Dominate our conditionings PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 13 May 2018 13:49

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

ALL kinds of conditionings somehow shape our life. We are conditioned by our own temperament, for example, or by the weather at the moment, by our family traditions, social customs, political milieu, the historical background of the place we grew up in.

We are also conditioned by the kind of work we do, the kind of relatives and friends we have. We can be conditioned by the many technologies that are now easily available. Yes, of course, we also are highly conditioned by the ideologies and religions we choose, the culture and the lifestyles we are exposed to. There is also themedia and the propaganda machineries of different groups to contend with.

Everything that would have some impact on our life somehow conditions us, from the physical to the social to the spiritual, from the natural to the supernatural and the unnatural, from elements that are unavoidable to things that we choose to have.

It is important that we are aware of this fact of life and make the effort to know these conditionings and master them. What we have to avoid is to be complacent with them and to be fully at their mercy. We have to dominate them instead of them dominating us. They need to be purified and directed to our proper end. We cannot deny that there are also manipulative forces around.

This is where the question of criteria and standards come in.  How should we be guided in this lifelong task? Where can we find the sure points of reference? What should be our North Star?

The question may require a much bigger space and a deeper discussion than what this column can afford, though I must say at the outset that obviously the proper reference would be God himself.

That position may trigger many other questions, like who is God, where can we find him, how sure can we be that we are following God, etc.?

Before we get lost in those questions, we can readily say that what is important is that we be more serious about being aware that there are different conditionings affecting our life and that we should dominate them.

I believe that irrespective of the kind of criteria and standards used, we can say that we have enough basis to guide us on how to dominate our conditionings. We already have a good body of knowledge derived from the sciences—the natural, the medical and psychological, the social, to the philosophical, ideological, theological, etc.

What is important is that we know what are the good aspects as well as the dangerous side and limitations of these conditionings. We cannot be naive and just allow ourselves to be led by these conditionings. We have to lead them.

That is why we should have a clear idea about the ultimate purpose of our life and the goal that we have to reach, irrespective of the different circumstances and conditions in our life.

We have to see to it that we are not just herded like cows by these conditionings. This phenomenon, I am afraid, is happening these days, when many people, especially the young ones, indiscriminatingly and blindly follow trends and fashions.

That is why there is always some need for introspection, for some examination of conscience, for a deeper study and consultation about this matter, etc. Times are getting more complicated, confusing and challenging, and we cannot afford to get swallowed up and lost by the conditioning circumstances of our life.

This concern should be pursued by everyone, creating a conducive atmosphere for it in the family, in our personal spiritual direction, in schools, offices, parishes, etc.