31. Jul, 2014

DO WE HAVE A MISSION?

'In this life, we are to become heaven, so that God can find a home here'. (Meister Eckhart 1260-1329 A.D.) This key sentence summarises both the beauty of a land of peace,but also the complexity of bringing it to reality. It presents us initially with two separate questions - Why should I bother and How can I influence anything? Eckhart's position is of course based on his belief that there is a God who is always seeking to look after us, often in ways that are totally unknown and incomprehensible to our immature minds. So obviously if we do not accept there i a God, but prefer to believe that the world "just happened" of its own accord, then not to bother, possibly is understandable. Yet, even non believers in God, want to do something to improve life for others. So there is an inbuilt pattern in all of us to "become heaven". But for whom and why? At the very least it is to find and to develop a little bit of peace and beauty for ourselves. But that is rather selfish, so we hopefully move up a gear to the next level, considering others, helping others. For non believers this is done within a time limited framework, because of Death. For those who believe in God, there is no real time limit as Death is but a doorway. Even for those there may be ones who say "What can I possibly do?" Hildegarde von Bingen (1098-1179 A.D.) says, 'Those who lose their juiciness,wetness, greening power, fall into a dryness of carelessness.' It is this very sense of withdrawal,even indifference, that St.Thomas Aquinas referred to, when he described Acedia, the closing down of the will to do Good, as a spiral into depression. The route towards Happiness is he said, TO ACT. This requires the will to engage with the mind.We will what we individually understand as the good. At this point we must take care that our sense of the good, is one that is an ethical as opposed to a materialistic,egoistic one.   There is plenty out there in the world, to get our teeth into, to heal, to improve: -just think of the American government's double talk yesterday, on the one hand criticising Israel for excessive action against the Palestinians, on the other hand supplying the Israelis with more bombs !   

Thank you. Tom Baxter