A lot of modern society is driven by the distraction industry – advertising, shopping, surfing the net. It is not a new phenomenon. Nietzsche wrote in 1874 that “haste is universal because everyone is in flight from himself”, but modern technologies of escape, like the smartphone or the tablet, make it even more pervasive and difficult to develop the silence within which is necessary for good health.
All mystics – Catholic, Christian, non-Christian, no matter what their theology, no matter what their religion – are unanimous on one thing: that all is well, all is well. Though everything is a mess, all is well. Strange paradox, to be sure. But, tragically, most people never get to see that all is well because they are asleep. Spirituality means waking up. Most people, even though they don’t know it, are asleep.
People don’t really want to be cured. What they want is relief; a cure is painful.
Anthony de Mello sj, Spirituality means waking up.