THE SIX CONFUSIONS OF MODERN MAN
There is confusion when things do not occupy their due place in the order of the universe. The six considered here are not the only ones, but they are enough to give an idea of the intellectual and moral disorder that beset modernity.
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Joy and Happiness
Joy, queen of the pleasure-seeking passions, is the peak of what every animal can aim at. It results from the satisfaction of any of the senses, external or internal. A child below the age of reason knows no better than animal joy, the highest of the three lower levels of being.
Happiness belongs to a higher plane as the successive and final penetration of all seven levels of being: three animal and four spiritual, available to, but not imposed on man.
Modern schooling ignores the existence of the seven levels of being, leaving many men and women to grope in the haze of a perennial artificial childhood without ever suspecting the existence and attainability of that happiness that persists in eluding their quest.
The parable of the Prodigal Son gives the clue: the boy perceived his existential vacuum when he looked inside himself; then he took the only decision worth taking: returning to the Father, centre of human existence.
But Jesus remarked, “no one goes to the Father except through Me.” The human spirit, the triad memory-intellect-will, wakes up and begins to function at the rate with which Christ is allowed in. The knowledge and love of self improve as does the love of neighbor, and last (and least) that for the enemy, now correctly seen as a desire for the enemy’s salvation, not as a vague but impossible sentiment of benevolence towards someone bent on causing harm.
This promotion is equivalent to flooding the human spirit with grace, which is but divine life bestowed on man as a fifth level of being.
This level gets perceived by the senses only secondarily, i.e. after being experienced and not before. At the beginning prayer does not come spontaneous, but becomes a need on being experienced. At times an existential shock is enough to awaken it. One remembers only too vividly the photo of the burly Chilean miner on his knees and with his hands joined in thanksgiving for having been extracted from what could easily have become his grave.
This fifth level gives entry to the sixth and seven levels, created spirits (angels and devils) and uncreated spirit (God). A whole world opens to human inquiry and enjoyment, before which the world of senses and passions is assigned its relative, natural value, and not the absolute importance bestowed on it by a life bereft of spiritual values.
Lamentably, the confusion between joy and happiness has ruined many a life. Three powerful magnets attract the human beast while hiding the pain of demagnetization: money, power and sex.
Under their effect, modern man has acquired the aspect of the hound running after the mechanical hare: he is like a prisoner locked in a cage with only one side, only occasionally glancing sideways or behind to see the ever elusive happiness of real freedom.
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