Why do humans always seem to ask the question, "is there more"?
Why do people long to know and be known by others?
I came across this fascinating TED talk discussing why people are communal and seek transcendence.
Haidt refers to humas as "homo-duplex", we live in a physical world and are many times satisfied with fulfilling the mundane desires of life BUT people also have a longing for more, something more transcendent. Over the centuries people have reached this transcendence in a variety of ways including dancing, war, drugs and yes spirituality.
If you don't have time to watch the entire talk there is a 3 minute "video in a nutshell" at the end of the talk which does a wonderful job abbreviating.
I love this talk but see things differently. Obviously I lack the education and brilliance of Haidt, but as I look at this through the lens of my theological construct there are a couple of truths that jump out.
1. Every human is created in the image of God
Because of this simple truth people long for that which God longs, even if we don't know it. We long for a just world, love and togetherness.
God is community. We see this clearly in the cosmic dance of the trinity. Father, Son and Holy Spirit united in community from eternity past. Every person who has ever lived longs for and needs communal connection; knowing and being known.
2. Eternity is written on hearts
"He has put eternity into man's heart" - Ecclesiastes tells us that God has hot wired us to long for things greater than ourselves. Haidt speaks of a staircase that takes us to a higher consciousness or calling.
Of course we're "homo-duplex". God has made us with a longing for things that are transcendent.
I struggle through this every day in my own walk. Will I live to place my roots on this earth or will I believe that I'm living for something far more grand, the Glory of God? "Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love".
Haidt is so right about a couple points, humans long to climb the "staircase" and people long for togetherness. He states fact but is missing the answer to the question "what's the point"?
As I watched this I was reminded that people are seeking. They're looking for answers to the deep questions they're asking.
May we, the church, be a people who live out the gospel in authenticity, wisdom and boldness. Yes, the gospel is still the answer to life's most basic questions.