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Posts Tagged ‘illusion’

Our country is still in mayhem after the assault on the Capitol on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. What aftereffects will occur, it’s difficult to say at this time. But, as a woman of faith, this juncture cannot be ignored.

Naturally, we can all pray: for peace, for wisdom, for understanding, for renewal, for justice, for explanations. And yet, despite our prayers, the question of “why” dominates my mind. How has violence become the only avenue for expressing frustration and inequity?

Today, I was meditating on “Psalms for Praying” by Nan C. Merrill and in Psalm 1 (her interpretation) presumably the last verse, she writes, “. . . Love’s penetrating Light breaks through hearts filled with illusions: forgiveness is the way.”

Another scripture says, “A good man [person] brings good things out of the good stored up in his [or her] heart, and an evil man [person] brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his [or her] heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” [Luke 6:45, NIV]

An illusion misleads intellectually and its intent is to cause misinterpretation of its actual nature (see Webster’s dictionary). This is where we are now. We can tell that illusions exist because of the words spoken and quite honestly, the actions (the violence). Illusions have found root in many hearts and, in my mind, the only way to break such illusions is by an act of God, or literally, the pure Light of the Christ.

People are regularly captivated by clever magicians who can transform what we believe to be truth into something else. And that something else becomes the replacement reality. I cannot dissuade someone who has fully engaged an illusion as real.

I suppose I may be steeped in illusion as well, but of another kind certainly, where love guides. My faith in God keeps me in the “Way,” but what about the people who read the same Bible I read, pray to the same God I do, and yet justify behaviors and words far outside my understanding of the verse, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind; and your neighbor as yourself” [Matthew 22:37].

According to cult de-programmers, it can take up to five years to bring a loved one out of the deep influence of a charismatic leader or group. This process is about unconditional love, questions, and patience. Illusions do not fall like a curtain, but in pieces and cracks. Hostility, name-calling, disgust, and chips on the shoulder are no help. Let us instead, look for points of concurrence. This is my prayer.

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Don Quijote by Octavio Ocampo

Don Quijote by Octavio Ocampo

What is your outlook on life? What is mine, really? Am I a visionary or am I looking down at all the ruts in the road? Do I see a panorama or have I become tunnel visioned? Do I face each day with anticipation (because anything can happen) or apprehension? Do I keep things “in perspective” or is my world askew . . . because of my outlook?

 Listen, your eye, your outlook, the way you see is your lamp. If your way of seeing is functioning well, then your whole life will be enlightened. But if your way of seeing is darkened, then your life will be a dark, dark place. So be careful, people, because your light may be malfunctioning.  [Luke 11:34-45, The Voice Translation]

It’s probably a little of both, but today, I want to be aware. I want to be sensitive to my default way of looking. What is drop-back to normal really like? I have a bad feeling about this assignment today. I talk a good talk; I write a good write. But how do I really look at the world around me?

Be brave. Be true.

I am a visual person mostly. I take the world in through my eyes. But have I lost much of what is out there to see?

Back in the day, I had the honor of playing Annie Sullivan in The Miracle Worker by William Gibson. And although it’s a dramatic moment  the movie to watch Helen Keller suddenly “understand” her world and give water a name, it is even more mind-blowing to live it onstage with another actress fully engaged in the role. Helen Keller saw in a way that most of us never will. She met her  world head on and embraced it.

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