Our day calls for a lot of soul-searching and being a thoughtful introvert, I can appreciate the challenge of trying to draw in a lot of information and come to grips with my own thoughts (not that it matters much, the internet is full of thought but almost no hearing so the vanity of hearing myself speak seems to have little use.) This isn’t a pity party just a simple recognition that one small voice is simply that…
But the world is stuck as much as it was in Columbus’ day. See, now we can go on a rampage about all of that but… Everyone in Columbus’ day was obsessed with traveling east, no one dared to venture west, the map wasn’t complete, too many unknowns, there’s money to be made sailing east. Someone had to go west, Columbus had the nerve to venture out of the box, out of the norm, say things people refused to hear, sell his idea to someone with enough nerve to do the same, no easy task. A culture that was stuck, never underestimate the difficulty of swaying a stuck culture. In the sermon on the mount Jesus says a number of times, “You’ve heard it said in days of old…, but I say to you….” It’s Jesus’ way of saying “You’re stuck.”
The world is in need of mystics and a revolution. Mystics have an uncanny ability to unmask the truth of human society. They say things the status quo doesn’t want to hear. The trouble in our day is no one will listen to even handed statements about the nature of our problems in society. Say anything that ventures off too far to one side and immediately this blog will be too conservative or too liberal. Here’s what I’d like to say…
But it wouldn’t matter. I thought about coming up with a list of point/counterpoint items, the only thing people would read are the points that they can chalk up to their side and completely ignore any counterpoint to their point. In the end I wonder why we don’t value life anymore? I wonder why we don’t hold people personally accountable for their own actions? I wonder why no one seems to value the golden rule? “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Revolutions without a mystic(good valuable questions) will simply lead to throwing the baby out with the bath water in nonsensical ways, or lead us back to where we started because the nonsense we tried could never have worked out.
A quote from Henri Nouwen’s book “The Wounded Healer”. “No mystic can prevent himself from being a social critic, since in self-reflection he will discover the roots of a sick society. Similarly, no revolutionary can avoid facing his own human condition, since in the midst of his struggle for a new world, he will find that he is also fighting his own reactionary fears and false ambitions.”
In other words, being a mystic can really only lead us to the brokenness we recognize in ourselves and in the world which generally leads to a lot of Statler and Waldorf despair. Being a revolutionary has a high view that we can do this better than anyone else has ever done it while failing to appreciate that the introduction of humanity into the equation leads us back to the Solomon observation that there is nothing new under the sun. People consistently bring anything down to the lowest common denominator of the heart… that which is broken.
Our national narrative is none other than a bad marriage fighting it out. I pray some constructive people can model some form of conversation that gets us somewhere. Some good hard honest question about police culture that needs to be fixed, people of color culture that needs to be fixed, American culture that needs to be fixed. It’s broken and as long as the only solution is “what the other people do first”, we will never have a solution. Best marriage advice, watch your own bobber!! Best cultural advice, watch your own bobber.
Without any added clauses, the answer was already given… “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” – Some Great Philosopher