The Egocentrism of Reality as Lived


from Deep Conversion/Deep Prayer
Fr. Thomas Dubay

But for now we need to emphasize how tenaciously, even stubbornly, many people cling to the preferences and sympathies of their own way of life even in the face of strong evidences against these preferences. Elemental truths, the way things actually are, leave little impact on most persons' consciousness and routine decisions. This is especially the case with moral and ultimate realities. People love their desires. Newman made this point in his usual penetrating manner, but other careful observers have also noted the following common assumptions of egocentrism: "i am right because this is my preference. I need not consider your reasons and arguments seriously." This is why many married couples (say the experts) argue and fight over and over again about the same disagreements and often with no happy solutions and healing. Egocentrism is the main root of human conflicts. Hence, Jesus is saying "love truth, the way things objectively are; do not cling to your preferences when they clash with reality."

Love truth--the way things objectively are. The problem is to see with an objective eye. It is not impossible, for with God all things are possible; however, neither is it easy, for with humanity all things are impossible. Many people, perhaps most people, have a vested interest in reality they way they perceive or rather wish it to be. This is an extremely difficult point. How does one begin to see objectively when one is so allied to the pleasant unreality created by oneself? In one sense, this is the question the movie The Matrix asks--is it better to live in subjectively loveliness or face the truth no matter how unpleasant and ugly?

What most seem not to know is that objective reality, truth, is part of the Platonic triad, a kind of trinity of values that perforce exist together--truth, beauty, and goodness. Thus objective truth, ultimate truth, eternal truth, is objectively, ultimately, and eternally beautiful and good. It can be no other way. There may be additional attributes to the triad, but these three go hand in hand. So, in addition to the hard question The Matrix poses, there is an easier question. Suppose you could wake up from the waking dream/nightmare you have created for yourself by your choices of what to do and believe, and suppose upon waking that you would find yourself in a realm far more beautiful, perfect, and peaceful than any you could imagine--would you choose to wake?

If so, now is the acceptable time. God, patient Father, has long waited for each one to wake and come stumbling out of the bedroom in our "footy" pajamas rubbing our eyes and suddenly seeing that every morning is Christmas morning. Every day, no matter what the course of the day, is a gift beyond measure.

Sleeper awake, for night is flying
the time of the dream approaches the end,
open your eyes, wake up, arise
this waking nightmare shall come to an end.

"Wacheft auf ruft uns die stimme
Philipp Nocolai 1599
tr. Catherine Winkworth

Wake, awake, for night is flying,
The watchmen on the heights are crying:
Awake, Jerusalem at last!
And at the thrilling cry rejoices:
Come forth, ye virgins, night is past!
The Bridegroom comes, awake.
Your lamps with gladness take;
And for his marriage feast prepare,
For ye must go to meet him there.

Zion hears the watchmen singing,
And all her heart with joy is springing;
She wakes, she rises from her gloom;
For her Lord comes down all glorious,
The Strong in grace, in truth Victorious.
Her Star is risen, her light is come!
Ah, come Thou blessed Lord,
O Jesu, Son of God,
We follow till the halls we see
Where Thou hast bid us sup with Thee.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on June 13, 2006 8:39 AM.

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