Sunday, April 03, 2005
Cynics & Saints
Another quote from Jim Wallis' book God's Politics:

Perhaps the only people who view the world realistically are the cynics and the saints. Everybody else may be living in some kind of denial about what is really going on and how things really are. And the only difference between the cynics and the saints is the presence, power, and possibility of hope. And that, indeed, is a spiritual and religious issue. More than just a moral issue, hope is a spiritual and even religious choice. Hope is not a feeling; it is a decision. And the decision for hope is based on what you believe at the deepest levels - what your most basic convictions are about the world and what the future holds - all based on your faith. You choose hope, not as a naive wish, but as a choice, with your eyes wide open to the reality of the world - just like like the cynics who have not made the decision for hope.
posted by Mike Clawson at 4:47 AM | Permalink |


At 4/03/2005 08:35:00 PM, Blogger 00000

Or that we may be so deeply illusioned by the world that we live our lives never knowing ourselves and only see the portrait of life we desire or despise we spirally strive to attain. Both saint and cynic are trapped in this mindset with us. The saint looks for a higher good and reinterprets what they feel revealed to them, yet they know only themselves for what they believe to be wholly other redefined in their own terms. The cynic is much like the saint except that they reject any such idea of revelation. They gnaw and tear apart everything they find till in the end there is nothing left. Their destructive and/or anarchist views are redefined how they view all must be void at some point, thus they build themselves a world in which they do not know themselves. In this world they are attempting to spiral down into complete oblivion. Saint, Sinner, and Cynic. Trapped in worlds that are not there own. Trapped in worlds that they create. Trapped in worlds that they believe are seperate from themselves.


At 4/03/2005 11:19:00 PM, Blogger Mike Clawson

So what would you suggest as an alternative?


At 4/04/2005 08:00:00 AM, Blogger 00000

You could get completely pessismistic and choose to indulge in your own fantasy world. A good example of this would be the character mindset that can be found in fight club. But personally I think that is a fatal idea.

(Rabbit Trail) Our being is partly defined by communion. Even from the subatomic level everything works together in relationship. Without proper relationship and interaction the whole would not be. At the level of inner person we deal with our makeup. Our mindsets and views help to make up the whole individual. This whole individual is partly defined also by the interaction and relationship that they have in society. Society as a whole is made up of communion. This is idea ultimately can be furthered developed to the highest level of possibility that we are part of the communion of universe. So to take a mindset like that in fight club is to be in no sense short of suicide. But hey that was a random tangent.

At the current moment I do believe there is a "correct" worldview but that it is outside the power of humanity due to a fallen condition. I do believe that there is in absolute "truth/truths" but I also think that what we as human beings limited to is impaired knowledge. I do not think we as humans can ever fully "know" anything. We are limited by the psychological and spiritual constructs we develop that we perceive things through. The problem is this construct is generally focused around us at the deepest of levels or completely void of us. There are also tons of other things that we add to this construct. In the end it leaves us only with a pair of binocolaurs to view the world that has been tinted and color in a special way. We are left never "truely" seeing anything properly. We are limited to onesided perspectival vision.

So what does this mean for my life as a Christian? I attempt at every possible level to deconsruct and reconstruct reality. I also recognize that there is "truth/truths" out there and part of my goal in life is to do everything possible to reach for them. I do this knowingly that they are outside of my grasps, this does not mean however that I can not garner portions of it to further my limited knowledge. I go with what I believe is the best of the reality that I believe or know in. I believe Christianity affords this, so I have chosen to continue in the faith as being a Christian. I choose a foundation to build on. The foundation will have to be a faith leap. At some level almost everything can be deconstructed in a proper or improper (i.e., falsely) way. I choose to make the revelation of Jesus Christ affirmed by the Father & Holy Spirit and by the church to be my foundational working.

So that is the framework I suggest. Saint, Sinner, and Cynic. They are all trapped in a twisted view. The Saint is more blessed than the sinner or cynic in that if the resurrection does occur (and yes I do believe in it) then our eyes shall be enlightened and we will gain knowledge continually of the truth.


At 4/04/2005 11:58:00 AM, Blogger Mike Clawson

I completely agree my friend... though I think that's pretty much what Wallis was saying too when he said that hope is a choice, i.e. a "leap of faith" as you'd put it. It's a decision to view the world in a certain way, to accept some things as "truth" or "reality" without necessarily having perfect knowledge to rest that decision on.

Though I think cynicism (in it's extreme form... a little bit of cynicism is a good thing) is equally a leap of faith, just in the other direction. It takes just as much of a faith choice to believe life is meaningless and futile as it is to have hope that it's not.


At 4/04/2005 07:54:00 PM, Blogger 00000

Totally. I think that it might be plausible to say that any cognitive action/decision that we choose to base from whether to be cynical or trusting is a leap of faith.


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