Sunday, May 13, 2012

Brian’s Reflection: Monday, May 14, 2012


Part of the issue of achievement is
to be able to set realistic goals, but that's one of
the hardest things to do because you don't
always know exactly where you're going,
and you shouldn't.

George Lucas, mythologist, film maker;
he was born on this date, 1944

I cannot tell you how many times I have watched “Star Wars”! I could never watch “Saving Private Ryan” and stuff like that. War stuff about real-life wars revolts me … and for the same reason I can’t watch films about the Holocaust or films about real-life lynchings in good ole America.

There is something ontologically different about “fantasy” … which “Star Wars” and “Avatar” and “Star Trek”  and “The Lord of the Rings” are. They are Myths … truth stories addressing human questioning, addressing human experience from a reflective, philosophical, perhaps at its best religious, manner … just in the same way that the stories of Moses and of King David and the vicious extermination of their fellow Palestinians are not “fact” but “mythological teaching”.

I think that George Lucas is “on the money” when he says that “you don’t know where you’re going”. That is a given of human existence. We don’t, though we may think it in the delusions of our false sense of control. We may say that God “has a plan for our lives” … meaning that if we “listen” to God, we will find a way to deeper, more enriching Life. And indeed , Experience has taught me the reality that paying attention to our Path will lead us to deeper humanity.

George is right: we don’t always know “exactly where you’re going”. And, as he intimates, that’s a fact of human existence. He emphasizes how important it is that we understand this by saying, “and you shouldn’t”.
I don’t think that we would be human if we knew exactly where we are going. We would just be controlled automatons. But the Gospel makes it clear we are NOT that. It says that we are made in the “image of God” ... meaning that we have freedom and choice. We are required by our very nature to examine the meaning of our lives, and then to make our choices so that they fulfill our search for our destiny.

By all means, we must set our goals, realistic ones … difficult as that may be. That’s an essential part of being human. But we must do it in the context of not knowing … because if we did know, we wouldn’t be human. God is not a string-pulling puppeteer. God is the model for the radically free being that is you and I.

Jesus chose His path:  to love, and not to count the cost. Kazantzakis explored, brilliantly, the alternatives. I believe that Jesus did not, as the scripted Scriptures present it, know “exactly where He was going”. But when the moment came, He made His free choice for Love.

That’s where Life is found. What “resurrection” means.


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