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Saturday, May 16, 2020

Whose Reality?

It is said to people things such as: "face the facts" or "just face reality." Those words wafted into my mind this morning as I lay half asleep and musing. Then suddenly the thought came to me, whose reality?

Charles Manson's reality or Mother Teresa's? The homeless person's or the rich politician's? The witch hunter's or philanthropist's? The philosopher's or the scientist's?

There seem to be clusters of realities with some individual variations within the clusters. Perhaps the cluster is an archetypal thing. I was thinking of people who are examples of the same sort of reality.

Witch hunters, Nazi SS members, East German Stase, Caligula, Nero, Stalin and other ruthless dictators, Inquisition torturers, etc. In some ways it seems to me they share the same reality cluster. They were/are vicious, without compassion, power-greedy, narcissistic, villains.

Fundamentalists of every stripe have a lot in common. They have strong tribal identity that assures them they are the only ones who are right and all others have to be converted, shunned or destroyed.

On the other hand, there are great spiritual clusters such as Lao Tse, Buddha, Christ, mystics of every kind from Rumi to Meister Eckhart and some people who live quietly in the quest at all times and places of history. They are filled with compassion, seek Truth, seek connection with the Divine, and strive to be loving and a beneficial presence.

A strong identification with a particular reality usually screens out the other ways of viewing life. Occasionally, we read of or hear of someone who breaks out of a gripping reality, an escaped cult member, for example. In general it seems quite difficult to break out of a strongly held reality. I suppose this might be the background of wars, globally, locally and within families.

One of my goals is to be able to live freely, to explore and seek, to remain unstuck in a cluster and move ever more closely to the Central Reality of what we often call God.

Lord, lead me out of falsity of all kinds. Help me to unbind myself of all unlike You. Fill me with Your Compassion and Your Light and Love. I seek to be a beneficial presence here in earth. I go onward knowing You are All. I meet you in the sunrise, in the blade of grass, in the touch of a small child's hand, in everything and everyone, for wherever I look, wherever I go, You are there.

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