22. May, 2014

DILEMMAS OF CHOICE

'God became a human being in order that human beings might become God'. (St.Irenaeus 130-200 A.D.) Here Irenaeus lays out the real depth of not only our potential journey, but more importantly, our earthly responsibilities. So linking with Meister Eckhart's ' each of us, is but a distant mirror of the Creator'. These two signposts can help us to welcome life with an expansive sense of joy, yet being equally activated through our imaginations and interests, to get involved as best we can in the whirl of daily life. But this needs us to harness our will to effect. This is a combination of reason, emotions and deliberation whereby we decide that action will be both good and appropiate. But as St.Thomas Aquinas points out, 'We compulsively will total happiness, the perfect state in which every good is gathered together'. This very powerful statement with its global application to every single stage of human activity, ( e.g.resetting our prejudices to a more reasoned, compassionate understanding; or in the case of Boko Haram in Nigeria, balancing both the application of justice to redress the missing school girls, but also seeking answers as to why the kidnappers are as they are).

So we have a gradation of will, going from our daily applications of choice and determination to the ultimate sense of an innate disposition to see things as good and appropiate. Such a level is of course in the stratosphere for most of us, but like Everest, we can set our sights on it. Otherwise we languish in the dark. St.Augustine in his pre-Christian days, said that 'I stole things for the desire of stealing and for the sin, but now I realise on reflection that there was nothing there to see.' A reminder of how easy it is to be attracted to the dark. 

We have minute by minute endless horizons of potential choice. Some of us over-excitedly re-act, others flee, others reflect before deciding.  Let us not forget the symbolism of Everest here.  Thank you, Tom Baxter.