Tag Archives: cultural relativism

Countering Some Cultural Assumptions

Some assumptions in our culture:

*what I need must be purchasable.

but what if it is not?  The sages of all the great Wisdom Traditions would say this is an illusion.

*a bad lie got me into this, maybe a good lie can get me out of it.

but what if lying is a labyrinth without exit?  Mark Twain’s insight is worth pondering at such a moment, “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember what you said.”

*I am and because I am, I am entitled to everything.  

but what if  you are derived, a being dependent upon Another and your spark of life has been given to you?  Provided for you?   Then you are not entitled to everything but everything you have been given is a gift and thus, gratitude—and not entitlement—is the, or should be the, prevailing sentiment by which you live your life.

*Getting even, fighting for every square inch, demanding my place and placement in the order of things is all that matters.

*but what if revenge only perpetuates violence and revenge and demanding one’s place actually undermines one’s placement?  Jesus taught that the first shall be last and the last first, that the humble would be exalted.  What if living that way, the Christ Way, was actually a liberation and a freedom from the gyre of destruction and death?

*There is no God.

if you find yourself lost inside a system of caves and with little light making its way through the shaft through which you crawled, are you sure you shouldn’t call out?  It’s not that you’re wrong to conclude it is dark or that you’re alone in the moment.  It’s not that you are wrong that things look bleak.  But our culture bleats out that there is no God when much of the time what it is really saying is, I cannot believe any longer in the superstition that human beings are gods and that we’re reasonable enough to make things better.  In that sense, I’m an unbeliever.  I do not believe in Human.  There’s just too much empirical evidence to ever embrace that as a reasonable belief.  God IS.  I AM is how God revealed God’s self to Moses at the burning bush. Take that golden thread of your own “I am” and follow it; it will lead you to a gate at Jerusalem’s wall (as the poet William Blake wrote so beautifully).  It makes absolute sense and is a rational act to call out to God.

Out of the depths, I cry unto you O Lord.

Lord, hear my voice! . . .

~Psalm 130

Within the tick tock clockwork of your existence; along the pathways of the labyrinth which is your life; from season to season and moment calling to moment, may you hear if only faintly, the words of the Good Shepherd that you are not alone.