Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Seeing What's There
I've been reading one of Richard Rohr's books during the last few days at the beach. This particular book is called, Everything Belongs. It really is a book on prayer--on being a contemplative person.
He says that one of the problems of our society is that we have mass produced what he calls: luminoid experiences--as opposed to luminal experiences. Luminal experiences enlighten and help us see what is really there. Luminoid experiences really put blinders on our eyes and we don't see really what is out there. We have a multitude of gadgets and gimmicks that are mass produced that really put blinders on our eyes. On the Beach this morning everybody seemed to have a cell phone. Those not talking to somebody were texting. A few had their ipods out and others were surrounded by books and magazines. But the funniest sight I saw was this couple--I assume married--walking down the beach both had their ear phones on and holding their ipads. Togernesss 1a. Ever wonder why there are so many Outlet Malls so close to the Beach? Hmm. The problem is that we really don't get away from it at all. We make sure that we have enough diversions with us that we really won't be able to experience the wonders that are out there.
Of course I read at the beach. Of course I opened my i-pad and, of course here I am writing about seeing when I ought to be out in the sunshine just being and experiencing the wonder of it all. See--we are all guilty of putting blinders on just like we put our sunglasses on. The great religions seek to stab us into awareness and full consciousness.
Rohr, a Catholic priest says that God is just waiting for us everyday to lookout and stop and look and listen long enough to hear what God has to say this day. Elizabeth Elliot once said that the problem with living sacrifices is that they keep crawling off the altar. Sound familiar? Yesterday's vision is not enough. We've got to crawl back on the altar and see what God has to say today. We don't have to take a vacation to do this. All we have to do is to turn off the TV and bury the telephone under some pillows and just be quiet. And--most of all: open our eyes.
Years ago Frances Cornford challenged all of us in her question-poem:
"O why do you walk through the fields in gloves
Missing so much and so much?
O fat white woman whom nobody loves
Why do you walk through the fields in gloves
When the grass is soft as the breast of doves
And shivering sweet to the touch?
O why do you walk through the fields with gloves
Missing so much and so much?"