The Dunning-Kruger effect is a cognitive frame in which people wrongly overestimate their knowledge or ability in a specific area. This tends to occur because a lack of self-awareness prevents them from accurately assessing their own skills. It’s especially noticeable where leaders are chosen for loyalty to a system of belief, rather than for capability and intelligence. This kind of ineffectualness debilitates institutions. But it is much more serious when it undermines the Kingdom of God by offering something and nothing in the guise of the bread of life.
Many of the blind are convinced that they see. The blind are not always willingly blind. But they can have a following. They can inhabit faith communities who have become bereft of the visual acuity that is ‘sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow.’
Nonsense has entered the public sphere in a big way in this season. T. S. Eliot’s ‘Hollow men, head piece filled with straw’ are in plague proportions as people elevate their common sense above intelligence and education.
Some live blind-folded because they have been lied to. Some are blind because their religious identity is valued more than their identity in Jesus. But the enormity of this adultery is hidden from them because they have embraced the fiction that loyalty to their church is loyalty to Jesus – who told us through Paul that we can have but one husband, not a plurality.
‘What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!’ Romans 7.24,25 NIV.
Loyalty to our own identity or community is no more loyalty to Jesus than Paul’s loyalty to Judaism was loyalty to God – although for a time he thought it was. He thought it was until he saw where it had led him. Saul lived as a blind leader, until he received an abrupt revelation that it was the Son of God that he was persecuting. Let’s not cripple the body of Christ because we insist on being joined to this body of death. Stepping into the light because it is light has Kingdom advantages.
‘Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them’ Mark 4.25 NIV.
Today it may not be that we are persecuting anyone other than ourselves. But if we are ignoring the son of God and dumbing down ourselves as persons, because we think more of our religion than we do of the radical and ultra-ingenious life that is CHRIST OUR LIFE incarnated, we are choosing an old and dead way when we have a new and living way that is our possession.
A VIRTUE OF BLINDNESS?
William Paul Young, in his introduction to The Divine Dance separates out the phenomenon of seeing and not seeing. He notes the awareness that goes with the ‘seeing eyes’ and the anticipation of resurrection that such eyes hold in their hearts while waiting for the awakening and resurrection of those who think they see but have made a virtue of blindness. There are sincere people who unwittingly make a virtue of blindness. Their spiritual senses have been anesthetised by their self-made fictions.
SEEING WHAT GOD SEES
The Seeing Eyes live in hope that those who have created their own ‘bent reality’ will not have burrowed so far into their holes that they cannot be salvaged. The hope of the ‘seeing eyes’ is that there is yet some foothold by which the smugly blind can still be brought to see. Young writes,
EMPIRES OF BLINDNESS/CORPORATIONS OF FICTION
“For those with eyes to see, they look out from a towering, rising mass of living water that is about to crash upon this planet. For those whose eyes have not yet been healed—those “born blind”—although we cannot see it, we can feel it coming. The children of this approaching re-formation of the very ways we think and see, will respond quickly and easily. The elders of the empires [of blindness] will take much more work. They are not to be discarded, though, for love never rejects a single bit of bread or drop of wine. The Divine Dance [of the trinity in us], along with thousands of other rising voices, is a violation of [fleshly] Empire and a celebration of Relationship.
When one has seen the profound mysteries lovingly revealed here, one cannot un-see. When one has heard, there is no going back; suffering cannot wipe away the heart’s smile. God, You have never had a low view of Humanity. May our eyes be healed, especially those of us “born blind,” that we might see what You do.” (1)
(1) Rohr, Richard. The Divine Dance: The Trinity and your transformation (Kindle Locations 316-324). SPCK. Kindle Edition.