true in some other countries like the UK and Japan. A report says that sixty percent of people living in Stockholm live alone. It raises the question of whether it is better … Continue reading Alone or with a partner – which is better?
Has a new kind of uplifting perception or intuition ever come to you? Perhaps a sense of wholeness or timelessness, or an encounter with a side to reality that goes beyond the world as we usually know it. A short moment when you sensed that something new has been revealed – something usually hidden? Communication … Continue reading Communication of higher awareness.
The frustrations of email! I’m trying to get a message to someone and it is coming back – not because of anything I’ve done wrong but because their mailbox is full. Until things clear down there is no room for new messages to get through, so they are returned to the sender. At least this … Continue reading The frustrations of email
Turn on the television news and there is an almost overwhelming focus on financial mess, social problems or crime. So what actually is the meaning of life? When I look around me I can’t help longing for a better kind of world. Sometimes I feel we are so used to the unsatisfactory state of things that we have given up hoping for something better.
Is idealism completely out of fashion? Have we become too cynical to have a vision of utopia? Or are we too scared of being tarnished with the same brush as the fanatical extremists who have not been slow in broadcasting their own hate filled criticism of modern life. Perhaps I’m being hopelessly idealistic but surely society could be better. How can I find my perfect society? What follows are the prejudices of an idealist.
Who doesn’t want to feel respected or liked by other people? Yet how many of us are very troubled in this area and fail to be our true selves as a result.
Appreciating one’s solitude – for example in the back of beyond – at times can be a source of refreshment and energy. Yet, sometimes being on your own does feel very lonely. Even when in a crowd or a group situation we can also feel lonely. Then our loneliness can come from feeling different from, and not belonging to the network of people with whom we associate at work, home and play. If we are not at ease with ourselves, we will be ill at ease with people we meet. We may build a wall around ourselves and not allow others to look inside it. We may doubt there is anything of value we can share with them like a sense of humour, sparkling conversation, interesting ideas, or some useful knowledge. This is a fear that others will discover what we imagine to be our limitations. So we may find ourselves thinking, “I’d rather do it myself,” “I prefer to be alone.” Because we do not mix with others, people do not get to know us and we will lack friends and close relationships. Then we will feel even lonelier.
Friendship flourishes with having something in common and thus having shared conversation and activity – experiences that give delight.
Is marriage an impossible dream? Is it unrealistic to expect two people to live together happily for the rest of their life and find spiritual healing together?
These days in England for example, couples, more often than not, live together for some time before even considering the possibility of marriage; a very different way of looking at things from say the middle of the twentieth century.
What lies behind this change? Some would point to the availability of contraceptives that allow us to have a full sexual relationship for the time being without the long-term commitment of parenthood. Others would point to a less hypocritical society. We all know that nearly half of marriages these days end in divorce. It is asked, “Why pretend everything is perfect by getting married when it clearly isn’t likely to stay that way in many cases?”
Another suggested reason for living together without getting married is to do with a fear of failure of the relationship in the full glare of public knowledge. At least in Britain this pessimism is perhaps not surprising given the high rate of marriage failure. People see cohabiting as having the advantage of being a private arrangement between two people not involving any socially recognised level of commitment and which can be finished as well as started relatively quietly.