In the Gospel according to John, we read a very interesting story of Jesus curing the blind man: “Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents causing him to be born blind?”
Jesus said, “You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do. We need to be energetically at work for the One who sent me here, working while the sun shines. When night falls, the workday is over. For as long as I am in the world, there is plenty of light. I am the world’s light.” (John: 9:-1-5)
Around 1850, a poet, John Godfrey Saxe) created the following based on an much older myth:
“It was six men of Indostan, To learning much inclined, who went up to see the Elephant (Though all of them were blind).That each by observation might satisfy his mind.
The First approached the Elephant, and happened to fall Against his broad and sturdy side. And began to brawl, “God Bless me! But the Elephant is very like a wall!”
The Second feeling to the tusk, cried, “Ho! What have we here, so very found and smooth and sharp? To me it might be clear, this Elephant is very like a spear!?
The Third approached the animal and happened to take the squirming trunk within his hands. Thus boldly up and spoke: “I see quoth he, “The Elephant is very like a snake!”
The Fourth reached out his eager hand, and felt upon the knee. “What this wondrous beast is like is might plain,” quoth he; “I is clearly enough to see; the Elephant is vey like a tree.”
The Fifth who chanced to touch thee are, said: “E’en the blindest man can tell what this resembles most: Deny the fact who can. This marvel of an Elephant is very like a fan.”
The Sixth no sooner had begun about the beast to grope, then sizing up the swinging tail that fell within his scope, I see quoth he, “The Elephant is very like a rope.”
And so these men of Indostan disputed loud and long. Each In his own opinion exceeding swift and strong. Though each was partly in the right, and all were in the wrong.!
So often in theologic wars, The disputants, I ween, trail on in utter ignorance. Of what each other mean, and prate about and Elephant Not one of them has seen.!”
Jesus was teaching his dJesusisciples that when they were convinced that they could see, they were indeed the most blind; and only when they understood that they could only see through the glass darkly as St Paul understood, that they could see. We people, tend like those in positions of power, to assume that we see clearly. We know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth and all who disagree with us are wrong – they are blind.
As we gaze at the Cosmos; at our galaxies and our world, and begin to understand that we approach the beginning of sight by looking backward. Our cosmos is over 14.5 Billion years old and is still changing – transforming and being transformed. Creation is ongoing and that we are part of it – we are created from the dust of stars. But we have a most difficult time, escaping from our own microscopic world that we find ourselves in. We look at the world that through a microscope and decide that is all that there is; we fail to look through the telescope and understand that we are part of something much grander than then we can imagine. We create our own little world and decide that we have all truth; failing to understand that it my creation based on my extremely limited experience and understanding.
We are sharing our little planet with over 7 billion other human beings, not including the billions of plant and animal species. Each individual is unique to itself, but adds to the whole. Every leaf on a tree is different from every other leaf and every tree is different from all others; and yet we all add to the whole. Every brain neuron is different from every other, yet adds to the whole. In our arrogance at times, we believe that I or my tribe or my clan holds the wisdom on the ages in our hand. But we each hang on to a trunk, or a tail, or a tusk, and believe that we understand the Elephant in the Room. It is amazing that for every answer, we discover, we also uncover thousands of new questions. We pontificate pretending that our religion, our nation, our family is the right one and are willing to go to battle to prove it. Power makes right we claim, but idea leads to the development of the Hatfields and the McCoys in their ongoing feud, which spreads only death.
The message of the scriptures and traditions of most people move beyond that simplistic approach. They teach us that violence leads to violence and fear leads to fear. Anger and violence feed on fear. Those who thirst for positions of power understand that very basic reality and work to create an atmosphere of fear and working to convince their followers that they are the messiah. Jesus on the other hand spoke of service to one another; to love the Creator of all and His creation which includes all of us. Love is moving outside of ourselves for the sake of the other. Jesus also reminded his disciples time and again of their own blindness; their lack of understanding. He was a Rabbi; a teacher with the Spirit of God, showing us that death and resurrection are two sides of the same coin. We are called to let go of our arrogance and pride which are both self serving and to allow God to transform us; to accept the gift of the fullness of life. Jesus claimed that he came to bring life to broken and wounded world in the process of creation. He came to show us the way; not to feel sorry. for ourselves,, filled with self pity and hopelessness, but to become responsible adults in our world, recognizing that we are created in the image and likeness of God. We have the choice of life or death: Choose life!
In our humility we need to acknowledge that we are not God, but we tend to make ourselves into false gods. We are not all powerful and all knowing; we not only don’t know all of the answers; we done even know all of the questions.
And if you don’t agree with me, you’re wrong! !!!!!!!!! LOL!!!