We tend to suppress and hold back our deepest, cherished and most frightening emotions within our classrooms, the workplace, in the military, hospitals, Congress, temples and even our families. Why do we do that? Why is it we don’t feel permitted to reveal what we truly feel in the public arena? Is such transparent behavior unsuitable and if so who or what forces us to live such half-truths? Have cultures managed to cause us to function mainly out of our forebrain faculties, that of reasoning and our intelligence?
Franz Kafka warns “Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”
Do we interfere with the good of the order by letting our intense obsessions be known or revealed? What if our intellect relies upon mid-brain urges to round out the best of what we have to offer? We may assume unconditional compassion muddies the waters of our reasoning abilities.
Our country leaders are relying heavily upon their reasoning powers now while trying to sort out how to respond to the beheadings in Syria. There is pity and empathy for the victims’ families but is there any miniscule of compassion that might be directed toward the ISIS militants that might be as young as 15 or 16 – youth who may have signed on out of their religious convictions? “…don’t try to make it logical.”
When our Marine grandson was on his second tour of duty in Iraq and he went missing for a time two churches in Tucson called for prayers for him and we were grateful for that.
While serving as a guest preacher during that dreadful time I was about to start a pastoral prayer but I suddenly recalled a TV news segment the night before in which a 15-year-old jihadist’s mother tearfully talked about his commitment to his country and his faith. Do I urge the congregation to pray for him and if so will those prayers lead to helping him shoot more accurately than my grandson and his team? …follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”