Monday, November 29, 2010

Brian’s Reflection: Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Deceiving others. That is what
the world calls a romance.

Oscar Wilde, author, poet; he
died on this day, 1900, age 46

It’s everywhere, this deceit. Everywhere. I see it a lot in my personal experience. In conversation or a relationship I don’t speak the truth. I decline to address the deceit, the pain, the delusion, the avoidance, the shallowness. Is this a “given” of social intercourse?? Is this why Prophets are so necessary and so valuable – because they fear not to speak truth to power or to falseness?

As Wilde implies, I have certainly seen it in developing relationships, personal or political. They are equally destructive. And I wonder: is this a necessary “survival mechanism” of the Human community?? And then I ask: Are we so fearful and vulnerable to the Truth?

Perhaps one of the most terrible place I have seen it is in the “search process” for a new priest. The parish lies about themselves. The candidates all lie in applying for the position. They both lie in the interview process. And often it ends in heartbreak and misery. Same with a marriage, as Wilde implies. And it says much about us that we think of this in terms of “romance”. How sad that we feel the need to posture so much. Do we not know, really, that honesty will always serve us best, as preserve us from a lot of suffering?

Love requires the constant determination to let go of all deception. About oneself. About the Other. A really life-giving relationship is one in which there is no need to deceive, to prevaricate, to hide, to pretend. I deeply hope that such relationships will grow, individually and nationally, religiously and intellectually and politically.

Romance. Flowers, charm, dinner, sweet-nothings. Ah yes. It’s fun for a bit. But the World does not need too much of Romance. This is a time to speak truth to each other, in Love and Respect.

We need to romance each other with true, not false, Love. That’s what Jesus did. We no longer have time for misleading in our torn World. Let’s reclaim the inner practice of humility, and the presenting of an honest Self to others.


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