Let's start with reality, shall we? I find reality to be the most difficult conclusion since it requires a level of honesty rarely associated with we humans. We are too willing to be self-deluded. We prefer the fantasy of our own sophistication or worse our own weakness.
This preferred mindset leads to all kinds of unhealthy habits and conflict. We confuse co-dependency with communion. We settle for accommodation to mediocrity rather than continue doing the hard work of excellence. We allow the compromises of life to stupefy us into a delusion of existence rather than honestly confessing our own need for authentic life.
This self-delusion can sometimes be named a virtue. We arrogantly insist that our willingness to compromise and to "get along" are actually signs of spiritual maturity and humility, all the while perpetuating a "status quo" that institutionalizes our own poverty of soul.
To be sure, humility and compromise are necessary if we are to ever build consensus and cooperation. But these good goals should never be used to further dishonesty or delusion. It should also never be used as an excuse not to boldly do the right thing regardless of the popularity of that act.
How does one find the balance necessary to avoid delusion and yet be gracious and humble? I think the first step is repentance.
Metanoia, the Greek word translated as "repentance", first asks us to "change our minds." In other words, we begin this process of honesty with ourselves. I can't change another's mind. That work begins with me alone. So, my own thinking, my own mindset, my own perspective must first survive the honest scrutiny of a divine light. King David rightly began saying "search me, O God, and know my heart." It is this humble willingness to begin with myself that frees me from the delusion of thinking all we need is for everyone to see things our way to set all matters right.
Beginning with myself. That is where the death of delusion begins.
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