May 21, 2015–For thousands of years, divergent religious traditions have celebrated and venerated one unifying act: meditation. Twenty years before Christ, Philo of Alexandria, a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher, recommended various meditative spiritual exercises. Meditation fills the history and writings surrounding the Hindu, Buddhist, Confucian, and Sufi traditions. Early Christians, contrary to any modern image to the contrary, were enthusiastic practitioners of various metaphysical arts—and many, as Tony Jones notes in his book, “The Sacred Way,” still are.
Meditation’s appeal is simple yet profound: By clearing the mind of all distractions, petty thoughts, daily worries, and focusing relentlessly on the now, we can reach higher truths, deeper insight, and even elevated forms of consciousness.
It’s hard to think clearly, however, when you’re one of of today’s third-wave feminists, particularly when you’ve been lugging a 50-pound mattress around your college campus for the past eight months as a public “performance art” project/protest accusing your former friend of rape. This, alas, is the burden of Emma Sulkowicz, the infamous Columbia University “Mattress Girl,” who graduated on Tuesday from the Ivy League school with her signature box spring in tow.