February 21-A, 2023

Storm Clouds at Bath Creek 10/14/2013 Oil Paint Rendered — Bath, North Carolina
We are missing authenticity.
We can't be authentic
and play the game
of not playing the game.

The game of having our way
and striving to get it.

It is a game of 10,000 moves,
and much more intricate
than three dimensional chess.
It is played against everyone
in our field of action,
and each of them is playing it
against everyone in their field of action,
and we all swear we are not playing a game.

We are missing authenticity.

The authenticity of a Ponderosa Pine, say.
Or, everything in the world of nature, say.

Everything there is just what it is,
"As one thus come,"
and nothing is pretending to be something else.

Wolves in sheep's clothing
are not to be found 
among actual wolves.

We cannot be authentic 
and hide from our motives,
or from ourselves.

The joke here is on us--
how can we hide from ourselves?
That is the deepest kind of denial!
The kind that doesn't know itself
what it is doing.

And it happens all of the time.

Did someone say,
"Emptiness! Stillness! Silence!"?

I was just thinking that!
Emptiness, stillness and silence
are the way to authenticity.

We cannot kid ourselves
and tune into emptiness, stillness and silence.
We kid ourselves best
when we are into drugs and alcohol.
Emptiness, stillness and silence
don't stand a chance
against drugs and alcohol.

And authenticity doesn't depend on them
to get through the day.

No wonder that it is the one thing
most often missing from our life.


Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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