THESE days, it's important and urgent that we learn to handle our curiosities properly. The developments around, especially in the area of technology, are producing all sorts of stimuli that arouse our interest way beyond what is legitimate to us. And we just cannot allow this phenomenon to go on without being managed well.
The usual problem we encounter is that people just let themselves be led by whatever catches their attention and fancy. Their spontaneous, quite raw reactions to these stimuli are hardly processed and purified, and so many do not realize they are being led more by their instincts and passions than by their intelligence and will, and much less, by faith, which is how we should be guided ultimately.
Things have become really so bad that many people do not see anymore the need to supervise their instant desires to know and discover. And so many times, they fail to realize that they have become overly or unduly nosy and meddlesome, or that they are falling into morbid curiosities and voyeurism.
In the Bible, we have been warned, "Be not curious in unnecessary matters: for more things are shown to you than men understand." (Sirach 3,23) The more down-to-earth variation of that admonition is "Curiosity kills the cat."
There's, of course, good and bad curiosities. A curiosity is good when it leads us to discover things truly helpful to us, and is pursued in an orderly and reasonable manner, with charity for God and others observed along the way.
A curiosity is good when aside from the new knowledge acquired, it makes us a better person, more caring of the others and more attentive to the things of God. It's when it makes us more humble, more eager to serve others.
A curiosity is bad when it's just an idle curiosity, meant only to satisfy a passing fancy or a caprice, or to feed the urgings of passions. It is bad when pursuing it causes disorder and when the requirements of charity are not observed.
A curiosity is bad when together with some benefits, it causes some bad side-effects, like nurturing in subtle ways the anomalies of pride, arrogance, laziness, lust, envy, etc.
Nowadays, you can see many people, especially the young ones, literally wasting time just pursuing their curiosities with the help of powerful technologies that more or less given instant satisfaction.
In fact, I think this is becoming like an epidemic of a certain type of addiction rightly described by someone as an "incontinence of the spirit." What is worse is to see otherwise decent mature people succumbing to voyeurism in the Internet because in spite of their decency they become helpless when their curiosities hit them.
With this development, I believe we are quietly developing a potential destructive moral and spiritual crisis that will explode in our midst sooner or later. Minds are corrupted, souls are perverted in industrial amounts by a sweet poison. We are abusing the goodness of God who has gifted us with many blessings.
We need to be wary of our curiosities or those spontaneous desires to know, discover or experience something. We should readily explode the myth that mindlessly pursuing these curiosities is an expression of our freedom. Sad to say, this is how many people think about their curiosities.
It cannot be true freedom when things are pursued only by emotion-driven curiosities. For freedom to be authentic freedom, the full complement of our human needs and stature, including our faith, has to be considered. Our freedom should be clearly distinguished from its caricature, which is license, or freedom unhinged from God.
While curiosities may start as an emotional movement, they need to be processed more to make them truly worthwhile pursuing. Curiosities should never just be matters of spontaneity. They need to be studied, reflected upon, and if necessary, consulted about.
Our curiosities have to be properly grounded and oriented. They just cannot be allowed to explore the possibilities on their own. They have to be guided. And for this, ultimately what is needed is to relate them to God.
They even should not be guided by our reason alone. Our reason without God, without the help of faith, is like a powerful but unguided missile or mine left to drift in the sea. It can hit anywhere, and can be indiscriminate in its targets.