Affluence and Secularism
Does secularism plus affluence equal boredom? This is a thought I’ve been pondering. Why are people so bored? I find my most successful clients, which I define as those that realize the greatest health, are not bored. Yet boredom is a common complaint I get. My clients with the worst outcomes are those that do nothing except watch Netflix and play on their phones.
I do not define health as absence from disease. I believe people with terminal diseases can be healthy. Health, holy, and wholeness are synonyms I use to describe health. Health is wholeness, health is holy, holy is health, wholeness is health. People can be dying and be healthy, all of us will die someday.
I’ve recently also pondered the idea that watching Ozark (my favorite Netflix show) is fun, but learning another language creates contentment. I also know learning to play an instrument creates happiness. Algebra, calculus, learning history, hunting, fishing, building a house, procuring water, making dinner, all these activities create happiness. Humans were born to create, and when we don’t create, we have high levels of anxiety and depression.
What is one the greatest accomplishments we have made as humans? The ability to communicate in common languages. Learning a language completely different from your mother tongue will absolutely create happiness because you’re doing what your brain was meant to do.
Boredom with life is a problem I see daily. Most commonly, I see it manifest as anxiety and depression; but bowel problems (GERD, IBS), headaches, menstrual cycle difficulties, insomnia, high blood pressure, diabetes, and on and on with no improvement from medications is very common. These problems I see are investigated thoroughly by fancy machines and laboratories, costing thousands of dollars, only to have normal results. And then they book an appointment with me. Could all this be manifested from boredom? Does affluence plus secularism equal boredom?
Affluence has allowed us to rely on the labor of others and machinery to accomplish our daily needs - we turn a faucet for water, we hire construction workers to build our house, when our toilet doesn't flush, we call the plumber, we go to the store for our food. We complain about things like traffic and the rain, but we don’t worry about not having water or food (maybe until now). This is what I define as affluence.
Secular is something I’ve always been. I was raised with no religion, was never baptized, and frankly, I found it strange when I learned about religious beliefs. It sounded ridiculous, like someone was trying to tell me the sky is red. I have been to catholic mass many times in my adulthood, though, and the priests are true intellectuals. My mind has been changed. I want religion, I want to believe. I find a moral code necessary for the functioning of society and have studied some moral codes in depth - the Yamas and Niyamas of Yoga and the 10 commandments of Judaism/Christianity. I think I’m descended from Jews and have many ancestors that escaped to America to escape persecution in Europe, so the 10 commandments are my preference. Both of these codes are said to have been sent from God, not written by a human. In order to follow these moral codes, necessary for a functioning society, is the belief in God necessary? I was taught morals as a child and never thought I need to have these morals given to me by a higher power, but I believe I’m a good person. I do not ever want to hurt or steal. I can’t even kill a mosquito if it’s biting me. I've never shot a gun. I used to fish, but cannot any longer because killing the fish is an issue. My mother was the same way. But are others? I just don’t know.
Like everyone in America, and the world, we are trying to figure out what’s causing these mass shootings. What would make someone want to kill children? Why would someone want to kill strangers? Is it Hollywood movies? Violent video games? Massive prescriptions of anti psychotics and antidepressants? Is it the 2nd amendment and the fact guns are easy to acquire? I think there are many factors, but something I think we are is bored, and I think we are bored because we have affluence and we are secular.
Facebook/Instagram was in court a year or so ago because their platform causes young girls to have suicidal thoughts. Is this the fault of Facebook/instagram? The last person I want to defend is Zuckerberg, but I don't see how this is his fault. Why are these girls looking at social media for 3 hours or more per day? Why aren’t they reading Jane Austen, studying French, wrenching their brains over calculus, or practicing violin? The main complaint was these girls were seeing images they could not attain. I don’t know about the rest of you ladies, but Cindy Crawford never made me feel suicidal. However, I saw her maybe 1-2 times a week in a magazine. Could it be these girls are inundated by these images all day, everyday, and their belief is these images are what’s real?
There’s a reason mantras have been practiced for millennia. It’s because when we say something to ourselves enough, it becomes true. Is social media the pictorial manifestation of mantra?
I didn’t grow up believing I am a child of God. Once I knew about the birds and the bees, I knew the gametes of my parents joined and made me. Classically, I have taken a very realistic and logical approach to life. I am the picture of privilege. I am intelligent, attractive enough, from a middle class family, and I was born in the United States, I am white. I am a woman, so I do get oppression points but there are benefits here too. I’ve gotten out of speeding tickets, and gotten away with smoking pot in public more times than I can count. I think it’s my intelligence that gets me the furthest from boredom, though, because I want to learn and I want to keep learning. I want to know languages, I want to know how the liver works, how the kidneys work. When I see a dead animal (this is gross), I often dissect it because I’m interested in its insides. I’m naturally curious and awestruck with what us humans have already figured out. I believe this curiosity is lacking in today’s culture. And I believe God helps us fire up this curiosity.
I tried to play the piano for years, and I was technically good, but I’m no Martha Argerich. Chopin is my unrequited love, I will never have the ability to play triplets with one hand and eighth notes with the other. But I tried, and it shaped my childhood. I learned that something could be hard at first but become easy with practice, such as Bach’s inventions. Never Chopin. This failure is also an important part of my life, something I will always treasure. Also, I will never have long nails and hold great respect for those who are able to live life with long nails.
In conclusion, this article is an argument for more God because I believe God Is necessary for following a moral code. Society’s recognition that God exists is more important than an individual’s belief in God. Why would one follow a moral code without the belief that the rules come from God?