In preparing for today, I was particularly struck my Jesus’ response to Pilate's question if he is king: “For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."
From the get go, there are a couple of things that the word truth reminds me of. My first thought is usually that earlier passage in John where Jesus says he is the way, truth, and life. It's a verse I memorized in my childhood church (http://www.ghfc.org/).
My second thought is this Thich Nhat Hanh song I like to sing. The second verse goes:
Breathing in, breathing out
I am water reflecting what is real and what is true.
And I feel there is space deep inside of me
I am free.
My third thought is my meditation group. It meets at the http://www.centerfortheworkingpoor.org/ in
As you might be able to tell, the word “truth” or “true” is complicated for me. The above references to truth have very different contexts. As I paused again to reflect on the readings for today and on how to incorporate in my farm life, I think Ive been able to break it down even a bit further. I came to the conclusion that the meaning of the word truth has changed even more since I’ve become a “farmer.”
Last year I was a CSU, Long Beach English Instructor and Chaplain, and at least in the world of academia, "truth" is something objective and is grounded in tradition. A conversation from an academic point of view meant persuading through rhetoric using Aristotle's Ethos, Pathos, Logos toward a TELOS, or end. This is what I taught in English 100. I used my head mostly and saw life as a ladder to climb from lowly adjunct instructor toward being more "king like" -- the top, the head, tenured professor, leader, etc. My sense was that we are climbing toward truth and helping others to climb as well.
However, now I a "farmer" and truth is so much more physical and embodied. Conversation is about sharing our experiences and coming to an understanding of the truth in each of our lives through relationship. The end goal is the process of understanding. In my farm life world, I use my head so much less and instead, I use my hands, my body, and my heart more now. Life seems much more weblike and is about interconnectedness, empathy, understanding, love.
Thedifference between last year in academia and this year at the farm seem to speak so directly to the reading today -- a movement away from a hierarchical conversation to what I see as a process-relational conversation .
Moreso, Jesus' words reminds me of Laura Riding's Unposted Letters to Catherine. Riding talks about a “muddle” of "doing," and this looks like what Pilate and the people are all about. Riding asserts that we cannot fight the muddle of do-ers by "doing." Instead, we must step outside of the muddle and just be ourselves.
Jesus appears to be just that and refuses to become a part of the oppressive muddle that would call him King or crucified. It's about something more I hear him say.