In ancient Rome, returning generals would be given a parade and as the general would be praise on the streets as he passed on his chariot a slave would stand behind him whispering “Sic transit Gloria mundi.” All glory is fleeting. It was a sombre reminder that people’s memories, and our lives are not long lived.
It was also a tool to remain humble and mindful. We are animals. We are human creatures of imperfection and natural desires. We crave to live in social orders. We see out safety, fairness, loyalty, authority, and sanctity. We remember that we are all different in the level we value each of these quality we seek. While we group ourselves and look at the rest as “other” we are fundamentally the same.
It is the spiritual practice to not only seek meaning, purpose and understanding; but also understand context and place. To be honest to the point of discomfort that sanctity does not be sacred or superior. That loyal does not mean uncooperative. That authority does not mean blind respect.
We are all neighbours and all seekers.
As Jung said, “That which we resist, persists.” We resist too much in this world. I resist too much in this world. When I feel the warmth of friction to the world that “is” around me and my world I think “should” be, I endeavour to question my own sense of spiritual bypass. Harmony is not friction, and sometimes we need to work on ourselves as much as the world to polish away the burrs that we stick on and our world finds resistance to.
Peace and Love, Jim