21 January 2011

Pearls Before Swine

Enjoy this video of a performance of the song which happened to play on my media player as I wrote this blog post and which felt so appropriate as I wrote that I decided to throw it in as a sort of soundtrack for the sheer, unadulterated heck of it:

"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces." - Matthew 7:6

I have had many thoughts, experiences, and relationships which have been sacred to me in various ways. Sometimes I want to share bits of them to illustrate principles or expound ideas. Sometimes I want to share them just because their beauty seems worth expressing. Sometimes I want to invite challenge and clarification of ideas and theories. But I sometimes have feared treating something special too lightly or defiling it by bringing into public scrutiny, like a flower which begins to die when picked for the vase, or a poem whose original meaning is completely perverted by masses who project into it their own more accessible ideas. I also, admittedly, have probably subconsciously feared having closely held paradigms blown apart by being brought to light and thereby scrutinized and revealed as not quite how they looked inside my mind. If I never ask Mom and Dad about Santa, I don't have to know. If I never share my special experience, I never have to find out I'm not the only one. If I never express my love, he won't have a chance to reject it.

It's easier to remember things how you want to when you don't bring them up with others who have conflicting memories, it's easier to believe you're right when you don't expose yourself to challenging notions, and it's easier to cling to romanticized feelings about beliefs or people if you keep them locked away from probing questions or avoid current interactions.

Particularly when it comes to polarizing issues, I think this scriptural passage often is used in defense of a faulty idea. I think that behind a mask of, "There's no point in discussing certain things in a public forum when they are better discussed in intimate settings, with receptive minds and open hearts," is hidden the truer motivation of keeping ideas behind closed doors where enemies can't run with a concession or challenge a theory with credible arguments, or in more manipulative cases, a recognition that keeping the "real" arguments private keeps the opposition hacking away at straw men, making them look more ignorant and less intelligent when potential disciples start to learn the real facts. The gay activist never publicly discusses gay culture's rampant promiscuity and substance abuse, sacrificing solution-seeking to avoiding confirmation of stereotypes. The reparative therapy mentor discusses masculinity detachment theories only with thirsty minds more interested in well-defined steps for escape than in critical analysis. But that's beside the point...sort of. OK, not really. In criticizing this tendency, I cannot deny I may be doing something similar all the time in my own blind ways, despite thinking I'm pretty WYSIWYG. Ah, the easy pitfalls of diplomacy and endeavoring to change paradigms. It's tricky business, isn't it?

According to that interpretation, I may risk throwing some pearls in the coming months. I'm still debating what to say or how. I have admissions left to make which might tempt self-appointed experts on either side of a given argument to analyze my life as if they know enough to piece it all together in their little boxes. I have intellectual concessions to lay out which people might pick up and run with in any of a number of directions faster than I have energy or interest to catch up. I have questions which might actually be answered if asked, and not by those whom I respect or like or support but who might sometimes be right in ways which could make me cringe or could make me jaded, or they could be unanswered when I so hoped for someone to answer. It's all a bit of an uneasy prospect, but this whole personal blogging thing is kinda like that. And the question always accompanies the brink, "What for?"


Bravone said...

Cast away! Just don't call me a swine, even if my thoughts stink. Deal?

Original Mohomie said...

Booooooooo. :-)