Thursday, January 14, 2016

As you get older, you know better what's good for you, what's healthy.

The barroom, the drinkers, the patterns of freed tongues and conversations of the happy hour...  Conversation is conversation, often very interesting...  Rejoice in that.   But sometimes, the evening, because of the nature of work and lifting and dirty plates and orders and busboys that go home before you, gets a little too long.  Loud voices, boisterous and happy with completing their own work day...

Ach.  When you're young you don't have so clear a notion.  You over-react, you mis-react.  Or you just go along with things, not thinking of what there should be as far as following through with good productive intent.

The Rejection at Nazareth... What's He saying?  Being expansive about prophets, He reads from Isaiah.  "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me..."   He mentions the powers of a prophet...  And then He sits to add a commentary, as was customary in Jewish tradition.  "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing," He says.  (From the Gospel of Luke, 4:16 - 30.)

What does He mean by this?  As He is one discussing the divine reality of human nature, how expansive can we make this;  how broadly might it apply?   He could just be speaking about Himself, but isn't His habit generally that of the parable, of one thing and how it can be applied to many a situation.   His own things He applies to humanity, in its true essence as He teaches us to see it.

And then He adds, of course, he engages, for which there will be reaction of the gathered, "No prophet is accepted in the prophet's hometown."  And this too is a statement, broadly applicable.   As  if to say, that there is within us that which hears the divine spirit and understands, in some way, its nature, that ability to be, as they called it then, prophetic, or insightful.  That, He is telling us, is within the legacy of our birth, our birthright.

But because we attach ourselves and our neighbors to common every day less than remarkable things, like work, in order to understand them, we are not so much generally inclined to see in a conscious socially patterned way, the divine in the other.  (Even as we do see it, as we are meant to, because its a plain true part of ourselves and others.)  And because of this, we lean toward rejecting the divinity in the other, leaning toward understanding them by the usual social clues, this person is such n such, so n so, look at the clothes they are wearing, what they do for work, the color of their skin, their age, health, wealth, other practical things, like 'would I buy a loaf of bread from this guy...'

And so there is the great rejection.  The taking of a person who has a right to be where he is, who he is, and not listening.  The great dismissal.  The Rejection at Nazareth.

Rejection hurts, it has consequences.  And perhaps to someone who has some sense, conscious or not, subliminal, what-have-you, of the divine spark of spirit, who brings love to what he does, perhaps there is a particular sting, one that a more aggressive and practical person might be far better at shrugging off.

The consequences of the rejection might lead a man to be ever more entrenched, more steadfast, more a man on a mission.  We could say this about Jesus.  From the rejection in His hometown, He may be ever more set on exploring the nature of the prophetic teacher of parables going out into the world and its people just as they are.  Walking through the midst of His rejectors, Jesus is on His path.

As a regular normal mortal human being, as a youth, I'm afraid we're less circumspect when we get one of those little garden variety rejections, such as those in a young woman's fair arsenal of self-protection and carefulness to which we owe the survival of our species.  One never means to take rejections so heavily, but sometimes we do.  We seem to react with our own rejection, even without ever meaning it, as we must simply to on our way trying to be who we are in essence, trying to find ourselves, or in that great period of listening.

That's why young people, in this period of time, need a spiritual element to their educations.  To get a broader perspective, I suppose.  Or rather, we all do.  We all do.

But that little divine spirit spark within us, it's not the easiest more readily available thing to accept.  Or know what to do with.  Try to be good, sure.  But there is also sin, inherent to our nature.  That is our mix.   That is why forgiveness is so crucial.  Even Jesus brings the ire of at least some of the people of his own hometown upon Himself.  Maybe because they saw the forgiveness in Him, they did not bring harm to him, much as they intended to throw him down from the high place of the town.   A lesson amplified by the story of the woman caught in adultery...  Forgiveness around the world, emanating from this spirit brought forth in the old book of Isaiah, brought to life by Him.

Who knows, maybe He almost felt like rejecting Himself, sometimes...  As all theorists and scientist and artists might want to do sometimes, but for the beauty of the thing, the self-evident truth somewhere within, to be teased out, even if by some lone voice.

Or maybe he would have heard the voices rife with sarcasm, after he'd spoken his piece to the townspeople of his own hometown.  "Spiritual master (yeah, right...)  Asshole!"

Reconstructing it ourselves, we see our own vanity, the vanity of the everyday.  Vanity even as we see ourselves putting into play our talents.

Is it the realization of one's own vanity that leads Him to His work as we know it.

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