Thursday, June 17, 2010

The straight jacket of freedom

I am on leave (a part of my Sabbatical) at the moment and I am enjoying the thrill of not having to go anywhere at any specific time, however this generally only lasts for a short period until I can find another routine to slip into. I find the in between times of ‘arbness’ rather stressful.

I am still going through “The Reason for God” by Timothy Keller and I am trying to summarize ideas, concepts and truths about the Christian faith that will help me answer questions for myself and help me deal with questions that come from others.

I am also reading another brilliant book about poetry as a means of spiritual practice but more about that one later on.

Immanuel Kant defined an enlightened person as one who trusts in his or her own power of thinking rather than in authority or tradition (Keller, R.F.G. pg46). This is common thinking is it not, in the age of relativism, Aquarius and all those kind of things.
The underlying concept is that we cannot be free if we are ‘straight jacketed’ to anything that restricts our freedom. If one looks at the smooth stroke of the professional golfer, the easy footwork of the soccer player, the first thought is: “ how easy and free that looks.” Let us not be mistaken as what we see is really the outcome of hours, days and years of restrictive discipline and practice that forfeited much else to get that ‘easy’ look. The truth of the matter is freedom comes with a price.

The arbitrary comment often heard today is, “ We can decide our own morality. We the individual decide what is right and wrong.” The counter argument to this is surely found when we criticize leaders who are leading their countries to ruin through their personal sense of morality. We would argue that despite their personal convictions they should act otherwise for the sake of others. In other words there is a morality that is beyond the individual and belongs to all humanity.

(Thoughts inspired by Timothy Keller, The Reason For God)

No comments: