Letters to Jesus (Perspectives and Perceptions) -10
Here’s a consideration about the self that provides an interesting perspective. In his book Everything Belongs, Richard Rohr talks about the wonderful feeling of freedom people must have had before the proliferation of mirrors around 1500, or photographs later on. Both these “inventions” have drawn us outside of ourselves and have encouraged us to pursue a conformity with exterior images of ourselves and others.
In our own age Hollywood, TV, and Madison Avenue have taken this to the extreme, and this extreme exerts a strong pull on us. How much of what we do or the attitude we take is based on the image we have of ourselves in the mirror, or in a particular photograph; or on what Hollywood, TV, or ads and commercials might say about our appearance? This cult of the exterior influences the ways we think about ourselves, others, and the ways they think about us.
How would it be if our interiors showed in the mirror or in photos? It’s the difference between the true and false self. We often cultivate with great care the appearance of our surface in order to better conceal our interior which just might peep through and shame us. What might it be like if everyone was able to clearly see our true interior selves as in a mirror or photo, and we were able to see theirs? Every deceit, guile, and charade would drop away. One would see clearly who and what everyone was. The sad fact is that this is what we think we do see when we observe the superficialities of every other person, and this is why so many of our “carved in stone” judgments about others are in egregious error. Only with You might we have been able to do this.
With You, Your interior and exterior were so closely in tune as to be indistinguishable. It is this that got You killed! It is this that kills You daily: that seeing and judging Your exterior, Your image, Your picture – and rejecting it, we reject the truth of Yourself.