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The Most Important Paragraph I Have Ever Read.

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posted on Dec, 18 2011 @ 10:40 AM
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Dear ATSers,

Wonder why I address many people as "Dear" and sign off with "With respect?" Here's the answer.

This paragraph has stuck with me for years. I am getting better at living its meaning, a meaning that seems to be growing in its significance. I'd feel that I failed you if I didn't at least show it to you. I have to admit that I've left out the beginning. Feel free to go here:The Cross before the Crown (It's fourth from the end.) (I've broken it up here for ease of reading.)


. . . It may be possible for each to think too much of his own potential glory hereafter; it is hardly possible for him to think too often or too deeply about that of his neighbour. The load, or weight,or burden of my neighbor's glory should be laid on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it, and the backs of the proud will be broken.

It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly temped to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you meet, if at all, only in a nightmare.

All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics.

There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations---these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit---immortal horrors or everlasting splendours.

This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously--no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner--no mere tolerance, or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment.

Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbour is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbour, he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ vere latitat---the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself, is truly hidden." (from The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis)


This is why you are vital. This is why you are to be loved and not exploited, insulted, ignored, mistreated in any way. Of course, I'll answer questions, but I've already shown you a large part of my heart.

With respect,
Charles1952




posted on Dec, 18 2011 @ 10:45 AM
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Empathy vs Apathy, a simplistically obvious yet impossible concept for many to incorporate.

I think empathy is natural and apathy is a program of trained ignorance.



posted on Dec, 18 2011 @ 10:52 AM
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reply to post by JibbyJedi
 

Dear JibbyJedi,

I wonder if we are saying the same thing. What I got from the paragraph was that the individual human is the only thing that matters, all else will be reduced to dust at some distant time in our universe. We have an impact on everyone we deal with and can affect that person's life now, and through eternity. That thought keeps coming back to me, and has for decades.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Dec, 18 2011 @ 11:10 AM
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reply to post by charles1952
 


Individual human is the only thing that matters? That's a bit narcissistic don't you think? To be like "nothing else really matters" kind of defeats the point of being here and making mistakes we need to learn from and evolve. All life matters to me, and we are all just the same consciousness divided into individual parts experiencing life here subjectively. But we are also being heavily influenced and manipulated by those who know more than the general collective population.



posted on Dec, 18 2011 @ 11:23 AM
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reply to post by JibbyJedi
 

Dear JibbyJedi,

Thanks for writing back. No, I don't think narcissism is at play here. I think it's more humbling than puffing up. I take it to mean that everything that exists on Earth, except our consciousness, will die in the end. The "eternal" part of us is all that will remain. Therefore, it is the most important part.

As you say,

we are also being heavily influenced and manipulated by those who know more than the general collective population.
But we're also being influenced by everyone we deal with. You're influencing me. The music that my radio station chooses to play, influences me.

The reason this paragraph was so important to me is that it points out my responsibility in dealing with everyone else. Am I going to be rude and make the other person grumpy and hateful? Or do I help them out and bring just a little peace and love to their lives?

If I make a mistake, I will learn from it, true. It may also, depending on the circumstances, give someone else a chance to help, or "love," me. We will both benefit from that.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Dec, 18 2011 @ 11:40 AM
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Thats pretty awesome


Thanks.



posted on Dec, 18 2011 @ 11:42 AM
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reply to post by charles1952
 


Well I think we are on the same page then. I'm not really that focused on my own wants and desires, though I do jump at opportunities for mutual win/win benefits when I can. I don't believe I am influenced by all things, just the things I selectively choose to be influenced by, consciously that is, what is happening to me and you on the unconscious/ subconscious levels are another matter.

We do have to "deal with" everyone else, kind of like plants & animals have to deal with us.
I like ancient proverbs, they speak obvious truths that we seem to be so blind to.



posted on Dec, 20 2011 @ 10:10 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 


Incredible advice, reminder, warning - beautiful creed. ...I think it important to remember that we do more than just 'influence' others - in no small way, we help create them.

Unfortunately, some of us, like me, are so focused on the data - the hard info and solid facts - that we forget that that's not what it's all really about. ...Facts and truths don't change - but people do, and our ability to grasp and act, and our willingness to do either changes too. Which is more important than said facts and truths.

I strongly believe Lewis is right - and intellectually I recognize the truth of that paragraph. In practice though, I suspect I fail gloriously at living those truths - and find myself looking around for excuses at this very moment. ...I think I'll go rest now.

But thanks much for sharing Charles.



posted on Dec, 21 2011 @ 12:02 AM
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reply to post by charles1952
 


Hello Charles[1952],

I think that this is an interesting article. I saw it as a statement of truth - we are all important, yet so many of us forget this. We get so caught up in the world of humanity that we forget to be humans of the world.

Thank you for posting this.



posted on Dec, 21 2011 @ 12:13 AM
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Dear all of you,

I'm very haapy that you are finding goodness in this paragraph, as I said, it means a lot to me.

Another thread has just popped up wondering how can we end the circle of hate, anger, and revenge that is threatening the world on so many levels. I think Lewis's truth is the clearest way to do it.

Thank you my brothers and sisters.

With respect,
Charles1952




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