Brian’s Reflection: Monday, November 30, 2009
Most sorts of diversion in men, children and
other animals, are in imitation of fighting.
- Jonathan Swift, author (“Gulliver’s Travels”),
Anglo-Irish Anglican priest, born on this date, 1667
This worries me. I have thought for a long time that the issue Swift raises is true. I am not intrinsically “against” sports. Except when – as I think is true in our American culture - they have stopped being “sports” and been absorbed into the “Do anything and take any drug you need to take to make a gazillion dollars” category. If we support “Sports” because it diverts human aggression from the battlefield, I guess I am in favor of it. Ritualized war is better than actual mass murder. After all, it seems a fact of Life that human beings have a destructive vicious aspect of their nature. It would seem good to deflect that.
Dare I say that it seems to me that “sport” (as the Brits say) is, in my opinion, a way of dealing with our inability to deal with the powerful driving dynamic of Sex and Aggression and Fear? Ponder this. Think about the supposition that one scientist postulates that even smiling is a way of disguising teeth-bared aggression.
I would have thought that humans would have gotten over this by now. Wouldn’t you, given our propensity for self-preservation? Especially given the fact that “religion” – even religions that are centered in Compassion and Forgiveness and Love – should have had more effect by now?
Here’s what I think. Let’s put it this way, metaphorically: “God” has been trying for a very long time to get us to “hear” the Message. Love One Another. Live together in Peace. Value Gentleness. Value self-giving. Etc. There is only ONE reason that this has not happened. Our human choice. No other reason. Period. We can’t blame this on anyone or anything else, most foolhardily on our claim to righteousness – though we constantly try to. What venial creatures we are! Or, if we want to shine a better light on it, What fools we are to continue to behave in ways which make us utterly miserable in mind, body and spirit? Only self-deluding fools would continue to inflict the kind of suffering on ourselves which we have done for millennia, in the face of the Mystery of Love, Grace, Compassion, Forgiveness and Unconditional Love. Only fools.
As a Christian, the season of Advent is upon me. Once again I am offered the opportunity to “repent” – to turn around. To change my life, my attitudes, my choices, my perceptions, my prejudices, my fears. To act upon the hopes and longings for Freedom and Peace that have been offered. Every authentic religion offers us this, over and over again.
I think, as so many great souls have said, that we humans tremble at assuming such responsibility for our behaviour. And yet, in the Bible, we are told unequivocally that we are heirs of the Christ, made in the “image of God”, equal in nature as a scion of the Great Deity.
Time for us to step up to the plate friends! “God” is waiting. The longer we hesitate, the more misery we choose, for ourselves and for all our fellow human brings.
We do not need another, a “Christ”, to do this for us.
We ARE Christ.