Christ’s suffering at Calvary exposes the dark side of humanity for all to see. He deliberately cast Himself as the innocent victim of betrayal, corruption, greed, narcissism, sadism, deceit and, finally, condemned to death. The way of the cross lays bare the dark side of man. On the other hand, it teaches us that we are not alone as our creator empathises with our suffering.

When I speak of dark and light, I do not mean the dark of night or the light of day. I mean the clear light of knowing and the darkness of not knowing, ignorance. Most of humanity lives in ignorance of their sacredness and their own meaning and purpose. We move in the world as if in a dark room. We cannot see whence we came, where we are, nor where we are going.

The Greek philosopher, Plato (428 to 348 BCE), explained his understanding of humanity’s predicament in an allegory called The Cave.

In the allegory, Plato likens people to prisoners chained in a cave, unable to turn their heads. All they can see is the wall of the cave. A fire burns behind them. There is a parapet between the fire and the prisoners, along which puppeteers can walk. The puppeteers, who are behind the prisoners, hold up puppets that cast shadows on the wall of the cave. The prisoners are unable to see these puppets, the real objects, as they pass behind them.

What the prisoners see and hear are shadows and echoes cast by objects that they do not see.

The moral of the story is that the prisoners take the shadows as being their reality because they are ignorant as to what is occurring behind their backs. Their perceptions are, of course, being manipulated. The latter is another point to take home.

In order to know anything properly we need to, primarily, accept with humility that we are ignorant of our true nature. Secondly, we should be thorough and critical in our analysis. Thirdly, we should join the dots all the way from the transcendental to the materialistic. Sadly, this is not an enterprise that we put much effort into.

Rather, we noisily, clumsily stumble and blunder, trying to make sense of our situation and, more often than not, get it wrong. It is my experience that most situations are better seen as being the opposite of what we rationally assume they should be. We insist on living in a dark reality with little or no possibility to know anything worth knowing. Knowing through science or intellect is a poverty-stricken type of knowing. It is self-evident that transcendence lies in that which has made man, not in that which is made by man.

On the cross, Christ experienced the human condition intensely, especially when exclaiming “Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani” or “My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?” Just to state the obvious, everything that Christ said or did on earth was not about or for Himself. In every way He acted as a mirror to show us our own predicament and the path to transcend it. His ever-present divine nature shone through at the end when He finally declared: “It is finished” and “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.”

Our societal norms must reflect Christian values. We need to discard this secular nonsense- David Marinelli

A number of interesting points sprung to mind after contemplating these last words of Christ. Firstly, we cannot possibly ever be forsaken, living as we do in the mind of God. The despair largely arises because we do not direct our attention towards the transcendental goodness of our creator. Christ’s final words were voiced as He turned His attention towards His true nature and this makes perfect sense. On the third day, Christ arose from the dead and manifested His glory, making evident God’s power over suffering, death and evil.

The Christians of the world should set aside their differences and unite. Our societal norms must reflect Christian values. We need to discard this secular nonsense. How can a Christian accept to abide by secular precepts? This is not only a contradiction in terms but a prime hindrance to a Christian life.

We should vote for people who live their faith and not for hypocrites who signal virtues for votes. We should respect people who have different beliefs. We must, however, be true to our own.

Elected national, and unelected supranational, politicians should embrace and reflect truth. They need to openly acknowledge that they are beholden to a higher moral order. Corporate and political elites should pledge their allegiance to the universal principality whose nature is that of goodness, truth and empathy. Their actions should reflect wisdom and compassion.

As Christians, we are called upon to take responsibility for our thoughts, words and actions. We do know that there are consequences. If we behave unskilfully we cannot expect positive results. Christian values are not superstitions or archaic beliefs. They are an effective set of axioms for a mindful, rewarding, fulfilling and interesting life.

Christ’s two commandments, to honour God and to love our neighbour as ourselves, are the basic preconditions for a moral, cohesive, resilient, secure and prosperous community.

In a world where hope is thin on the ground, we should dare to dream and not complain about being forsaken. As Christ did on the cross, let us turn our attention to the highest principality that is our creator. Then everything changes.


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