Today, Richard Rohr’s Christmas Day reflection. A very Merry Christmas to my dwindling but regular readers and fellow wayfarers. May 2016 be full of all that that is life-giving and makes for a deep and rich journey.
“…What makes people so unkind and hurtful to one another? Sometimes the more petty and unnecessary it is, the more astounding it is. Where does this come from? Why is it much easier for humans to wrap themselves around problems, negativity, and blaming than around joy?
Humans make hard and impossible the very things they want the most! This tendency seems demonic. Such contrariness must be the meaning of any original wound or "sin." We really are our own worst enemy. It is not just that we send our unresolved pain and fear toward others, but that we choose to abide in them ourselves. We refuse resurrection on a regular basis and then wonder why we are unhappy. Maybe we just need to be told how deep and hidden the problem is, and that there is another way. Normally we have to see a model, we have to know or meet one enlightened person and let them rub off on us. All holiness is contagious and never a private possession. You don't acquire it, you fall into it. Like the Twelve-Step program, it "grows by attraction more than promotion." The proliferation of pulpits throughout the Christian world pretty much show that we over-relied on promotion, but even that was normally "saving the supposed saved."
Negativity works in many immediate and seemingly good ways. It unites a fear-based group far more quickly than love does, especially if you do not recognize or admit your own fears. Fear unites the disparate parts of your own False Self. The ego moves forward by contraction, self-protection, and refusal, by saying no. Sad to say, contraction gives you focus, purpose, direction, superiority, and a strange kind of security. It takes your aimless anxiety, covers it up, and turns it into purposefulness and urgency, which shows itself in a kind of drivenness. But this drive is not peaceful or happy; it is filled with itself. It is filled with agenda and sees all of its problems as "out there," never "in here." Witness American political agendas, if you want an overwhelming example of this level of consciousness.