Many people talk about how bad things are fight now, how divided, how bad Trump is, how the Congress can\’t cooperate or negotiate. How, even biological gender doesn\’t matter (really!); just find a surgeon and some drugs.
Now, I finally read a philosophy which offers hope for our society for the future. Below is a quotation and then a link to the whole article in the NY Times. You have to read the article to see what is meant by first mountain and second mountain. Essentially, the first mountain is the society mountain or the yuppy mountain and I climbed it. I had the career and the safe life and the money. But it was essentially a meaningless existence and served myself. The second mountain is one with meaning and less ego focused. My spiritual life climbs this mountain. I am still climbing, away from the first mountain.
David Brooks offers hope for our nation because he points out that many people are getting off the first mountain and onto the second mountain, where they give back to society and form a very stable moral basis for out culture. By moral, I mean a life governed by love and giving. I don\’t mean rules about behavior. I find this very hopeful. I care about America. I will cling to the idea that many good people are out there and that they are forming an unshakable culture which nurtures a good society.
This quotation comes from the end of the NY Times article and I copied it because it contains the point which causes me to be hopeful (link to the whole article below):
\”Over the past few decades the individual, the self, has been at the center. The second-mountain people are leading us toward a culture that puts relationships at the center. They ask us to measure our lives by the quality of our attachments, to see that life is a qualitative endeavor, not a quantitative one. They ask us to see others at their full depths, and not just as a stereotype, and to have the courage to lead with vulnerability. These second-mountain people are leading us into a new culture. Culture change happens when a small group of people find a better way to live and the rest of us copy them. These second-mountain people have found it.
Their moral revolution points us toward a different goal. On the first mountain we shoot for happiness, but on the second mountain we are rewarded with joy. What’s the difference? Happiness involves a victory for the self. It happens as we move toward our goals. You get a promotion. You have a delicious meal.
Joy involves the transcendence of self. When you’re on the second mountain, you realize we aim too low. We compete to get near a little sunlamp, but if we lived differently, we could feel the glow of real sunshine. On the second mountain you see that happiness is good, but joy is better.\”