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!

Burn to Learn

Continue burning to learn in order to discern
Taking now the whole world as the classroom
With so many erected, accepted lies to overturn
While pushing out the cold darkness of gloom

Ah, never more to look over the shoulder
While he gently guides each and every footstep
To change my weak self into something bolder
And never more along this long way misstep

My guide, my guardian and companion true
Delights in love with wisdom in bright light
Exposing life to be little lessons long overdue
But learned over years will stand me upright