It Was Just One Of Those Rashoman Moments
by Fionn Zarubica
During this time of Great Lent for the Christian Orthodox Church, questions concerning personal ethics, spiritual merit and core human values come into particular focus, either in the actual dialogue or in moments of personal contemplation. Some practitioners take this opportunity more seriously and intentionally than others; but none evade at least a fleeting encounter with these issues.
Religious Christians tend to run the gamut of those who feel entirely contemptible, terminally unshriven – trembling in fear and anticipation of their day of judgment; and those who just have a few off moments, but generally feel pretty good about themselves. (Paradoxically, the ones who give the impression of basking in their own virtuous glory usually fall into the first category).
Non-religious people tend to run this gamut as well. They just couch it differently. And not all have scheduled and ritual periods of self-reflection.
Not too long ago, in an effort to comfort an Orthodox Christian friend of mine, I told her that she is whole and complete, that the Divine does not make mistakes and that she was created in love and perfection. Well that didn’t go so well. She was taken aback that I would be so spiritually immodest and make a claim of this kind when everyone knows how unspeakably errant we are. In fact she began to argue with me in favor of her own wretchedness.
I am sorry, I just cannot support that, not from any philosophical perspective.
I think she is perfect, I think I am perfect, I think you are perfect, and I think all that is, is perfect. Otherwise it would have been created by a guy named Steve.
Being whole and complete does not make us good at this earth stuff, but I believe it is our basis, our inheritance. It is what we are given to work with in the first place, and that from which we can choose to receive and to create.
What is imperfect here is our ability to see ourselves and others as we really are – whole and complete, wondrous and beloved.