Tuesday, 26 December 2006

The right time and place

I referred to my uncertainty about starting at this time ...
not to the fact that I was writing at such a late hour, or to its being Christmas eve, though that did strike me as unusual (for me).
It was the whole business of having a blog at all; of having found myself involved in something which, only a few weeks ago, was a whole new concept to me: something that was there, something very real, something very much alive, but which, though not entirely unheard of, existed without any bearing whatever on my own life.
That I should somehow have allowed myself to become caught – however slightly – in its web, had taken me a little by surprise; that this should have happened at this time of year, when people’s minds – my own included – are so full of other things, added to that surprise.
I had gone from being someone who had not even looked at a blog, (what is a blog?), to somebody with one of his own, and who still had not looked at another blog until after beginning to post!

This did, for a moment, place my surprise at the level of astonishment …
but as quickly as did my doubts arise, they were dispelled and replaced by a reassurance that this is one of the places where I am meant to be; and the reasons for being here were suddenly so clear and seemingly obvious.
As for starting at this time? – what better time for the start of anything, than during the season of the birth of Jesus? A time when we recall the small beginnings of what was to become so great a power within our world.

The reasons for being here are centred on the simple fact that the world of blogs is a reflection of the real world as it is today.
The internet is exactly that, and is partly filled with much of the goodness we can imagine, produce, or hope for. It also contains much that is on a par with the realities of everyday living: the functional, the helpful, the necessary, as well as the useless, the superfluous, the merely attractive and the superficially desirable. It makes available to all, the immense forests of today’s marketplace, where both the supply and the demand are manufactured; where the driving force, in itself, is not one of evil, but where our own susceptibility and weakness result in the outcomes not always being good for ourselves and others.
It also gives space and prominence to that which is entirely contrary to the goodness which resides in each one of us. The product of the blackest corners of our natures: corners which are also to be found in ourselves, and which can so easily be enticed to walk more freely in the broader expanses of our lives by those who give free rein to them.
Everything we can conjure from our imagination, and much we could never have imagined, will be found waiting for us in what is not a virtual world, but a facsimile, a copy, an alluring shadow of the actual world in which we live. We may have to actively look for the worst of it, rather than finding it thrust upon us, but it is there.
“Seek and you shall find,” is frighteningly true in this world-wide web of availability.

Blogs? The same world: the same availability and accessibility: the same ranges of opinion, good and bad, loud and quiet: the same overall reflection of the real world. What gives blogs so much potential, is that they (to a greater extent) represent individuals: you, and you, and him, and her, and me …
“Seek and you shall find” ? The same is true, but its power is at once both weakened and strengthened by the reality of the one-to-one relationships that convey our thoughts to each other. It has the feel of walking through Galilee in a time without modern communications, not knowing whom we may meet, and relying upon the spoken word from a stranger to either attract or otherwise. Perhaps in this world of computer-screens and keyboards, we may chance upon the True Teacher: the Master who meets us at the well, in an empty and arid land.

An outwardly weakened power, as it is offered and conveyed by the apparent insignificance of a single person.
A strengthened power, as it may be conveyed and made available through the unassailable power of the Holy Spirit: a power beyond the confines of any voice that would restrain, deny or blaspheme against it.
The fragility of such voices is laid bare by their own strenuous but sterile efforts to undermine the faith of others, rather than to advance their own non-existent beliefs.
In the aggressive efforts of the actively ungodly, unbelief is portrayed as a flaccid state of mind wallowed in by the pathetic and the chronically hard-hearted. Unbelief in the mind of a thinking man is something to be approached, engaged, and (almost) admired: a state of mind which is in itself a form of longing, and one which, once engaged, can only serve to build upon the faith of both parties. The seeking unbeliever simply awaits a hand to lead him towards the edge which he or she senses, but from which he constantly veers away.

It is essential that when we are asked to speak out, we do not remain silent, or speak only where our voices are already known. Silence gives free access to indifference and evils that should never be given their freedom.
There are many who seek after truth, and all that is good; they also must be enabled to find that which they seek.

About Me

Who I am should be, and should remain, of little consequence to you. Who you are is what matters; who you are meant to be is what should matter most to you. In coming closer to my own true self, I have gradually been filled with the near inexpressible: I have simply become "brim full", and my words to you are drawn from those uttered within myself, as part of an undeniable overflowing that brings a smile to my every dusk, and to my every new dawn.
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