I love horses. I had my own horse when I was a kid. But I am not interested in racing or the life of the turf. Yet some love it and write of it poetically with a zest for this part of life. Here’s a quote from today’s Age about one who waxed lyrical about horses and racing.
“And so those who loved this brilliant, modest man who could give a dreary mid-week race meeting the gift of word-magic about horses and those who trained and rode them and lost their shirts to them, took Les Carlyon, newspaperman and poet laureate of the turf, one last time to Flemington to say goodbye.”
The stand-out words in the above passage are these: “This brilliant, modest man.” There is no doubt that modesty encourages brilliance because a humble heart encourages us to ‘see’. When we are humble enough to recognise from the bottom of our being that we don’t know everything we are positioned to search and investigate unlikely places and search out ways that the Bible describes as narrow rather than wide. Why is it that the pure in heart ‘see God?’ It’s because the undistracted, the non-double-minded, the visually unencumbered in their spirit are delivered from false dichotomies of the knowledge of good and evil and the stigmatism of a false identity. They see as God sees because they and our Father are one. They have the heart for truth that God has and they seek truth out.
Jesus said ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God’ and know God as He is. It’s not difficult to convince ourselves that we have an undiluted loyalty to Jesus even if we are actually double-minded and committed to peddling our version of Him and His gospel. The tragedy for us in this mode is that we can never know ourselves because we have insulated our spirit from the Spirit of Christ. Jesus warns us that we can only have one master because our real loyalty under a ‘dual monarchy’ will be to ourselves and our proprietary ideas.
It is most unfortunate when we are in the thrall of a reflex that thrusts up a wall of rationalisation each time we have a truth encounter. We can present a façade of humility when what we harbour is a smug addiction to our own ideas and a passive-aggressive attitude to truth whenever truth should challenge the ideas and the identity to which we have dedicated ourselves.
There is a false self and a real self. The real self is who we are in communion with Jesus. The false self is who we are in communion with the law and the externalities of the life. If we are anesthetised by religion or have habitually attempted to find ourselves in anything not Jesus we will be unaware that we are not living from our real self. Thus there are sincere believers who choose to row their own boat and remain in the contract in which they imagine they are wooing the favour of God. They say, ‘ You are a hard man’ and bury the treasure in the ground.
“We were created for union. But the place of union feels like nothing. We spend most of our lives projecting and protecting our small, separate self-image. Living instead from our True Self, hidden with Christ in God, feels like nothing and no place. It doesn’t come with feelings of success, others’ approval, awards, promotions, or wealth. In fact, others may think us foolish or crazy. And so we put off the death of our false self. We cling to our ego because it feelssubstantial and essential.” But it’s a vapor.
The place that appears to be nothing is everything and the place from which the real self grows from glory to glory.