We, in Australia, are very blessed to be living in such a wonderfully free and fortunate society especially considering so much of humanity is still, or again, living in war, hunger, disease and poverty. But physical freedom, health and prosperity only goes so far. It is a matter of fact that mental health in our society is a real issue from eating disorders, depression, to alcoholism and violence.
Part of the reason for this, I believe, is the disconnectedness people feel from any sense of real community, social media notwithstanding. Add to this the grind of modern life and our hectic schedules, the blessing of technology has bestowed upon us and we easily find ourselves rundown physically and emotionally. Finally, with blessed liberal freedoms we seem to be more prone to a high level of sterility in our lives. Liberalism has ensured we don’t encroach on the rights of others to live the good life as they see fit so long as they are respectful of everyone’s right to the same freedom. But what it hasn’t given us is the story of what the good life is. According to the pre-eminent neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl, when you have a ‘why’, a reason to live, then almost any ‘how’ is tolerable. Coming from a Holocaust survivor of one of the most notorious death camps this surely carries some weight.
At ARK Centre we are looking to address these issues. First and foremost, we are building a dynamic community. Secondly, we are trying to establish a refuge from the pressures of life. And finally we would like to be an organisation that promotes the good life. How we do this is by creating a community, centred around a physical building, out of which an array of different classes, activities, programs and opportunities for spiritual engagement are available.
We aim to be a space where people of all ages and a myriad of different backgrounds come and be – hang out, eat, develop their minds and their souls.
The opportunities are endless. I look forward to bringing our vision to fruition together.