One of the monks who lived on the bank of the Nile never looked on the other side. One mught say it is amazing. In an era of information flood, in fact, it seems always necessary to learn new things. But what is the price we pay for it? We stay connected all day long and feel perplexed without fresh news. We tell ourselves that we have to know and learn a lot of things. Every opportunity to acquire a new bit of information needs to be used. Thus, our eyes and years are always active, despite the appeal of the Wise man: The eye never get tired of looking, nor the ear gets tired of listening.
We seek and swallow true stories voraciously: the more interesting and surprising they are, the more we like them. Our mind is always looking for new stimuli, otherwise we get bored and life seems to lose its meaning.
In the spiritual and philosophical tradition, however, the gift (or better, the ability) of focusing has been always appreciated, opposing it to the distractions that disturb our the peace of our soul. Little wonder, then, that St. Benedict’s Rule recommends everyone “not to allow themselves to report to the others what they have seen or heard outside the monastery, because it would extremely harmful. If anyone attempted to do so, let him be castigated according to the Rule (RB, LXVII 5-6)”.
At the times of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp we might be tempted to say: That’s so anachronistic! We cannot live without sharing all our activities. And to know other people better, we need to know what they did.
Can we really know other people better learning about their activities? Posting photos of where we are all the time (or messages with our observations and reflections)… do we really want to say anything serious about ourselves? Is it not the opposite, that is to say, that we are trying to show the way we see ourselves: active, good, original?
So where does the truth lie? Where do we really appear the way we are? What do we really know about the others? Are there still opportunities to know them? Maybe we should find out that our inner wealth, which is infinite and unrepeatable, is more interesting than all the colors of the world. The mystery of every human being remains an unfathomable abyss. Only those who can live the depth of their own person can gain access to it. There, our inner ear enjoys a lot of beauty, the most fascinating of all the world’s curiosities put together.