25. Feb, 2015

THE ETHICS OF POWER

Mechtild of Magdeburg (1210-1280 A.D.) wrote -"Those who storm the heavenly heights with fierceness deceive themselves badly. They carry grim hearts within themselves; they lack true humility which alone leads the soul to God." This very appropiate saying applies to both religious excess of many kinds (I.S.I.S.) e.g., and political dictators who view the "heavenly heights" as being when they are in sole command, astride the world as they see it. We all know many examples and degrees of individual contamination both within and without. Trying to understand how to restore grim hearts is of course a complex business, at the very least because of the difficulties of contacting such people for a meaningful conversation. Yet,  we can propose a program of meditation /contemplation in however a truncated form. This IS feasible, it simply requires setting the goal, and then using our creative imagination to bring it about, even with the most hardened groupings of such people. Such a program should at the very least concentrate on Reflection; the identifying  the nature of Peace and how to ensure its arrival; Analysing the Good with its implications for action. In short, this is a linking of these peoples' hearts to a higher nature. So, we return yet again to why does God allow all the cruelties. St.Augustine of Hippo after much questioning, said that "He Himself is a greater Good than all the lesser goods he has created. Nothing could have existed against his will". Evil comes about because we all have the freedom to make choices and therein lies our daily dilemma -Good or Evil? Equally importantly, what is our ultimate goal ?  An increase in political or religious power, or something much higher, stepping closer to the Creator. St.Thomas Aquinas (1224-1275 A.D) mentions "Any defect will make a thing bad: to be good a thing must be wholly good". Those people or groups suffering from a hard heart need therefore to appraise their actions and thoughts so as to return to find REAL happiness.

Thank you.  Tom Baxter