September 6, 2005
intellectually and brilliantly ‘dissing’ each other
I met a person the other day who believed he had all the answers and everyone else was wrong and he let everyone know. Then when someone pointed out his hypocrisy he qualified his statements with a handy phrase like, “Oh I’m the worst. Hell, don’t look at me. I admit that I am a fool.” This could have just as easily been me or any number of people I know at different times in our lives. One of the first stages in awareness is to recognize things are screwed up. Often this is accompanied by finger pointing and blaming others for the mess. It’s easy to point the finger at the Republicans or the Democrats or the Religious institutions like the Catholic Church, or the Fundamentalists or the immigrants or the Natives. It’s easy to say other people have it all wrong and that’s why our society is so screwed up. It’s an easy way out. Intellectually we can know all the great quotes and be able to justify our rightness, bolstering our position with the words of the dead and respected. But this brings me to a great point about judging others. Too often we are willing to use anything, even respected and Holy Scriptures to cut others down and lift ourselves up. It’s like the idea that the world will see my brilliance because I am right and I have the intellectual knowledge to back it up. The problem with this by itself is that it is only partial knowledge. It lacks love for the republicans, the democrats, the Catholics, the Fundamentalists, the immigrants or the Natives. We can so easily forget to love each other in the name of being right.
The next stage of awareness is seeing through the screwed up-ness of a situation and seeing the real people involved and finding a way to love them. Often in this stage we are confronted with our own hypocrisy because we find it conflicting to condemn and judge the very people we love, like our mothers, brothers, sisters, friends or lovers. This is one reason we are told by God to love our neighbors as ourselves. It’s much harder to condemn and judge someone we really love.
I think the next stage of awareness is action based on love. When we witness a car accident, it’s not enough to sit by and watch the victims die. Even if they are a drunk driver and ‘deserve’ what they get, we still have a responsibility to try to do something. If we see someone getting sucked in on a moneymaking scam or taken advantage of by someone with less than scrupulous motives, isn’t it our responsibility to try to do something? On a more subtle level our own actions are models for everyone else. We create change by being what we know is right and good. When we see a screwed up world it does help the world if we are not co-creators of the screwed-up-ness of it all.
Our intellects can be truly brilliant at convincing ourselves that we are better than everyone else, while we are still part of the problem. Awareness and enlightenment is not the same as being ‘right.’ Being ‘right’ is not enough. It is only partial knowledge that has not led to true wisdom and healing. This is the difficult and narrow path. Jesus walks in our midst all the time, challenging our intellect. Today it was an older woman pushing a stroller, followed closely by a very young boy. I was eating a hotdog and drinking a soda when she looked at me and said, “Can you help us get something to eat?” I replied with the fact that I had just spent my last three dollars on this food, which I was eating while walking. She said, “Ok” and kept walking. Then the truth hit me. Yeah, I had just been challenged. Technically I did spend my last three dollars in cash, but I could have bought that entire family lunch with my cash card. It was not my last three dollars, though spending money on her would have been an interruption in my planned lunchtime activity and destination. I did not see through the situation to the real person until after the opportunity was missed. I did not apply the knowledge of ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ In this case I was being inconvenienced. Hopefully I will be more aware next time instead of standing by and watching the wreckage and blaming someone else or saying it’s someone else’s problem. We are all more beneficial to the world if we stop intellectually and brilliantly ‘dissing’ each other and apply the love that comes with complete knowledge or wisdom.
Posted by carl1236 at September 6, 2005 8:45 PM | Love your Neighbor
I never thought about using my check card. I always use the excuse of not haveing any 'cash'. Thank you for a new Paradigm.
Posted by: debbie at September 7, 2005 8:17 AM