THE QUESTION: What is goodness?
THE METHOD: Interview every philosopher, priest, psychologist, minister, neuroscientist, rabbi, imam, atheist, mystic, guru and everyday soul I can on the topic. Read every relevant study and book I can cram into my brain. Participate in every workshop that might help me understand goodness. And most importantly: Dive deep into myself and confront my own goodness, or lack of it, and learn to be a better person.
THE MOTIVATION: I’m doing this because I suspect that goodness – or its lack – may be the central issue of our day, and I want to test this hypothesis. Are war, terrorism, economic collapse, poverty, environmental catastrophe, bigotry, oppression, hatred, crime and a multitude of other human ills the result of an absence of goodness? Is there a patch of evil in the human heart, head and/or soul that keeps us from doing right? If so, what is the cure? How the heck do we as individuals and a society attain this holy grail of goodness?
I also have personal reasons for being obsessed with the question of goodness, but I’ll get into those a little later. Right now I just want to set my intention and start the journey.
My intention is clear in my mind. Exactly one year from today – on June 1, 2011 — I plan to make as much sense as I can out of what I’ve discovered. Sometime after that, I plan to write a book.
Every step of the way, I will Tweet my adventures. This blog will serve as the logbook of my quest and a community center for those of you who chose to join me on this expedition. (I’m fully aware, by the way, that you may already be out there with your compass, backpack and machete hacking through this dense jungle of philosophy, psychology, religion and personal experience. If so, I salute you, and ask that you post with a link to your blog or journal in the comments. I’d love to connect.)
My bags are packed. My passport is ready. It’s time to launch this expedition.
Today is Day 1.