Free from reason…

August 3, 2019

A recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog used this quote – “The law is reason, free from passion.”  (Aristotle)

Jack went on to write – Have you ever served on a jury?…or, have you ever had a jury pass judgment on you?  Aristotle describes not only the law, but also the ideal jury…reasonable and dispassionate…like the sculpture, Lady Justice, which gives form to impartiality blindfolded; fairly weighing evidence holding a balance scale; able to enforce the verdict grasping a sword.  At the Last Judgment, would you want a jury of peers, or God?

As I thought about what Aristotle said a variation came to mind – Faith is passion, free from reason.

Man’s higher-level ability to reason, to think things out and reach a conclusion or solve a problem is certainly one thing that sets him apart from other living things; although many primates have some level of reasoning ability. Reason, combined with no small insightmeasure of ego, is also what keeps man from knowing God. Man has always tried to figure out how he got here and wondered about some supreme force or being that was somehow in control of things. It is that use of the human ego, leading to the need to put God in our own human context, which limits our ability to know and love Him. Our reasoning keeps us from opening ourselves to a passion for God, to having faith.

What are we to do?

Stop trying to figure God out. Stop trying to force God into that little image that looks like you that you can conjure up in your head. Stop using your reasoning and open yourself to the passion of knowing – have faith.

The Star Wars franchise of movies introduced us to the concept of The Force, which comes as close to describing faith as anything else. Early episodes focused upon yoda drawingunderstanding and using The Force. The understanding part really boiled down to accepting and believing, which Yoda tried to teach Luke in the initial installment. It is interesting that there was no attempt in Star Wars to put a face on The Force or to characterize it as being something that looked like any of the characters in the series – there were no drawings or painting of The Force. In order to suspend disbelief and accept The Force in the Star Wars movies, one had to have faith in something that is never seen, but is always there to be called upon by the faithful – the Jedi.

Perhaps we all need to suspend our disbelief and free ourselves from reason. Once free woman-prayingfrom the need to figure God out, maybe we can move on to the passion of accepting and knowing Him in our lives. In that moment of passion, all of your cares, concerns, pains, fears and troubles will fade into the background. You will have found faith, free from reason.

May The Force be with you.


Peace on earth will prevail…

December 25, 2015

From the Jack’s Winning Words blog comes this Christmas message –

I heard the bells on Christmas day 

Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat 

Of peace on earth, good will to men.

 

And thought how, as the day had come, 

The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song 

Of peace on earth, good will to men.

 

Till ringing, singing on its way 

The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime 

Of peace on earth, good will to men.

 

And in despair I bowed my head 

“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song 

Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

 

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: 

“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail 

With peace on earth, good will to men.”

 

Jack went on to write – These words by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow were written on Christmas Day, 1863, shortly after he’d been notified that his son had been severely wounded in a Civil War battle.  It is one of my favorite Christmas songs…especially the last verse.    😉  Jack

It is sometimes hard not to bow one’s head in despair when overwhelmed by the senseless killings that have occurred this past year, the wars that continue to wreak havoc around the world and the continued role of prejudice, bigotry and hatred in our society. Where is the peace on earth or the good will to men?

The answer lies within each of us. The popular Star Wars movies introduced the concept of “The Force”, which draws its strength from the Start Warscollective will of the people. Those with the ability to tap into the Force and focus it in the cause of good are called Jedi warriors. There are others who tap into the dark side of people’s wills and use that for evil. All of the stories of the Star Wars franchise have been about this continuing struggle between good and evil. At any point in time, evil may seem to have the upper hand or may win a specific battle; however, the overall message of the Star Wars series and of Wadsworth’s Christmas song lyrics is that right (good) will prevail and we shall have peace on earth. To believe otherwise is to allow yourself to be drawn over to the dark side and you will find no joy there.

So, on this day that we celebrate the birth of Jesus over 2,000 years ago, star of bethlehemresolve to join the Force in the battle for peace on earth, good will to men by doing your part and making your contribution to the end of hatred, prejudices and bigotry. Say a kind word to someone. Do a good deed for someone. Offer the hand of friendship to someone in need of a friend. Stand up and speak out against the injustices that you see and the bullying that you witness. Become a living witness to the good that God promises all with the birth of Jesus.

Have a great Christmas day and get ready for a wonderful new year, “with peace on earth, good will to men.”

The Force is not with you…YOU are the Force!