Saturday, May 23, 2009

Saying of the Desert Christians: True Peace 3


Two old men had lived together for many years and they had never fought with one another. The first said to the other, "Let us also have a fight like other men." The other replied, "I do not know how to fight." The first said to him, "Look, I will put a brick between us and I will say: it is mine; and you will reply: no, it is mine; and so the fight will begin." So they put a brick between them and the first said, "No, it is mine", and the other said, "No, it is mine." And the first replied, "If it is yours, take it and go." So they gave it up without being able to find a cause for an argument.

Don't you just love the utter simplicity of this Saying? Could the principle of "letting go" be more clearly illustrated? is it possible that we too could learn this lack of attachment?

Ok, I know it was just a brick and the 2 attempted to argue just for the sake of arguing. They wondered, I daresay, if they were missing out on something. Other people fight, they know, they didn't. So in attempt to be like others they tried to fight. But it didn't work. They had learned to well how to let go and so they could not manage to argue.

What we we have to learn in order to relinquish our own attachments? What ideas stop us? Do we think such and such is mine and no one else can have it? Do we think we have a right to whatever it is we hold on to?

Maybe our answers are "yes" sometimes and need to be "yes", firmly and loudly. Yes, I am a Christian. Or yes, I believe in justice and I will not allow you to abuse another person.

But what about those attachments that we have at another's expense? What does this Saying offer us? We could apply this to so many things. Do we have more clothes than we could wear in a week or 2? Of course, so of us may live in climates where there are actual seasons, but you see my point, I trust. Or do we have some cherished belief about ourselves, people in general that is no longer serving us?

I daresay I could list examples forever. But what this Saying of the Desert Christians challenges me is to re-think why I more often want to say "no" than "yes".


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