Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Counsel and Mercy … listening and acting …

“Wind of the Western Sea” Bill Douglas, from the album “Songs of Earth and Sky”, (1998)

Everything mentioned in my previous post may well be provably “true” but the focus of the post is not on “facts”, and “truth”, but rather on my personal “agenda”, my own “truth” so to speak, and my observations of my own conduct in what I am saying about “others”.

I am poking at the frailty of the faceless undefined “class” of persons who are “dealing” with the problems by ignoring them or just walking away, intentionally avoiding responsibility and commitment.

I am observing how I react to this perception and the offense I take at the actions of “others”. My reaction to the perceptions seems to be a wellspring of unhappiness which I choose to drink at.

Roaring Hairy EGO!

Roaring Hairy EGO!

“Sniff …” obviously crass lower castes, every mother’s son of them. And well, wouldn’t you know it, the great roaring hairy legged EGO strikes again. I find nothing considerate, merciful or charitable in judging perceived actions of “the others”.

Isn’t it really more reasonable, and merciful, to assume a level of misery on the part of the “others” that may be even greater than my own in my observations and feeling of desperate helplessness, Oh Lord, the problems are so BIG and my ability is so small.

I used to have a default position with respect to the goings on around me to the effect that “one should never assume malice on the part of actors when simple stupidity and incompetence  will account for what is going on“. Another iteration of these sentiments is any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice“.

Better Get My fire Suit Ready ...

Better Get My Fire Suit Ready …

So my almost daily experience ofActive Stupid” on the part of many managers and directors in government service (outside my 8 years in the military but including my 15 years in “Social Services”, “Justice”, and “Health Care”) informed my acid view of all bureaucracies everywhere and my uncharitable opinions about the incumbents of these civilian food chains.

Even these “charitable” defaults of giving the actors “the benefit of the doubt” about motives fail the sniff test for Charity and Mercy. Every event may be a “fact” but reality on the ground indicates that if God judges me the same way I have been judging others for years, then I am truly screwed and I better get my fire suit ready.

Isn’t it truly more reasonable to assume a level of misery which blinds the “others” to everything except their very own ocean-like puddle of misery. Charity, charity, charity, compassion, compassion, compassion, mercy, mercy, mercy. What am I blinded to, and by what?

So, once again, regard the position of modern man, Progressive man, secular man, and consider the spiritual life of that subject man. In looking at myself as an example of the subject man, I am like a child, walking a dark path without help or guidance, and finding myself at a fork in the road, I find I cannot proceed alone.

While I have a few clues about which road leads to home I fail at every turn to act upon those clues. Two roads lie before me, one leading to the kingdom of the spirit, the kingdom of God, and the other to the kingdom of this world, the kingdom of the flesh, of Mammon.

On the one hand, we have the calm peaceful kingdom of the spirit. I think we all inherently wish to choose the kingdom of God, but unfortunately the Kingdom of Mammon also has it’s attractions, and these attractions try to seduce us to their path. We struggle against these attractions and allurements.

How is one to deal with the kingdom of the flesh and all its passions and attractions and appetites? A couple of things come up, the first being listening to God’s voice … Huh? what does that mean … I never “hear” God’s voice.

The world I live in is so noisy with all the various temptations of the secular yelling their mating calls at the tops of their various voices. I am distracted and deafened by the voices of creatures and filled up with the noises of the world and the answering noises of my own appetites.

The voice of the Holy Spirit is the “whistling of a gentle air” (I Kings 19, 12). To hear this voice we must be silent, silent exteriorly and silent interiorly, only in silence can the the voice of God be heard. Second, I am attached to my own judgement and the limited councils of my own wonderful mind. Even a little attachment  to my own ideas is sufficient to deafen me to the voice of the Father.

Attachment to my own opinions seems to be never good, even when the opinions are about good things. These attachments to my own opinions and views seem to be rooted in my self love, and as I have remarked before, if I am full of myself there is no room for God, and I think I am unlikely to hear his gentle voice if I have shut him out of a soul which is full of myself.

Like a sailing vessel which cannot be moved by the wind as long as it is moored, so my soul cannot enjoy the precious influence of the voice of God if it is “moored” to it’s own opinions. Trying to practice awareness of the presence of God, and trying to stay recollected minute by minute, hour by hour, so easy to say, so hard to do, overcoming the noisy habits of a lifetime. Listening to the “whistling of a gentle air“.

Speak then, O Lord, for Thy servant heareth; Thou hast the words of eternal life. Speak to me, that it may be for me some comfort to my soul, and for the amendment of my whole life, and also to Thy praise and glory, and everlasting honor” (Saint John of The Cross Imit III 2, 1-3)

Anyway, more thinking … more praying … listening

Cheers

Joe

Shikamaru’s expression “What a drag.” was “めんどくさい (mendokusai)” in the original Japanese Naruto manga and anime, which translates as – “troublesome” or “bothersome”.

This is a very common phrase to use when you don’t want to do something. I find behaving myself with charity and mercy and listening to the voice of God to be troublesome and bothersome. Not easy to put into practice.

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