The Promised Land May Not Be So Far Away After All

All artists know that things in the distance appear smaller than they really are. Perspective is a key talent that great artists master. Yet when it comes to personality and character sometimes I think it may work in reverse. The closer you come to larger than life characters the smaller they appear to be.

Someone said ‘beware getting to close to your idols, the gilt comes off’ and of course many religions teach that man should beware false idols.

Yet living in state of illusion keeps us going from moment to moment — the illusion that the ideal state is out there and if we are dedicated and strong willed we will follow the breadcrumb trail and we will sit atop that mountain and we will gaze out upon the promised land all around.

Yet the promised land is always in the distance, always yonder never around us unless we can drop the illusion — actively become disillusioned and see the promised land is here already — it is within and around in all its facets.

We don’t need to see the good in others or to admire or follow or look up to our elders or our betters we can simply co-exist with those others who do things differently to us — sometimes better, sometimes worse, most times simply different. Perhaps we don’t even need to model ourselves on others — we don’t need role models either. It’s a bit of a shock to unhook from others and to uncouple some of the ideas that have become so entrenched.

It’s a bit frightening to see everyone as equal — and certainly it’s easier to say than to do — it’s hard to line up the vagrant and the duke and see them in the same way — it’s hard to see the CEO and the church flower arranger as equals and yet when it comes to what each is contributing to the world around it is difficult to argue that the CEO of an organisation like Coca Cola contributes more than someone who fills the church with beauty every Sunday. Surely to employ thousands of people around the world is more important than to arrange flowers for a few?

Who can say? But if in the moment on that Sunday whilst singing a hymn or considering a sermon one petal of intense colour triggers a moment of bliss then can that be valued less than a week of toil producing sugary water that blights so many lives with diabetes and obesity?

In the distance the CEO looks the bigger and the flower arranger microscopic, yet as you get closer it makes you wonder doesn’t it?