There’s Always An Outside

I listened to a talk by Peter Rollins about demons and those things we demonize. He quotes Bertrand Russell,

Imagine you are going to make a catalog, and the catalog lists every catalog  that doesn’t list itself. …and then you’ve got a problem. The problem is, well do you list the catalog itself? Cause if you don’t list the catalog, then it’s a catalog that doesn’t list itself therefore it should be in the catalog, right? But then if you do put it in the catalog, it’s no longer a catalog that doesn’t list itself, ’cause it lists itself, so therefore you take it out of the catalog

The Virtual Reality of Demons  Click on the word Demons to hear his talk.

This paradox illustrates that there’s always an outside. If you have a circle including all of your friends, you have now drawn an inclusive circle. You can include your friends’ friends by drawing a bigger circle. This could continue on forever. There will always be an outside. The poor you will always have with you as Peter points out.

How do we handle our exclusive/inclusive nature of life? It’s obviously not by vigorously drawing more circles. It’s by ignoring the circles altogether. I want to live as if the demons don’t matter. I may feed the poor and get involved with helping others but continue on living my life. Not out of indifference. Not by sticking my head in the sand. I want to live and celebrate life. There’s no need to proclaim my mission. “I’m of this belief or I’m of that belief.”

Do you remember the scene in 101 Dalmatians where the puppies walked single file into hiding and while they were single file walking away in disguise, Cruella DeVil is lurking about?

- She's watching us, Dad.

- Keep going.

I want to keep going. Even if I have no idea what spirituality I believe, I want to keep giving as I always did. Keep loving as I always do. No matter if I call myself Christian, Buddhist, Atheist, Agnostic or Pastafarian. The more you try to define what you believe and what you stand for, the more complicated life becomes when really we should be living from our heart. What if we just live? What if we just love? What if we just give and extend a hand when it’s needed.

 

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