March 21, 2014

Want a Friend? Get a Dog.

"Let no one deceive himself. If any one among you considers himself wise in this age, let him become a fool so as to become wise."   -- 1Corinthians 13

Back Stabbers
Performed by Seal

...Blades are long, clenched tight in their fist
 Aimin' straight at your back
 And I don't think they'll miss
 --What they do! --
 --They smile in your face--
 All the time they want to take your place
 The back stabbers --back stabbers--

...What can I do to get on the right track
 I wish they'd take some of these knives off my back
 --They smile in your face--
 All the time they want to take your place
 The back stabbers --back stabbers--
 Low down... dirty...
--What they do! --

 ...--They smile in your face--
 Smiling faces... smiling faces sometimes tell lies--Back stabbers
 --They smile in your face--
 I don't need... low down, dirty bastards--Back stabbers

In the everydayness of our modern world there are many things tugging, pulling at us for our attention. There are our own wants and desires and those same desires of others around us. Many times these issues are satisfied in healthy, productive ways; they respect ourselves and they entertain the respect of others, in equal measure. We may then be both confident and calm in the knowledge that we can manage our lives well.
At times we may find that some of our wants, or desires turn to fascination; we are then vulnerable to impulse, to suggestion, particularly the suggestions of others.

Day to day we come into contact with other personalities some of whom are compatible with our own, some less so. As sociable beings, humans both want and need a variety of interactions with others. Positive relationships are not without occasional discord; what they are about is both the 'give and the take,' uniquely sharing with one another those things that matter, that make each one of us real, alive.
 Both giving and taking in equal measure, we find our satisfactions. In a great wheel of life, there are turns and counter-turns. Some spiritual traditions refer to this as "cause and effect." For other traditions, this is a simple indication of the opportunity for evil-doing in the world, an indication of  'free' choices.
And others who may find the same through interactions with us. Then there are the personalities who suggest, goad and initiate activities which at first provide (and answer) an outlet to our social desires, at least at first, but over time capture ones' soul in a web hard to untangle. They prey uniquely upon the weaknesses of others.
In warning, classic writers as diverse as Shakespeare, Dante, Machiavelli, Goethe, Hesse, Nietzsche,  the Biblical writers and even the childrens' fable, Pinocchio, tell a tale about the downfall of the prideful, the angry, the greedy and those lacking clear understanding about their own and others' deepest motives, often evil motives. Is it right or just, that a person, vulnerable by his or her own human weakness should be preyed upon?
When over-washed by strong emotion or unbridled desires, many become uniquely vulnerable to the manipulations of others, who simply seek to gain advantage; The Bible implores us to master our own emotions, lest we become slave to the very same.
Romans 6:16-18    And many of us do become slaves for this very reason.

Ultimately this slavery does not lead to our satisfaction, nor to the peace or the joy we seek for our hearts. It does, however, often lead to trickery and treachery.
It must have been this very experience that lead someone to write song lyrics so poignant and title them, "Back Stabbers," a spiritual awakening for sure.

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