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Os Guiness (D.Phil.

, Oxford University) was born in China, raised and

educated in England, and moved to the United States in 1984. He resides in Northern Virginia where he directs the Trinity Forum. He was the Executive Director of the Williamsburg Charter Foundation, Guest Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Studies and a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution. His books include The Dust of Death, The American Hour, and No God But God, and his most recent work, The Gathering Cultural Crisis.

THE JOURNEY by Os Guinness I'd like to talk, in the few minutes I have, on the idea of life and the search for a quest for meaning. Let me begin with a couple of stories. A couple of years ago I was giving a lecture near London and the other speaker was E.F. Schumacher. If any of you know that name he was an author in the 60's of a little book, Small is Beautiful, a great European intellectual. He told this story as he began his talk. He had just come back from what is now St. Petersburg, what was then Leningrad. He had gone from his hotel and followed very carefully through the streets, and he was sure he hadn't made a mistake. But what he saw right in front of him wasn't on the map. Right in front of him were these huge Russian Orthodoxy churches with their golden onion domes. Seeing him puzzled the Soviet guide came and said, "I can help you. We just don't mark churches on the map." Schumacher said, "You do! Look, here's one!" "Oh no, no, no!" she said. "That's a museum now. We never mark living churches on the map." Schumacher said (he was a great European intellectual, but also a person of faith) that wasn't the first time that he realized the maps of knowledge, the maps of reality being given, growing up in the elite universities of Europe, simply did not have on them some of the things people really take for granted as basic to life, such as faith. And you can see that in large parts of this country. Think of these very simple ironies: most of the greatest thinkers, writers, musicians, scientists, reformers, mathematicians . . . you name it, have been people of faith (Pascal, Bach, Dostoevsky, Isaac Newton, you could roll through the names). And yet many people today pretend that to have faith is unintellectual and uncultured. Or again consider that all periods of American history have understood themselves and their world from the vantage point of faith. And yet many thinkers today pretend that to be a person of faith is somehow undemocratic. Or again consider this: almost all the great American reform movements, the abolition of slavery, the rise of the women's movement, civil rights, have either been inspired by faith or led by men and women of faith. And yet many people pretend that faith is reactionary. There is, what the great German thinker Max Faber calls, "Tone Deafness". Many thinking people frankly do not pick up the music by which most people in life orchestrate their lives and that's an incredible loss. They live in a tone-deaf world, a colorblind world, where everything is black and white. There is no richness, or depth, or color. A second story. A few years ago I had a suspected brain tumor and was in the hospital in northern Virginia ready for the MRI scan. The nurse came up to me and asked if I was
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claustrophobic: I said no. She said she thought she ought to ask me because the nickname for the MRI scan is the "coffin machine" and some people can't stand it. Well I'm not claustrophobic, but having put that thought in my mind so helpfully . . . the next three or four times I lay in the MRI scan I couldn't help thinking of the "coffin machine". I thought back over the years of my life that sort of scrolled down through my mind in the darkness with this clamp around my head. I thought of my own life as a journey and the many thousands of people I've had the privilege of talking to, often, all around the English-speaking world and in other countries too on this thing of the journey of life. And it was in that experience that I put together this particular talk of which I am sharing a bit tonight. If you think of the great pictures of human life that ring down through the centuries in literature, we've got, say, the great lovers Tristan and Isolde, Romeo and Juliet, and so on. We've got the great bargainers like the Faust figure, restless striving and so on. But if you look not only in Western culture, but also in all the cultures of the world, there's one picture that more than any other describes human life and that's the picture of a journey. Dante's Divine Comedy begins, "Midway in life, I found myself in a dark wood ..." and he begins this extraordinary journey. The Hebrew exodus, the Odyssey, the Illiad, Don Quixote, Huckleberry Finn, right down to 20th century books like On the Road by Jack Kerouac, again and again, this sense that life is a journey, a quest, a pilgrimage, and odyssey. All of us, at some point, are on the journey. We're all at some point ... we may live, give or take a few years ... three score years and ten ... and none of us has any idea exactly where we are. When Dante wrote "Halfway through my life ..." he was literally half way through his life. He didn't know it. He was 35 when he wrote that, he lived to 70. Statistically, I'm probably the one in the room who will die first, being one of the older ones. Statistically, some of you far younger than me will die before I do. None of us have any idea where we are in this extraordinary journey of life and the challenges, what do we make of it? Where did we come from, where are we going? What's it all about? What are the diversions that can pull us off track or the dangers that can be obstacles so that we lose our way? Maybe lose our very souls. What on earth is it all about? Let me in the few minutes I have ... more as an appetizer and a teaser ... throw out what I suggest to you as you look down the centuries and see many of the great, thoughtful seekers. See other stages through which they move as they wrestle with this quest for meaning. Stage one is undoubtedly a time for questions. The seeker is a person for whom life has suddenly become a question. Could be something incredibly positive, a sense of extraordinary awe. Could be something very negative, a tragedy strikes in. But whether positive or negative, suddenly life, which is taken for granted, suddenly becomes a question that's a burning one and the seeker really wants the answer to that question. Now, if any of you know Freud, you're probably smiling and saying, "Ah ha! Believers are just people who believe because they have needs." Wait a minute, wait a minute, no, no, no. Listen to the logic of it. Seekers don't believe because of needs. What they really do is disbelieve what they used to believe. They disbelieve what they believed before, because of needs, which what they believed before can no longer answer and they've become seekers. They want a better answer; a deeper way of life because the fact is the deepest longing of human beings ... and I'm putting it in sociological jargon now ... the deepest longing of human beings is for meaning and belonging. We each want to make sense of our world. That's meaning. Who are we? What's right and wrong? What's it all about and so on. Meaning. Sense.
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But we also want to have a sense of belonging, security; a place in the world so we're at home in it and know where we're going and so on; meaning and belonging. These do two profoundly important things. You can give them all sorts of fancy words, "world view", etc; but basically it's just that people want to make sense of their world and find security in their life and that's provided by some sense of meaning and belonging. Now you can call it a faith or a philosophy or whatever you like to call it. And, of course, whatever you call it will affect the state as you see it. So, for instance, an atheist worldview, the atheist would say it's something that he or she has created. There is no meaning in the universe. We just make the meaning we create. Say for a Jew or a Christian, they would say that meaning is disclosed from somewhere else ... which is obviously a very different sort of proposition ... but basically it answers the same, deep need for meaning and belonging. Now, you might think if that's important for every human being, why don't people think about it more over time? As Eric was suggesting, taking Socrates. The challenge today is to lead an examined life in a very unexamining age. But if we all need worldviews, we all need some sort of faith, we all need meaning and belonging, why don't people think about it more? Well, again, the great thinkers have suggested very two profound reasons why most people, most of the time, don't. That's why we forget we're on a journeywe've been born and one day we'll die. You who are in your 20s and early 30s, you're in the immortal stage. You don't, even in terms of passages of life, have a reason to think. But the great thinkers have pointed out two reasons, at a very deep level, why people don't want to think about the meaning of life. One is what Blaise Pascal, a great French mathematician called "Diversion": an entertaining, busy distraction so that we drown out the fact that one day we are all, without any qualification, going to die. Pascal says the secret of man's unhappiness is he can't sit quietly in his own room. And so he has this fascinating discussion of people who are more interested in the hunt than the capture. And we, of course, are living in what's being described as the Republic of Entertainment. Where we've got a million and one diversions (and now virtual reality and all sorts of other things), so you can fill yourself with all sorts of things that are diversions and never give a moment to think deeply or to care deeply. The other profound reason explored down the centuries is what's simply called "bargaining". In other words, people know that death is at the end, but we say: "Later. Not today. Later. Next year. Later, when I've made my first million, when I've done X, Y and Z. Later, later, later." And this, of course, is the great Faustian figure in Western literature: more knowledge, more experience, more power and eventually, wanting more, still, with that restless striving, we'll even sell our souls to the devil, to have a little more time, if only we can postpone things for later. But, of course, at the end, you'll die. And people who just divert themselves and people who just bargain life away are just putting off the fact what modern psychiatrists call simply the "denial of death". But the fact is that it's there for all of us. And we're left back with the challenge of finding a faith that really gives us meaning in this extraordinary world in which we find ourselves. If, though, the seeker's first stage is this time for questions - and most people simply won't and don't think about it - what are the sort of things that get people thinking? You can give a lot of reasons. One of the deep ones is simply the seasons and passages of life. I was kidding you: you were mortal in your 20s and 30s. Little while and, you know, mid-30s you realize there are so many rapids and so many bends around the rapids. There's a big one, you know, when you're 45, 55, you hear it a lot closer. Just the sheer passages of life. Seasons of life are often what jolt people into thinking.

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Another reason people think is the grand historical contradictions. You take, say, people who believed in Marxism; and then in the 30s the revelations of the camps and the famines; and later the gulag; and then eventually Marxism, fully. You can see these grand contradictions. People who believed in Marxism, it was totally falsified by the march of history. And people were refugees fleeing out from the ruins of that faith. But what I'm much more interested in is the extraordinary new ways individuals start to search. In ways that I often describe as just being jolted by life, or a great friend of one of my mentors is in the academic world, Peter Berger calls "Signals of transcendence." Let me give you a couple. One is the great English journalist, G. K. Chesterton. He went to art college back in the 1890s in a world very much like our post-modern world: cynical, pessimistic, ironical and so on. All of his friends were the radical pessimists and he was deeply attracted to that world - there was no meaning in life at all. He was a nihilist. But one thing kept him back always: what he called "gratitude." It wasn't just the wonder to be alive as you looked at a sunset, but as he said, the wonder of something as simple as a dandelion. And he said, "As a pessimist, I could not explain this thing that bubbled up in me, the wonder at existence and the sheer gratitude to be alive." So he began to search. And he insisted whatever answer he looked for had to explain both the darkness of life, of a world gone awry, as well as the incredible beauty of life and the wonder of a sonata or a sunset or a dandelion. And it was the beauty of the wonder of existence that sent him off as a seeker. Or a very different signal of transcendence another great English thinker, W.A. Jordan. But it happened just up the road from here. W.A. Jordan came here in 1938 to escape from the Nazis, but he followed what was going on in Europe, very, very closely. He was an atheist, liberal, social, somewhat democratic and as he followed (there was no television in those days, of course) he would see the documentaries and he would go to a particular cinema in Yorkville, Manhattan, which was then heavily German. And one day in 1940, as he went into the Yorkville cinema, he saw a documentary of the Siege of Poland. And the Nazi storm troopers were bayoneting men, women and children and the Germany audience -to be fair to them, this was before the revelation of the death camps and so on - the German audience cried out, "Kill them, kill them, kill them!" And Jordan sat there as an atheist. He said in five minutes his whole world changed because he suddenly saw two things. One, we human beings were doing that. We human beings were evil. He'd always thought, a little more education, a little better psychology, improved politics, one sort or another and you could change human beings. They were basically good. He said, "I knew instantly that human beings, of which I was one ... are capable of that evil." But then he saw a second thing. He knew that was absolutely wrong, but he had no absolute by which to judge it. He said he'd spent all his life as a European intellectual, stripping away the absolutes. Everything was to be non-judgmental, relatively this, culturally that, and so on. You couldn't make any absolute judgments. But he said, "I knew intuitively this was absolutely wrong. And I needed an absolute by which to say it." He said, "I left the cinema a seeker, searching for some unconditional absolute by which I could say it was wrong." You could multiply stories like that. Jolts of life, signals of transcendence; something strikes into people and their complacent, taken for granted, self-evident world suddenly is broken up and they begin to think and care deeply. They don't believe because of the questions, I insist again, but they disbelieve what they believed before because their questions which what they believed before could no longer answer. And they start to
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search. That's stage one. Are you there? Or are you living the Wall Street version of bargaining? Or a general American sense of diversion? Stage two follows very simply: a time for questions, a time for answers. Makes sense. If someone's got a question, they want an answer which really throws light and satisfies the particular question that's burning in their heart and mind and they look. Now the fear at this stage is people say, "Well, answers? There are a million and one answers in the world." Like a supermarket today, how on earth ... you would need extraordinary wealth in three life times to check them all out to see which is true. But remember two things. First, a seeker doesn't have a million and one questions. A seeker has one central burning question and he or she is looking for an answer to that (not all the things that might be inspiring to other people). But there's a second reason that cuts the whole search down at this level of answers and that's this; while there are a million and one answer in the world, hypothetically, there are, for all intents and purposes in our modern world, only three big families of faiths which are giving the answers that most people are looking at. For all intents and purposes, the three big families of faiths are these... The first is the Eastern that includes Hinduism, the oldest, Buddhism, its reform offshoot and today its vulgarized version in the New Age Movement, but they're all a family of faith because they go back to the same ultimate view of reality. They all believe that behind everything is an impersonal ground of being. The philosophical word, "the undifferentiated, impersonal". All their answers ... what is humanist and so on ... all flow out of that. The second big family of faiths today is the Western Secularist, which would include naturalism and science, atheism and agnosticism, existentialism, humanism, you name it. And once again, whatever the different varieties of it, they all go back to the same ultimate reality. You have chance, plus time, plus matter. The third big family of faiths is the Biblical. The Jewish and the Christian. And they all go back; they both go back to the same ultimate reality of a personal, infinite God. Not personal because He's been projected by those who believe in Him. No. They have dignity as unique human beings because they're made in His image. A personal, infinite God or an infinite, personal God. And you can see how those huge differences in the ultimate reality make an incredible difference in a hundred different practical answers. Let me just take one in a very simplistic, brief way. Take the deepest human problem of all. You can look at the origins of the universe, the prospects for humanness, what's humanity ... you could take all sorts of big issues ... but there's no doubt, all the faiths, philosophies and religions agree, the deepest, deepest question of all is suffering and affliction. Very briefly and highly simplistically (I underscore) look at the difference between the three big families of faith. In the East, suffering is part of this whole wheel of illusion and suffering that goes round and round. So the problem is not death. In the East, the problem is birth. You're reborn and you're back on the wheel once again. So what's the solution to suffering? Well, suffering's driven by the craving of our egotistic desire. So the solution is detachment, renunciation, withdrawal. So there is freedom from suffering, but it's also freedom from yourself. So take, say, Buddhism. Nirvana. Nirvana is extinguishness. But it's not just pressure and hassle that's extinguished; it's each of us. Because it's that sense of the ego, the identity,
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which is what drives the whole wheel again. So freedom in the Eastern system is freedom not be an individual, but freedom from individuality. A very radical view of suffering from an extremely drastic answer because there's no answer to suffering in this life at all. Not surprising if you know Hinduism. There's not a single movement for reform, humanly speaking, in Hinduism. What there is has come from missionaries and other people from the outside. How about the Western Secularist views? Read someone like Bertram Russell's, "A Free Man's Worship". The worldview comes from blind chance and it moves steadily towards ultimate extinction. And everything is going down to the doom of ultimate extinction, so the humanist faith, Russell says, is built on the firm foundations of unyielding despair because there's no ultimate answer. In the face of a meaningless universe, which will one day doom us to extinction, we create here and now in our small ways, all we can of meaning. And we do it with bravery and courage and sometimes with beauty, but we do it pitted against the universe and one day it's all going down and the only unity, he says, is the tie of a common doom. You find someone like Albert Camus. Much more human. Like the plague, you fight the plague for all you're worth - this is evil in the world, but it makes you fight it for all you're worth because you hate it - but, the plague will always break out somewhere else and at the end of the day, Camus says, is unending final defeat. No wonder that sort of humanism is something many people keep at the street level and don't think about it too deeply. Because if you look deeply, it's something that only the brave and the elite, intellectually, have the courage to believe. It's never an ordinary person's faith. How about the Biblical family ... the Jewish and the Christian view? One of many features of the Biblical view is that the evil, which is the cause of the suffering we bring and have in the world, wasn't there originally. It's alien, unnatural. In all the other world views, evil is natural to the world. So if you battle it, you're battling against that which is. At the end of the day, you're beating your head against a wall. Not in the Biblical view. There once was a time when it was not like that: something has introduced it, so it's alien, unnatural, it's an intruder. So whenever someone hates or is outraged or shocked or grieved, say by a premature death, you're right to feel that way. And you see very profoundly in the New Testament, that what was Jesus, the Son of God, and His attitude to death? Anger. Because there's alien and intrusive in a world, which was not made to be like that, which changes your whole view of it. Anyway, you look at these things for yourself. Stage two is that time for answers. And whatever the question is, it might not be the problem of evil. People are like someone shopping, knowing what they want or looking for this. What difference will it make? And rather than the mushy notion that really all the religions are saying the same thing, if you get down to the common core, no one's ever found the common core. Actually, if you look at them, they're all saying incredibly different things and the modern understanding is much closer ... differences make a great difference. And that's the feature of this second stage, a time for answers. Stage three ... and I'll hurry on to the last two ... stage three is a time for evidences. Here's where the thoughtful person's different. Many people have a problem - here's an answer - they believe. The thoughtful person knows ... says, "All right, this answer, whatever it is, throws light in my problem, but does it have weight to it? Is it true?" The question's not does it just give me an answer, but is it true? Now, as people look at this and the very notion of truth is unpopular today, there's usually a time of disconfirmation before there's a time of confirmation. Let me give you a couple examples.
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I've known many people going down the path to this ... I don't want to pick on these, particularly, but just using this one. Tonight you can take many others. Any of you ever read "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance"? Persig describe Phaedrus, on his search to the East. And he's at the University and he says to Hindu professor of Philosophy, he says for the 50th time, "The world is illusion." Now, this is the 60s. Phaedrus, passionate young American, in the day of Vietnam, shoots up his hand and says, "You mean, Hiroshima and Nagasaki are an illusion?" Professor says, "Yes, they're an illusion." Phaedrus says to himself, "Within Hinduism, undoubtedly that's the right answer." But as a young American human being concerned with justice and humanist and people being napalmed or whatever, he said, "I knew that was wrong. I got up, I left the classroom, I left Hinduism and I left India forever." Something that he cared about deeply was just contradicted by that worldview and it was, for him, disconfirmed. Or a much more poignant example from Buddhism ... that I know at least a score of people are just turned around, coming across this example. You know haiku poems? 18th century poet called Issa was one of the most famous haiku poets. He had five children and a wife. And all of them, one by one, died before he was 30. And every time one of these deaths occurred, he went to the Zen master and said, "Why?" And every time, the master said to him, "Remember the world is a dew." D-e-w. "The dew is there on the ground, the sun rises, and the dew disappears. In other words, suffering is transient, evanescence as life is. So don't get involved and engaged and attached. If you mourn for someone, it shows you're too attached. Remember the world is dew." And again and again, Hinduism and Buddhism teach that detachment and one of the proofs is which someone you love can die and you're not moved in that way. But after one of his children's deaths, Isu went home and wrote him most famous poem, which transliterated into English runs like this, "The world is dew, the world is dew, and yet, and yet." You see it? The logic of Buddhism is in the first two lines. "The world is dew ... ," the wheel and etc, etc. "And yet and yet." The father, the husband, the human being who loved this little child. That's not enough. But his answer just cries out in the end, "And yet and yet." And I know many have come across that and turned around. The Christian faith and the Jewish faith are both faiths concerned with history and factual truth. And invite people to examine, to look ... not just at the big picture confirmation ... for G.K. Chesterton, that's what eventually led him to faith in Christ. He was looking, as I said earlier, for an answer that explained both what was wrong with the world and what was great about the world. Why the world was all-amiss and yet the world was wonderful, still. And he said he was ... stopped dead in his tracks when he read the Bible and saw that it explained not one or the other, but both together. God had made the world good and so it was good, despite everything. And yet evil had entered the world, introduced by human beings, and it had gone awry. And the Biblical view had both there. And he describes this, if you've ever read his story, "Orthodoxy", he describes how everything suddenly starts to fit into place. And his enormous kind of Eureka-like excitement, as he sees it, fits. It is true. For many people it's not the big picture sense as with Chesterton, but a much more close up sense of evidence in another area. A famous example is C.S. Lewis looking at Jesus. Lewis, who is a tough, dogmatic atheist. But rattled in his search when an atheist sat down in his room at Magdalene College in Oxford and said, "You know, before gospels actually had remarkable, historical reliability." "What?" Lewis had dismissed them all as myths. And as he began to search, he went to people in the Oxford Common rooms and they said, "Well, Jesus. Of course, what a great moral teacher." Lewis said, "No, no. You haven't looked at the evidence, the facts." Yes, he is a great moral teacher. Love your enemies, etc, etc. But the same man who makes those extraordinary moral claims also makes appalling theological claims: to be God, become man. Lewis says, "How do you
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put those two together?" Only so many ways. No one's ever found a fifth. One way is to say he was a lunatic, but the evidence doesn't show it. Second way is to say he was a liar, but the evidence doesn't bear that, either. The third way is to say that he was just a legend, concocted by his followers, but Lewis, who was an actual scholar, looked closer and closer and says, "This don't have the mark of the normal myth." So he was left with the fourth possibility that Jesus was who he said he was. And finally, horrified, he was convinced that was the truth and there was no other way to explain this combination of these extraordinary moral teachings and these appalling theological claims. And he was convinced it was true. Stage four. A time for commitments. Everyone who gets to this stage ... and there is as many ways to this stage as there are people who come. It's an awful danger to turn it into a sort of cookie cutter recipe. At the same time, there are almost always two themes, very powerfully there at this stage. The first is that you have the sense that the seeker is never more himself or herself than when they make this commitment. There's an enormous sense of responsibility. In other words, earlier in the search, the mind is searching, like a scout running out ahead. But at this stage you realize the whole person has to make the decision. The mind, the emotions, the will, a whole person. I read of a westerner who was in Kenya and he was describing faith and picked up a peculiar word and I looked at what he had written. I said, "That's hopeless." Your word for faith there would be our word, say for shooting an animal at a thousand yard's range. All you need is a good rifle, a steady hand and a good eye. "That's not faith", he said. "Our Kenyan word ... the word for faith is the word used of a lion pouncing on its prey. All four legs grappling around it and embracing it. That's the word for faith." And of course, that's right. People who come to that place of commitment, they know that they are never more fully themselves then when they soberly, totally make that decision. But paradoxically, the second thing that's also there, they're also aware that it's not just them. To this point, the seeker's looking and, you know, what do I fancy, will that work? The seeker's in control of the search. But suddenly, at this stage, many, many people realize they thought they were seeking and they'd been discovered. They thought they were looking and they've actually been found and arrested. In other words, they're suddenly aware of God coming in. And there are many, many examples. C.S. Lewis, Simone Weil, the great French thinker. Many, many who can describe at that moment when they thought they were looking, examining everything and suddenly aware there was another presence and God had actually found them. Now, there are two challenges at this stage to the seeker. One is, some seekers in America today fall for the illusion that the search is everything. The search is all there is. The journey is its own reward. Better to travel hopefully than ever to arrive. Again and again you hear this sort of nonsense. You're not traveling hopefully unless you're traveling somewhere, above all, unless you're traveling home. The idea that the endlessly open mind, the perpetual search that is its own reward is absolutely nonsense if you think about it. Now, it's true that there are some - particularly the less educated side - who think they've come to faith; they've arrived. No more questions, everything cleared up, no more mysteries and so on. You can see that the journey as the followers of Christ described, there is a balance. We've discovered the way, but we haven't arrived. It's a pilgrim's progress, but we're no longer wanderers, we're no longer lost, we're no longer just empty, free spirits, as Nietzsche put it, we're wayfarers and pilgrims. And we've discovered the way and the One who's the life and the truth and leading us home through His Father. But it's still a journey until the end.
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The other challenge is this ... at this stage, what makes people restless is that there's a very simple choice. Do we shape the truth to our desires or do we shape our desires to the truth? You might think the more thoughtful people are, the more honest they are. Actually the reverse is true. Do you know anything of the history of intellectuals, the more sophisticated the education, the slipperier the rationalization. A simple example is Aldous Huxley. You can read many, many others. Read, say, Paul Johnson's book on intellectuals. But Aldous Huxley. He describes in his autobiography how when he left university, he decided the world had no meaning because he said if he accepted the meaning that was there, he would have to bow to it and go along in line without meaning. So he says for him, meaninglessness was an instrument of liberation. So he chose to say the world had no meaning so he could go his own way. And many have done that sort of thing. In the short run, it offers much more freedom. If there's no meaning, make your own meaning. Go your own way, do your own thing. In the medium run or the long run, the answer is lostness and confusion. The other way is much tougher. To shape our desires to the truth. I don't like this, but if it's true, in the short run it's painful, but in the long run, it's liberating because it's true. And I'm more human, more just, more beautiful, more free, if you enter into the freedom that truth brings. So think of it. Here you are, living in one of the world's great cities with enough pressure in your daily work, with enough entertainment all around you to stop any of you thinking at all. But at least you've taken the trouble to come here to Socrates in the City, the examined life in a terribly unexamined age. Life is a journey. You're all ... we are all ... at some point in this extraordinary journey ... and at one point we'll die. But not just fear of death. How do we make the most of the days we have, understanding who we are, what's right and what's wrong? Something like this is the seeker's road map to the quest for meaning. Walker Percy once said, "You can get all A's and still flunk life." You can put it in Wall Street terms. You can make hundreds of millions and still flunk life. In other words, have you stopped enough to think deeply and to care deeply? Probably the greatest Christian quotation outside the Bible is Augustine. In the prayer after his long, arduous and tempestuous search, he said simply to God, "You've made us for yourself. And our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you." Funny enough, it is an unexamined age that you can see in America today the beginning of the turning of the tide. And even among thoughtful people, a real return to the questions.

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