As I’ve mentioned already Sunday starts the round of Covenant services in the Methodist church. The climax of that service is people saying a prayer which begins, “I am no longer my own but yours…”. I’ve blogged about it a few days ago I promise I promise I promise. The more I’ve thought about it this week the more the implications of that prayer concern me. I’m beginning to think that it is a product of our time and champions the individual over the collective.
The slide above is an attempt to signify the potential pitfall of Western society and thinking. Descartes came to his philosophical statement only after removing himself from interaction or any outside stimulation. He was desperate to remove away the decay that had built up from flawed truths he had gained previously. What couldn’t be proved beyond doubt was discarded from his mind and he returned to the rudiments of existence. His conclusion Cogito Ergo Sum, (I think therefore I am) has been quoted ever since. Western society broke free from the shackles of the Middle Ages and flourished into new life. Yet it has been running a course that is increasingly individualistic. What Descartes philosophised, and what Luther reformed became the starting point for capitalism and the knowledge that we can define our own destiny. All good things in my book, but there is a danger that the baby has been thrown out with the bath water.
In contrast the ants, the other object in my slide are defined by the collective. Perhaps what the West needs to do is remember that wisdom isn’t only gained from academic gymnastics. Eastern cultures prize intuition much greater than we do. My plea is that the example of the ants is played out in our pursuit of wisdom. After all Socrates the Greek philosopher came to his thinking via open air debates and arguments rather than in isolation. As I’ve mentioned already much better to be a bubble breaker than a bubble dweller Bubble Dweller Bubble Breaker.
In conclusion then when individuals join in the prayer tomorrow my hope is that the “I” becomes a “we”.
That concludes todays rant!