Where This Meets That
“Let him among you who is without sin cast the first stone . . .” (John, 8:7)
The latest overhyped doomsday year is in full swing, fueled by an ancient calendar that ran out of pages and crazy talk of a zombie apocalypse. Throw in that this is election year in the U.S., and it only stands to reason that the number of those suspected of being the “Antichrist” is on its way skyward.
Before it gets out of hand, I’d like to take the opportunity to offer my perspective: I is the Antichrist.
Christ is the model of self-sacrifice. He is the “anti-I”.
I is the Antichrist.
What is it that separates us from “Heaven” and indeed drives us to “Hell”? It is I.
I, I, I . . . all these fruits of the Antichrist are borne right here in my Self. When I fail to realize that, I mistake myself as better than others.
The Antichrist dwells in Self and thrives in pride. But pride is blinding and vanity deceiving. Little wonder it drove Lucifer over the edge of Heaven.
Consider that image: “the edge of Heaven”. Where is this “edge” but the opposing edge of Hell. The boundary is within each of us.
When we reach a point of complete self denial, as Christ modeled and many others have done (and we are all called to aspire to), we achieve a state of grace, a tiny plot in Heaven’s garden regardless of where we are geographically, religiously, or cosmically. We have not only transcended those rotten fruits of hatred or despair, but we have also ceased to even be challenged by them. And what is Heaven (or Paradise or Nirvana, etc.) but freedom from everything detrimental? Our mind sees only opportunity for harmony, even to our death.
The opposite is also true.
When we look outwardly for demons, we deny our own role in the world’s ills, thereby wounding the world all the more deeply by our negligence. We slip into a downward spiral of condemnation for fellow man and thus lose progressively more control over our own lives. Pride thus becomes envy, lust, gluttony, and the rest, and the gravity of this path sucks others right along with us.
Ghandi said it most simply: “Become the change you wish to see in the world”.
Jesus said it another way, and I’m going to modify his wording somewhat to emphasize my point: “Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s ‘I’ (‘eye’), but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own ‘I’? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your “I”,’ while the wooden beam is in your ‘I’? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your ‘I’ first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s ‘I’.” (Matthew 7:3-5)
Fact: everyone – including I, first and foremost – is flawed. I have more than enough flaws to keep myself busy in this lifetime without seeking to judge others (though I sadly still do). And when we get busy improving our own selves, something remarkable happens: we start seeing more good in others.
Jesus spoke about this in another parable about the eye (or the “I”). He said, “The lamp of the body is the ‘I’ (‘eye’). If your ‘I’ is sound, your whole body will be filled with light; but if your ‘I’ is bad, your whole body will be in darkness. And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be.” (Matthew 6:22-23)
I used to take this latter parable to apply to the things we choose to consume, but I now read this to pertain to the lens through which we view the world. In other words, both parables are complementary. Tie the two together, and you have my point: I is the anti-Christ.
And so are you.