I wanted to expand a bit on the notion of ‘meditating on the good.’
Recently I read an article (which I haven’t been able to find since) describing how YouTube’s censors – the people who search for pornographic or similar videos to remove from the site – are only allowed to serve for one year at a time. The psychological effects of their job are too damaging to reasonably permit longer service. Being forced to view that much filth and depravity, day in and day out, reeks havoc on their emotional stability, leads to depression, moodiness, and relationship problems. The darkness they are forced to deal with infects them and destroys their mental health.
As this and similar cases indicate, what we put into our minds effects us at least as much as what we put into our bodies, and any fitness guru will tell you that diet is even more important in building a healthy body as exercise is. What we consume becomes part of our makeup.
Now, you might not indulge in pornography, but odds are you watch TV, read the news, and go to movies. As such, unless you’re extremely careful, you’re subjected to an endless parade of violence, illicit sex, profanity, ugliness, and the general insanity that defines our age. There are lies and ugliness and madness lurking behind every corner, so that you almost can’t help but ingest them.
Since we can’t avoid these things, my notion is that the next best thing is to counteract them. If you listen to insanity too much, you begin to forget what sanity sounds like, and if you gaze on ugliness long enough you start to forget beauty.
I’m not saying you should never examine anything evil or ugly; you have to if you’re going to accurately respond to the world around you. What I’m saying is that consuming too much evil, even for a good reason, is unhealthy. We need to consume goodness as well, if only to remind ourselves that there is such a thing.
That’s the idea behind my meditating on the good posts; to offer little bits of sanity and goodness and beauty to serve as an antidote to the darkness that makes up so much of our diet; reminders of what these things actually look like.
All that being said, now enjoy these paintings by M. Claude Monet.