Unoriginal, uninspiring, unfunny

(triple U)

 

An original idea that’s not so original


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Written by ANDRÉE SEU

November 3, 2011, 10:40 AM


One of my Christian friends started a “spirituality circle” at her home, as a way to reach out to the neighbors. Well, the neighbors include a Unitarian and a Buddhist.

My friend said that one day one of the ladies declared to the group that she believes that we are all just a part of the universe, like individual drops that make up a great sea of Being. This was her great epiphany.

I remember when I held that same opinion of reality, for about a week and a half, I guess. The thing I find amusing about it now is that homemakers and liberal arts college students and Unitarians always think we are announcing something radical or avant-garde. Our disconnectedness with history creates the misimpression of ourselves as being originals.

Now I grant that we are all originals in the sense of fingerprints and imageness of God. But we become laughable when we think we have come up with a new philosophy that no one has conceived of before. And in particular, it is laughable when we announce it as if proclaiming our utter emancipation from all historical and cultural and religious authority.

C.S. Lewis rightly pointed out in The Weight of Glory that everybody has some authority or other:

“… facts are received either from our own senses, or from the report of other minds; that is, either experience or authority supplies us with our material. But each man’s experience is so limited that the second source is the more usual; of every hundred facts upon which to reason, ninety-nine depend on authority.”

That is, we are all subscribing to something somebody has said. It’s just a matter of which somebody you choose (or have been propagandized) to believe. Non-Christians are not different from Christians in the sense that the latter hearken to an authority but the former do not. All men follow one authority or other. That’s why, as P.T. Forsythe said:

“The first duty of every soul is not to find its freedom but to find its Master.”

Who is your master? Everyone has one.