“We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.” Anaïs Nin
Terry Hershey, in his post Sabbath Moment, writes frequently about a personal (and perhaps societal) malady called scotoma which means, in essence, “selective blindness.” His point is that we all seem to have a dose of this selective blindness.
White Rabbits in a Snowstorm
Like trying to observe white rabbits in a snowstorm, we often miss that which is right in front of us—too often we haven’t the capacity to see that which lies outside our personal purview. For instance, in her stunning book, Holy Envy, “spiritual contrarian” Barbara Brown Taylor reminds us Christians how errantly many of us have read our own Holy Text, The Bible. Too frequently we find ourselves with “second-hand beliefs,” having relied far too strongly on what we have been taught by well meaning teachers. What about what the Holy Spirit can teach a person with a receptive mind?
It is for that reason that I suggest reading the Bible using a different translation on occasion. Doing so forces one to pay attention rather than causally rereading the same text regularly. New translation; new eyes; fresh ideas. It’s a preventative measure to fight scotoma.
Barriers or Windows?
Selective blindness remains problematic and common to all groups and cultures. For all groups in general (including cultures, religions, and civilizations) exist based primarily on their distinctives, or those tenets that differentiate them from the others. And, for me, these distinctives are essential. We are built to associate largely with people with whom we have much in common. It is indeed a good thing, a human thing.
But, when our distinctives become barriers instead of windows, do we lose our grand commonality of being human first and tribal second? I wonder.
Are we not suffering from this today in both our country and our world?
Perhaps time has come to think more openly without losing our unique identity—a very, very, very fine line.
See Things as THEY ARE
And Become Even More REAL
Photo courtesy of Semih Akgul at istockphoto