Humility Versus Pride - A Confession About Vision ~ BitterSweetLife

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Humility Versus Pride - A Confession About Vision

Baby Aidan

Up until I was twelve years old I located East, West, North and South by situating myself in relation to my house’s family room.

The calculation was not always simple. First, I’d have to consider quickly which wall of the family room represented the looked-for direction (East, for example, was out the window across the backyard; North was toward the kitchen…). Then I would have to transpose my current location (traveling down Interstate-35, for instance) upon the family room. The results were usually good, but the process required some mental gymnastics—especially the transposition part.

In this respect I shared a kind of kinship with people who use rhythm and blues to memorize the multiplication table and mnemonic devices to remember phone numbers. My family room was a circular, wandering excuse for really getting to know the points of the compass.

More interesting to me, now, is the way I continue to do something very similar.

Today I have a better handle on my compass points, but not much else has changed. I seem to think the locus of meaning for most everything can be found right here within my own life. I believe it instinctively.

Little Aidan’s aggressive egocentricity keyed me in on this. The kid thinks the meaning of life is milk and wet diapers. When he’s hungry, the world is put on red alert. Good is a full stomach. Evil is a five-minute wait.

I guess I took this epistemological approach and ran with it. I’ve tweaked a few things in the last couple decades, but my reflexive way of knowing is fundamentally the same as Aidan’s. I go looking for a dictionary and find myself flipping my own pages.

I think that God spends most of our lives weaning us off this way of looking at things. In our pride we are so infantile. We look at everything through a skewed grid, through a cracked lens—us. We forget that truth is handed down to us immaculate, his name and credentials fully intact.

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R. Sherman said...

Interesting. This week when I was going through old pictures, the official 6 year old was upset to learn that his parents had a life before his appearance on the planet. He felt left out. You're right about viewing the world through the lens of "us."


Will Robison said...

Ironically, that Truth handed down to us never did view the world through His own lens, but always looked at the world first through the eyes of others, then told them how they could find their way to the one true way of viewing things.

Ariel said...

At this point, I'm not even sure that Aidan knows we exist. He's just aware of a vast, shadowy thing around him that meets his needs when he gets mad. We'll see how much has changed when he reaches age six, Sherman. ;)

Good point, Will. I would only add that Christ was so clear-sighted because he saw life through the eyes of The Other, his Father - and therefore he wasn't stuck polling for a majority, like most of us do when we try to get "the outside perspective."


Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife