Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Notwithstanding: Dangerous Faith

Within the context of this culture enters the big, I, Me, the center of the universe, Self, MySelf. "Everything in my own immediate experience supports my deep belief that I am the absolute center of the universe, the realest, most vivid and important person in existence. (This is) ... natural, basic self-centeredness. It is our default-setting, hard-wired into our motherboards at birth. Think about it: There is no experience you've had that you were not at the absolute center of."

Think of the old cliché from Robin Sharma, "the mind being an excellent servant but a terrible master." What I believe is centered in my mind, belief becomes rational justification of daily decisions involving and surrounding my existence, protecting my life, ensuring my success, gratifying my desires and finding pleasure in life. In this culture I am autonomous. But, am I really?
Thinking this way is automatic, choiceless, unconscious. It becomes an hypnotic monologue, repetitious and trance-like, informing you of all the hurts that you have suffered at the hands of insensitive and selfish members of society. Thinking this way will define you, the only options open for consideration will mean opportunity for improvement without regard for the cost to others. The worship of self is insatiable; if you are defined by money, you will never have enough; if you are defined by power or prestige, you will never have the prominence you need; if you are defined by your body and appearance, you will never cease to be ugly; if you are defined by your intelligence, you will always fear being found to be stupid. The defining purpose will always be shadowed by fear, of being poor, weak, frail, homely or a fraud.

It is a dangerous faith that worships Self. Fear as a motivator, as a provider of meaning, is unsustainable.
The 'terrible master' has taken control. There will always exist a gnawing sense that something is missing, something is lost. The reality is that people die long before their bodies cease living. This is the 'real world' fueled by fear and contempt and frustration and craving and the worship of self,” a world in which all have the “freedom” to be “lords of our tiny skull-sized kingdoms, alone at the center of all creation.”

Is it actually within your power to experience a crowded, hot, slow, consumer-hell-type situation as not only meaningful, but sacred, on fire with the same force that lit the stars? Where is compassion, love,...?

Compassion, love, empathy are a kind of grace that is only attained by anyone willing to do the strenuous mental work of seeing all situations from outside that of being self-obsessed, entering into an elective affinity with others. This may be even more dangerous, for now you are exposed, vulnerable, awake, possibly alarmed at the depth of what 'others' are experiencing.

The taxi driver has a PHD, your classmate's mother committed suicide, the store-clerk is an Alcoholic, your mechanic's son has leukemia ... if you're automatically sure that you know what reality is and who and what is really important then you, like me, will not consider possibilities that aren't pointless and annoying.

The only truth is that, for the most part, you are powerless to decide how it is you want to see reality, to consciously decide what has true meaning, what has virtuous value, what contains the relevant and conclusive aspects of a significant life. In effect to defeat the default setting.

We all worship (period). What we worship determines our faith; worship seeks to please, faith seeks to appease; worship provides focus, faith ensures locus; worship transfixes, faith fixes.

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