January 5, 2020-
In all the debate about sin, evil and the unfortunate events of life, there is a place for consideration of being real versus living in what one knows, deep down, to be a fallacy; of being authentic versus being inauthentic.
Jordan Peterson, in Twelve Rules for Life, points to the allegories of Lucifer, and of the Egyptian demon-figure, Set, as illustrations of the dangers posed by over-rationalization. It is, in effect, the opposite of taking ownership of one’s life, responsibility for one’s actions. Satan always comes up with an excuse for what he’s done-and it’s always someone else’s fault-even God’s fault. This allegorical depiction of wickedness lays it out straight,though. Only integrity, ownership of one’s behaviours-and of their outcomes, will serve to bring about a life well-lived.
I had to learn that the hard way. Losing a spouse brings a person to account, faster than just about anything, even if-as in my case- it isn’t directly one’s fault. I could not, however, blame anyone for Penny’s passing. Hereditary disease would have struck her down, at some point, regardless, and all I can do is learn from the experiences of care-taking and of widowhood. I have taken the lesson that a life of integrity may only be lived if the person living it maintains authenticity.
Deceit erodes that integrity, first within one’s own heart, then gradually outwardly through one’s circle of friends, one’s family, one’s tribe. A life without trust is a life of emptiness.
I am fortunate, to have reached a point where authenticity is something of which I am no longer ashamed or embarrassed.