It is another late fall day in the neighborhood. The Woods were in good order today and changed a bit from yesterday. I pondered this morning how many humans had walked where I was trodding. I had a colleague who told me that he often went to the woods on Sunday…that was his church. The older I get the more I understand his philosophy. We humans love words and those who can speak them well captivate our minds.
Story… is the constant of life’s narrative. We love our jobs…if indeed we do…due to the story that our employer tells. We are Christians due to the story of Jesus. We raise our family in emulation of the story of a family that has been mentored for us. In art and literature and theatre… the story is what we seek to expand our understanding of who we are and why we are here.
Illness is like hitting a brick wall in our story. We are reminded of the temporal nature of our position as an actor in the grand story of humanity… The scripture asks…’What is a man that thou art mindful of him…’
Old age creeps up on us almost unawares. We walk slower and see dimly and hear…what we want to hear. Looking back we see the story more clearly. How many times did our Guardian Angel protect us at the last minute when we were confident that we had the master plan and did not require any additional advice from the Peanut Gallery.
Fascinating it is to see people follow a good storyteller. I am watching an HBO documentary regarding the NXIVM Cult that is led by Keith Raniere. Mr. Raniere was so adept at spinning a compelling story that many women followers of NXIVM allowed themselves to be physically branded with his initials to prove their loyalty to him. His title was Vanguard in the movement and his second in command was called Prefect. The teachings of Raniere were so persuasive that actors and the well-educated and the rich followed him. When you look at the Cult from the outside it seems patently obvious that it was a bizarre lie and abusive in the extreme. But there. is something about being inside that is brainwashing and identity removing and evil that can not be seen…similar to not being able to see the forest for the trees.
Simplistic answers do not solve complex problems. Beautiful words are spoken by evil people…at times. ‘And the devil said to Him, ‘All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.’ Luke 4:6