Dreamers of the Day

"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible." -T.E. Lawrence, "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom"

Monday, September 25, 2006

Space XII

In today’s culture there is a thought that in order to know something or someone, one must experience this something or become this someone. “If you never try than you’ll never know” is more popular that we can think. We exalt knowledge extensively that now it has become impossible to obtain without experience. One must allow this knowledge to control them in this very same experience in order to gain this knowledge. The same is found in leadership. It is a good lesson to learn in leadership in that to become a great leader, one must “stoop” down to the ranks of his followers in order to gain their trust. Admirable, caring and sincere this will communicate, but something else is reinforced in this action. “You have to experience it to know it.” One cannot possibly know something just by observing and listening to what other says. Like a diver who plummets to the depths of the dive tank, humanity must plunge into the unknown so they can know. When this occurs, then and only then will you “know”. When one allows their life to be defined and confined by knowledge is when we will fully know.

However, this cultural absolute is found to be tested in other areas of life. Take the cartoon masterpiece Pinocchio for example. As you may recall, this is the tale of a toy which was created by his master for his master’s pleasure. In short, he was created as an expression of his creator. Then, something happens. The toy is given a life and free will and begins to experience life as he pleases. Good and bad choices are expressed in this boy’s life and his consequences are soon discovered. Pinocchio tries “it” and soon “knows” it. But the focus of my point is not on the boy, but on the master. The reader never knows if the master has experienced all of the different paths in life, but the reader knows the master tells which way the boy should go. Much like the modern day parent who is confronted with the rebellious teen in which the adolescent voices: “You’ll never understand me. You have no idea what it is like.” The master in this story or the modern day parent will never know what it is like exactly to be that boy or person. However, the teen, and the society surrounding us, is lost in the tiny details that make up the being of a person. Society says that we cannot know unless we experience it when they have lost the entire meaning of knowledge in the first place.

Because of this philosophy, our space and that which determines our surroundings as Christians is terribly destructive. When we become “saved”, we begin to change the focus of what we know and experience instead of the philosophy altogether. Our quest does not involve evil things such as sex, drugs, alcohol and lying, but we pursue Bible verses, doctrine, discipline and other practices of the faith. These pursuits help change our minds and focus on the things not of this world. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth. These things of the faith are inherently good if the basis in which they are created is good. Like the master to the boy, if the reason for the expression of the gift is to know, then it will have an end. It will be limited. But, if the pursuit of the expression is something else, it could possibly have life. It could become a boy.

We as Christians begin a journey as if we are the creator in our own hearts, but we are not. We are only creators in our own world. The world in which we have been given is ours to govern and that is it. And this is the hardest part in understanding true spirituality. We mix our worlds and apply the same laws into the “New Life” that we have been given. We simply change our minds and actions (our material or external) ourselves based on the laws we have learned only to find ourselves continually defeated in this New World we find ourselves living in. We cannot make sense of this New World by our senses so we distract ourselves with our senses continually with the things of this world and ignore it. The life of the "toy" is all we have "known" and we miss those days only to waste the time of being completely alive. The battle soon begins to turn not from doing good things or bad things, but simply believing. The Christian battles disbelief and doubt more than sin itself because it is his quest for knowledge and discipline that has limited his spirituality, not necessarily sin.


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