Brian’s Reflection: Friday, November 7, 2008
Life is not an easy matter... You cannot live through it
without falling into frustration and cynicism unless you
have before you a great idea which raises you above
personal misery, above weakness, above all kinds of
perfidy and baseness.
- Guess Who? (see end)
A Great Idea. There are, God knows, lots of great ideas to choose from! From religion, from philosophy, from novelists, from powerful thinkers and feelers in every walk of Life.
I have several, which I keep on a List and consult every now and then. I added a “new” one today, from Alice Walker’s Open Letter to Barack Obama: “We must learn actually not to have enemies, but only confused adversaries who are ourselves in disguise.” There is a lot of Wisdom out there. I keep a little book with me as I read and think (yes, an actual hand-written Moleskin journal). I write things in it that come my way, simple great ideas. These are what I think on sometimes during my day. They come from everywhere.
But for me, the one at the heart remains, Love one another as I have loved you. It joins the mind and the emotions/heart/feelings. I have spent over 40 years looking at Jesus, who He was, what He said, what He did, to try and understand what He meant. Oh, I may have copped out, and just chosen from the tradition I was brought up in. But I have thought about it, and decided that this one Great Idea would get me along the path as well as any other. Along with all the rest. The wonderful thing is, I gather new things every day.
A Great Idea simply can’t be selfish, or mean, or vicious, or merciless, or unjust. It can only be great if it calls us to a high ideal, a “high theology” of what it means to be human.
I think I believe that the man I quoted thought his idea could enrich humankind. Perhaps ….. but unfortunately, as so often happens, human self-interest and the seductive nature of power got in the way. It has happened with the Church, Mosque, and Synagogue and all faiths as well.
But. I think we need the Great Idea. At it’s best, it ennobles and inspires us.
[ Quote from ….. Leon Trotsky]