About this blog

“I don’t want to survive, I want to live!”  In the Pixar animated movie WALL-E, this line occurred at a moment in which the future of the human race hung in the balance.  Merely surviving, “continuing” pointlessly in existence or living with a vision full of meaning.  Philosophically profound and cinematically dramatic.  Yet at the end of the day, we settle into our routine, moving from one obligatory task to the next.  We distract ourselves with the latest gadget, a fleeting pleasure, or the politically correct cause de jour, afraid to look deeply into our own hearts for fear of awakening a desire for something greater. We survive.

The willingness to settle for survival is understandable.  The contemporary worldview reduces the person to the material, achieving satisfaction through what they consume.  Survival, whether at the physical or emotional level, replaces living.  Anything that no longer contributes to survival is thrown out whether it be the latest gadget, the “cause de jour”, or a relationship that is loosing it’s appeal.  Fulfillment, however, will continue to be elusive, leading to a culture of victimhood, blaming the “micro aggressions” of others for unsatisfied desires.  One sets up “safe zones”, guards against “trigger words”, and applies the label “hater” to anyone who suggests that there is more to life than the merely physical and emotional.  Genuine encounter with reality, most notably the profound reality of another person, is precluded.

One could write volumes of philosophical discourse on the emptiness of contemporary materialism.  Such discourse, however, would run the risk of remaining too abstract to those whose experiences have been confined by this narrow ideology.  This narrowness can only be overcome by encounter, whether in the experience of transcendent beauty, or in the lives of those fully aware of being as “infinite as the universe we hold inside.”1.

This blog is about encounter.  Although there will be no shortage of philosophical discourse, the content will focus primarily on lived experience. Whether it is moments of transcendent beauty, such as a total eclipse of the sun, or seeking to unpack the meaning hidden in the mundane, the posts encourage looking outward from oneself to another, and outward with another to The Other.  It is not rejecting survival, but completing it through encounter.  It is Living with Survival.


Wisdom 13:1-9

All men were by nature foolish who were in ignorance of God,
and who from the good things seen did not succeed in knowing him who is,
and from studying the works did not discern the artisan;
But either fire, or wind, or the swift air,
or the circuit of the stars, or the mighty water,
or the luminaries of heaven, the governors of the world, they considered gods.
Now if out of joy in their beauty they thought them gods,
let them know how far more excellent is the Lord than these;
for the original source of beauty fashioned them.
Or if they were struck by their might and energy,
let them from these things realize how much more powerful is he who made them.
For from the greatness and the beauty of created things
their original author, by analogy, is seen.

But yet, for these the blame is less;
For they indeed have gone astray perhaps,
though they seek God and wish to find him.
For they search busily among his works,
but are distracted by what they see, because the things seen are fair.
But again, not even these are pardonable.
For if they so far succeeded in knowledge
that they could speculate about the world,
how did they not more quickly find its Lord?