Pudding, Concrete, ASSumptions & True Education

From the pyramid shrines of Egypt, to capitalism’s hallowed sky-fixtures in Manhattan, the need to begin with a solid foundation goes without saying.

Each one of these historical mecca’s testify to the power of an idea, whose physical form began with a firm foundation, that soon turned into the first brick laid and beyond.

Most things just gotta be built in a certain order.  Great architecture needs the proper foundation. Paintings begin with a primer or base.  And its been my experience that our lives are no different.

First Things First

Structures, our lives included, without strong foundations are destined to fall.  They begin compromised.

In matters of human construction, I can tie many of the weak points in my life to not being solid on the foundation of truth.

  • The truth of who I was.
  • The truth that lay beyond the questions of human existance.
  • The truth of what my purpose was.
  • The truth of what I was most passionate about, but continued to avoid.

My Life Stance was shaky because I needed clarification in the above areas.

“Life stance” – The style and content of an individual’s or a community’s relationship with that which is of ultimate importance; the presuppositions and commitments of this, and the consequences for living which flow from it.

Starting with solid footing regarding what is ultimately important, is the key to the success in a lot of the other areas in your life.  We may never get it perfect, but we can commit to passing on a stronger foundation to the next generation.

Escape vs Confrontation

In order to develop a strong Life Stance, I cannot afford to avoid the ultimate questions in life.  And in many ways our avoidances are sometimes measures of survival. We may…

  • run into relationships to hide.
  • run into a happy hour/TGIF mode of existing, just renting out our minds until the weekend comes.
  • try to escape by stalking success
  • try to ignore the fact that the work we are doing is passionless, soul sucking, and isn’t what we are called to do.

Everyone needs a way to relax, and get away from stuff at times.  But this cannot be your de-facto lifestyle. The questions remain.  Truth/truth, in all its varied context, continues to demand that you confront your condition, face this mystery called life, face this mystery called yourself, and face the inevitable truth about your level of happiness.

Before we can even get to the 2nd story of our life buildings, how/if the particulars of religion educate our understanding of the ultimate questions in life; we have to be prepared to first ask the hard questions.  Before we dedicate our lives in the pursuit of that top floor condo lifestyle, we need to ask how does my understanding of my short time here on earth educate my career choices? Start with first things first.

Dr. Cornel West hopes that you recognize your world view rest on pudding.  He calls this true education.  Check out his recommendations below:

So Who Laid Your Foundation, and How Strong Is It?

So maybe you’re not entirely to blame right? Someone(s) may have had a hand in helping you construct your building of belief and core values.  I grew up with the walls of belief, being erected all around me.  I have parents to thank for that, teachers, and formal education.  Society.  Media.  Some very well intentioned. Some were benignly regurgitating failed systems, and ways of thinking.  Some were breathing life, and the skills of critical thinking, as the foundation to all communicated knowledge and ideas of truth.  I am forever grateful for both the negative and the positive contributions.  These were the construction crews that vied to push my building to the sky.  And the experiences are all useable.

Now it is up to me, to us, to reexamine the foundation of assumptions and unarticulated presupositions that we have.  These are our greater enemies.

Being an adult and blindly following anything, truth or myth, is not a strong foundation.  This has far reaching ramifications.  Chris Hedges writes about some in his book: Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle. A book I included in 110 Books That Will Change Your Life.

Are You Weak In The Knees?

It’s time to go down into your basement and take a look around. Maybe there are some blind spots.   Maybe there is a corner down there that needs renovation.  Long delayed infrusture upgrades?  The strength of your house depends on your willingness to take stock.

Sticking our heads into the sands of denial do not afford us a pass indefinetly.  There are the winds in life, and the valleys of death, that come to test what we claim to be true.  Life seems to inevitably mock what we parade around as certainty; as the gray things smear the black and white lines we so desperately crave.  The streets, bridges, and stairwells we climb so confidently may someday betray our neglect.

And maybe the cracks in our foundation betray themselves as seemingly unrelated symptoms.

  • The lack of motivation to live healthier
  • The persistant choice to be unhappy in our jobs
  • An over dependency on the distractions in our life, that keep us from dealing with the things we want to change.

Maybe we are trying to escape what we know to be the truth about who we are. The truth about all the things we do not know.  The truth about the questions we still have beneath our mask of resolve.

An objective, static, singular perspective of truth is not nessecarily the foundation that I am speaking of.  But your descision to explore it is. To run after.  To chase whatever it is that truly is.  It is your choice to live truth as a way of life that will serve as a strong foundation, and a future monument to a well constructed and lived life.

5 Questions To Ask Yourself:

  1. Am I truly clear on what I believe concerning the ultimate questions of our existance?
  2. What things concerning my religious beliefs have I just accepted without testing for myself?
  3. I will spend most of my life working.  Why am I doing the work I currently do?
  4. What is my purpose for being alive?
  5. Why do I keep putting of the inevitable?

I’m curious.  What are some ways in which you intentionally reexamine your beliefs or wrestle with unanswered questions about life/ultimate truth?  Or is all of this exploring of truth stuff something that you do more casually?

Featured picture: Andrew Mace

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