THE WORLD IS AS WIDE AS THE HEART IS WIDE
The other day, Rev. James R Willems gave me a book to read, Metaphysical Horror by brilliant Polish philiosopher, historian, theologian, political scientist, and literary critic Leszek Kolakowski. His is a rare voice speaking to the sheer possibility of our spiritual yearnings and religious beliefs in a world clearly stuck a philosophical cul-de-sac for a century now. Kolokowski confronts the impasse with a jaundiced eye and a lucid mind. Like a Zen sage, he asks probing questions that raise great doubt, necessary for there to be any great faith.
The world is more than material. In affirming the transformative creativity of the nonmaterial (call-it-what-you-will: God, Great Spirit, Mind, Soul, Nature) — he makes me see too the inevitabilikty of fundamentalist response, within the quest for meaning in our lives today.
I take that to heart as I re-read this, selected as Quote of the Week, by Religion News Service: "The freeing moment will come when you decide to take a bullet for this movement. Then you can't be bullied and intimidated into silence anymore. "
— Anti-abortion activist Randall Terry, who launched the new “Operation Rescue Insurrecta Nex” in Crystal City, Va., and called on fellow activists to continue their cause despite the bad publicity over the slaying of an abortion doctor.
(¿How many negations of negation can you count in that statement, and the media's summary thereof? Murder is reduced to (negative) publicity. Having sanctioned the taking a life in the name of the sanctity of life, a fearless fundamentlist is prepared to face martyrdom, as if the "negative press"could be lethal. ¿Am I hearing this correctly)
But then I saw a photograph ...
It's only a photograph. Yet, running my fingers through the newstream, the infosphere, the daily torrent of blogs and videos, features and twitters — seeing it my heart skipped a beat.
" Demonstrator helping a wounded riot policeman out of the crowd to safety ... "
News editors across the globe saw it too. And they passed it by. Another gulp of coffee, another button on a computer, another phonecall, another unverified blip in the 2-hour news-cycle. Yet I'm imprinting this image on the front page of my heart.
This is about more than a news media where "if it bleeds, it leads" is the mantra. (And "sex sells.") Yes, this is about how human hearts are mediated one to the other. World to world. Heart to heart.
This image from the turmoil in Iran bespeaks the real news. For want of which, to paraphase American poet and physician William Carlos Williams, men die miserably every day.
Everyday, we see (ingest , consume) images of crime, violence, war, consuming the toxins such that we are inured to a needless routine of human sorrow. ¿Might we build up such a defensive system of media antibodies that we can ourselves suffer from an autoimmune disease?
Images of generosity, compassion, peace are so rare. When they appear in our lives — like the call of birds, the faces of infants, the butterflies of happiness — ¿shall we not nurture them, like seed-savers tending an endangered species? To paraphrase Buddhist journalist Wes "Scoop" Nisker, ¿are not moments such as this, of compassion, like the "opposable thumb of consciousness"?
This heart, as wide as the world, does not recognize the words enemy or foe. To nurture the heart of self-cherishing is to dwell in the endless night of woe, but to nurture the heart of compassion is to dwell in the plain daylight of great happiness.
may all beings be well
Causes Gary Gach Supports
Tzu Chi, Heifer, Seva, CraigsList Fdn