Monday, 29 May 2017

Unmasking the enemy

We seem to spend a lot of time forging and then defending our identities and succumbing to a sense of victimhood whenever our identity is under threat.  We want to defend our right to an identity, and often we take pride in our identity and want to be recognised for what we have forged in ourselves.  Sometimes our identities are hidden due to their being unacceptable in the society in which we live, we have to forge them in secret and they may find outlets in exquisite creativity, subversive activity and or depression. Often we gravitate towards others who seem to have a similar identity to ourselves, finding mutual support and being comforted by a sense of belonging.

Identity in itself is not a bad thing.  Nevertheless it is a thing and as such we can't take any of it with us when we die.  Our souls are ring-fenced, they are God's property but like a living thing they need to be nurtured and protected.  Indeed it could be argued we have living creatures to care for throughout our lives or in order to give us a type, an example, of the care we should take of our souls.  Our identity is not protected by God and His Angels, indeed the hardest spiritual lessons we learn have are those involving the erosion of our perceived identity, when we are stripped right back and faced with the reality of what lies behind and beyond these identities we have been so careful to nurture.  The problem comes when nurturing an identity becomes more important than the indwelling of the Blessed Trinity.  And indeed the problem looks absurd when viewed from that perspective because the Blessed Trinity is all: but how easily we are distracted....

Because our identity is not ring-fenced by God, it is the playground of the Devil.  He will do all he can to ensure we take our identity ever so seriously and spend an awful lot of time and effort defending it and nurturing it.  It is he who offers sympathy whenever our identity is under threat, it is he who nurtures our victimhood when the "bigots" and "-phobes" crowd in.  It is he who wants us to take great pride in our identity and to parade it and to be consumed by it.  We must have a healthy and cheerfully detached attitude towards our identity or he gets what he wants. He wants us to be consumed by our identities because when we are we let go of all that is good, we worship ourselves, we become our own idol.  He will take great delight when time, nature and fate transpire to ruin us because we've stared at our identity and found it empty but found nothing to fill the void.  One day we can be a celebrity, one day we can have the adulation of the crowd, the next day nobody recognises us and our adult children are dragging us out of gutters and into re-hab after prolonged drinking bouts.....

We need an identity, or indeed multiple identities depending on who we are with and their relationship to us; masks are necessary to denote rank and authority and to offer us some ease through life so that things can be left unsaid yet understood. However an identity based purely on leisure, based purely on using our bodies rather than the giving of them in service is a thing of great danger, but it is also the only identity the world recognises as something of its own and the laws of the free world will enshrine its right to exist because it is doing no harm... it is a sign of our liberty and freedom and we are asked to defend its right to exist at all costs because there is something "oppressive" about those regimes where such liberty is not acceptable.....

It gets worse.  Those who don't see the world from the world's perspective because they have set their hearts on higher things, get bundled together with those who whilst utterly worldly are on crusades against identities that they see as threatening to their own identities in the name of something that the world recognises as religion.  All are seen as enemy to the identities forged in "liberty" and "freedom".

It gets complicated. In each of us there is a desire to protect identities which we are sympathetic towards.  It is impossible for us truly to separate our duty to defend God's property and our desire to protect a particular identity which moves our sympathies. It can also be very difficult for us to see God's property in those whose identity we find repugnant. This is our battlefield, both spiritual and temporal, engagement is vital, but there seem to be so few who are willing to fight.

Strip away "identity" and what remains?
Strip away "identity" and what remains?



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