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People are not stupid. Saying so reveals our darkened, myopic, and tribal vision.
When attending a large stadium event, have you noticed how everyone enters the central gathering space from the outside? From every direction, we pass through various portals on every side of the arena, finding our assigned seat. This process is the same for everyone, but the journey to each seat is unique. Those entering from one side are not stupid, they’re on a different journey. Remember, no process is more like ours than those attending the same event.
Exactly the same, while totally different.
In sports, when our kids wear a blue jersey, they are supposed to hate those who wear a red jersey. Yet no kids are more like our own than those on the field. Why does competition present our neighbor as an enemy?
We don’t even understand ourselves.
Most people have’t ridden a ten foot tall unicycle. Someone could explain how to ride it and share all they know. If we fall on our first attempt at riding, are we stupid? Until we ride, we lack the reality of understanding. Technical details are the smallest part of Reality.
We don’t understand nor experience reality.
At our local tea factory, all the teas smell amazing . The peppermint chamber was quarantined from all the others. It made my eyes burn and I only lasted for a few minutes. After leaving, the only aroma in the factory that I could perceive was peppermint. I became nose blind. One echo chamber distorted the whole experience. The other teas didn’t lose their aroma, I lost perception.
People aren’t stupid. We‘ve lost perception. Darkness takes over.
We can’t perceive Ultimate Reality. We don’t understand it.
The religious mind thinks it understands God and contains Him in box of our own little ideas, doctrines, and imaginations. Thomas Merton says; “God cannot be understood except by Himself. If we are to understand Him we can only do so by being in some way transformed into Him.” Throughout history, the shocking discovery is that religion prefers the darkness of transaction to the light of this transformation.
The religious mind says: “We’re different. We’re better. Those people are stupid.” Our world doesn’t understand it is more religious than ever. Politics, Business, Sports, the Arts, and Science are all Big Religion, and each is accelerating by having and hating an enemy who is just like them.
Love has no enemies…because it loves them.
Life isn’t our myopic distractions. The life within and surrounding all of us is an invasion of light which allows us to truly understand, if we can emerge from our darkness and certainty.
It’s time for unknowing…for re-thinking (repentance). Humility removes “otherness” and compassion brings understanding.
“In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” (John 1:4-5)