being and doing

In general, I find this interesting tension/balance/harmony/disharmony between my “doing” and my “being.”  We live in cultures (even religious cultures) of “shoulds” and “musts,” and our actions are often more reflective of who society says I am than who I really am (or who I really could be, or who I am created to be).  Every culture has their own unique way of communicating the Japanese saying, “the raised nail must be hammered down.”  And thus, it is easy for us to manufacture a “false self,” a self who is ready to live and die for the expectations, approval, acceptance, popularity, power, success, and respect of the society in which we live. 

“Being” and “doing.”  I can see myself in a mirror.  My soul can see itself in the mirror of its activity.  But the activity is just a reflection, not the real thing.  In fact, the reflection is usually a distortion of our “real” being.  I guess there is a danger of falling prey to the “reflections” or illusions.  World religions and philosophies seem to agree on one simple point, that humans and humanity, as they usually exist and act, do not reflect what they were created to BE. 

Jesus was full of metaphors related to a person’s inward and outward realities.  He compared the quality and health of a tree to the fruit which it produces.  He compared religious hypocrisy and legalism to people who only wash the outside of their dishes and bowls.  “First clean the inside of the cup and the dish, so that the outside may become clean also,” he said.  And one of the more potent metaphors is found in his warning against becoming “whitewashed tombs,” beautiful and appealing on the outside yet full of death on the inside.

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