6. Aug, 2013

Mirror,Mirror on the Wall ...

St.Bernard of Clairvaux made an interesting psychological comment; 'Why is my eye aware of heaven, but not my feet?' He is of course reminding us that by allowing our spirits and actions to become too earthbound, we find it increasingly difficult to see the big picture. So when politicians or our simple selves, project onto others our own self feelings of unrest and inner disturbance, it is no wonder that the results are not good. We only have to read the daily papers to see that. So what to do ? As Thomas Aquinas, the 13th.C. philosopher maintained, we all have a natural disposition to know truth, the understanding of first principles. But our individual tendencies to be a particular sort of person, with a particular mind set, can then complicate matters. Virtues and Emotions can collide. Our freedom to choose rightly can be constricted by a damaged will and an excessive sense of freedom. Many people latch on to a role model to help them steer through life. To find such a model, for in ourselves we are to fallible, is not easy. Meister Eckhart,the 14th.C. Dominican monk said that ' each of us is but a distant mirror of God'. This summarises the approach of these writers, that we must look skywards, yet be conscious of the inner soul of every person we meet, even, and especially, when they do not meet our own perceived standards. Thank you.   Tom Baxter.