Monday Musings: An Adventure in Anthropology

This poignant question from Alden Tan of Little Buddha seems particularly appropriate at this juncture in my life:

A lot of people go through the motions in life, not doing what they love. They end up constantly looking back, asking themselves, “What if?” Whether people support you or not, do you really want to look back in regret one day down the line? To not know what could have happened if you tried to do what you really wanted to do?

I have decided to further my education, specifically working toward my second Master of Arts degree, this go-round in Theological and Cultural Anthropology. Now, this might at first sound both heady and boring, but it’s really an exciting adventure. Anthropology is simply the holistic study of people, and as such incorporates many other disciplines, like: History, Archeology, Biology, Sociology, Psychology, and the Cultural Areas of Art, Literature, and Music. So anthropology is actually very fascinating because you’re getting to know group of people rather intimately! Here you Cross the threshold of mere academics into deep knowledge and understanding … which is always beneficial!

Really, this came as quite a surprise to me. I’d always heard of anthropology, of course, and vaguely knew what it was about, but never imagined that this has really been my passion all along. Last year, for example, I was foolhardy and pretentious enough to write and publish a book entitled, On Being Human: A Multidisciplinary Approach. After analysing and pondering the final product, I was very disappointed and concluded at the time that it had been an impossible project to begin with … one I should never have tackled. But lo and behold, I’ve now understand that what I was trying to do (albeit in a much too vague and general way) was really an anthropological venture, or project!

Ah, then there is no need to be ashamed. Point in fact, there are many others like me in the world, who are pursuing many of the same questions, and they’re doing it in a holistic, multidisciplinary way! And I could not be more pleased, so I am going to be entering the Theological and Cultural Anthropology program at Easter University (in Pennsylvania) with which, thankfully, I can take online classes. So this will be a challenging quest, yet surely quite rewarding, too. Most folks I’ve shared this with have been quite happy for me (thankfully), except most of my immediate family. (Tragically, this is not at all surprising, as most family members have been quite negative, pessimistic and discouraging throughout my life … never encouraging!)

So, we shall see where this all ends up, but at least I won’t be looking back in old age, asking myself, “what if?” Or “why didn’t I . . . ?” And who knows (but God alone) what doors this may open? Perhaps even a kind of new life! Obviously, and despite the silence and/or discouragement of family, I am thrilled!

4 thoughts on “Monday Musings: An Adventure in Anthropology

  1. Fantastic, Jonathan. This is a subject highly on my list of interests. Looking at our ancestors, exploring different cultures, I believe will help explain why people do what they do.
    Looking forward to learn more about your experiences throughout this new adventure!
    Warm regards, XxX

    1. Hello again, dear Patty! I am sorry to have taken so long in responding. Life has been quite rough for many weeks now, but thank you for your most gracious comment, and as always big hugs and blessings to you!

  2. “Happiness, my dear Dick,” said the Ghost placidly, “happiness, as you will come to see when you are older, lies in the path of duty. Which reminds me. . . . Bless my soul, I’d nearly forgotten. Of course I can’t come with you. I have to be back next Friday to read a paper. We have a little Theological Society down there. Oh yes! there is plenty of intellectual life. Not of a very high quality, perhaps. One notices acertain lack of grip-a certain confusion of mind. That is where I can be of some use to them. There are even regrettable jealousies. … I don’t know why, but tempers seem less controlled than they used to be. Still, one mustn’t expect too much of human nature. I feel I can do a great work among them. But you’ve never asked me what my paper is about! I’m taking the text about growing up to the measure of the stature of Christ and working out an idea which I feel sure you’ll be interested in. I’m going to point out how people always forget that Jesus (here the Ghost bowed) was a comparatively young man when he died. He would have outgrown some of his earlier views, you know, if he’d lived. As he might have done, with a little more tact and patience. Iam going to ask my audience to consider what his mature views would have been. A profoundly interesting question. What a different Christianity we might have had if only the Founder had reached his full stature! I shall end up by pointing out how this deepens the significance of the Crucifixion. One feels for the first time what a disaster it was: what a tragic waste … so much promise cut short. Oh, must you be going? Well, so must I. Goodbye, my dear boy. It has been a great pleasure. Most stimulating and provocative. Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye.”

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