Lots of people know John 3:16, but John 3:17 is equally important. When you read the two verse together, it’s clear that verse 17 completes the teaching:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17)
It’s true, you learn something new every day. Yesterday, I learned about the “availability heuristic.” As the definition above indicates, the availability heuristic says that people will make judgment calls based upon the data that is most available to them, regardless of what other data and relevant facts reveal.
I’ll be putting this meme somewhere that I can see easily see it. I need the reminder.
Neuroscience tells us that what’s going on in this quote is a function of something called myelination. Myelin is a chemical that allows signals to travel faster in our neural pathways. We build up myelin by repetition. The more we do something, the stronger the pathways in the brain needed to get it done. That’s why “practice makes perfect.”
Myelination doesn’t just affect learning skills, it also shapes things like character and attitudes. Choosing to be positive will make us a more positive person, because we are strengthening the “positive” pathways in our brains. The same is true for negative thinking.
In the words of the 20th-century Eastern Orthodox monk, Elder Thaddeus:
I’ve been following the work of Jonathan Pageau for a couple of years now. An Orthodox icon carver from Montreal, Canada, Pageau has developed a large body of commentary (particularly on YouTube) on modern culture, narrative, and the Story that keeps getting told over and over again throughout human history.
In this video, Pageau talks about the religious imagery in the protests following the George Floyd killing in Minneapolis. In the video notes, Pageau writes:
From kneeling and chanting to contrition and acts of communion, the protests used catharsis as a means to a form of religious ecstasy, which was made more intense because of the Covid-19 lockdown.
The intent is not political commentary but a reflection on how the protests, within the context of the Corona virus outbreak, reveals how “religious” human beings really are. Ritual, fasting, offering are all woven into the fabric of our being.