Friday, April 7, 2006

NEIGHBORS

I’ve been reading about the tools a Wiccan priestess or priest commonly uses. I’m nowhere near ready to start collecting these items and I’m not sure if I ever will be. But, I find the description of the Athame, the ritual knife, interesting. A double-edged tool is specified, although the edges are usually dulled. It’s never intended to be a weapon. It's focusing tool used to cast the circle for worship and to test the truth of those you meet in a trance.The double edge is a symbol that power cuts both ways. Any energy you send out is going to come back to you. Traditionally the energy that comes back is stronger than the energy that was sent out. Especially negative energy.

 

I know that the best of the followers of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic traditions are aware of this and act accordingly. Or at least try to. Do unto others, treat your neighbor as yourself, are all bedrock traditions at least for those who call themselves Christians. At least that’s what they taught me in Sunday school. But, listen to Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell. Read the posts on controversial stories from those who describe themselves as Christians. Listen to the talk radio or certain politicians. You come out feeling like you’ve taken a swim in a cesspool at noon in the middle of August.

 

Jesus told us to love our neighbors. When someone (a lawyer, I think) asked who his neighbor was, he got the story of the Good Samaritan. The general idea is that whoever needs your help is your neighbor. I can only conclude that the others have a narrower definition. And most of the rest of us don’t fit on their version of Procrustes very special bed.

 

If you aren’t familiar with the story, Procrustes would invite travelers to stay the night at his house. Only place on the road and no inns and all that. He would promise a good nights sleep on a very special bed. It fit anyone who laid on it exactly. What no one knew was that the game was rigged from the start. The bed was adjustable. It would be set up before hand so that the guest never had a chance. Those who were too tall would be “trimmed” to fit and those who were tooshort would be stretched.

 

Sound familiar?

 

Update. As Lisa says in her comment, it's all too familiar. Gay rights, gay marriage, women's rights, putting down those who don't believe the way you do or follow alternative paths of faith, the ordination of women. Theseus may have given Procrustes a fatal taste of his own medicine, but it looks like he had brothers and sisters. Lots of brothers and sisters and they're all alive and well. Three thousand years or so from the original story and their trimming and stretching goes merrily on,

2 comments:

mlraminiak said...

Eeeewwwww...  And, yes.  It does sound familiar.  Lisa  :-]

toonguykc said...

I weep for all the wasted chances this human community had to create a wonderful, healthy, just, balanced planet.  SIGH.

Russ