A few years ago, through working on a production I ended up listening to a four hour “motivational” session with Benjamin Zander to a room full of Pick n Pay managers. Mr Zander is of course extremely entertaining so I did not mind sitting through it. For those who do not know who he is, he is a well known conductor, but also him and his wife go around and do talks on the power of possibility. His wife actually wrote the book so I guess he is the mouthpiece.
Today I will not be writing about the power of possibility, so you can relax about that. Mr Zander spoke about a saying his father taught him. And this is what i want to focus on today.
The saying :
If a wise book hits a hollow head, its no fault of the book.
Volumes could most likely be written about what that means, so I will focus it even more and relate it to a specific thing…. Have you ever sat in church (or wherever) and the preacher, teacher or speaker is mentioning specific examples. And you internally are checking if what they mentioning applies, and if it does not you feel relieved? Has that ever happened to you?
Thats the beginning signs of Hollow Head Syndrome (ha ha ha just kidding hey). But to explain, you see what the saying is basically implying is that if truth(or any thing wise) comes your way and you don’t fully grasp it, its not the truth or wisdom’s fault its you that have a “hollow head”. I have seen it many times.
What most people do is to reduce the truth or book or wise saying to their own level of understanding, which sometimes truly warps the original intention. Somehow we tend to warp the meaning of the lesson given into our situation. Example, and I am going to make it very literal here for understanding sake.
Let’s say I read the scripture “Blessed are the poor in spirit….” so I hear that and reason in my head that since I am poor and I have a spirit clearly I qualify and can apply the promise of that verse directly to me. Now I know that is being overly simplistic (in case you are guilty of having a hollow head I made it too simple to misinterpret ha ha ha). That is definitely not what Jesus meant when saying that, so I would say the is Hollow Head In Action.
Another good example is found in Matthew 23 vs 23 which ends in “You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former” I left out the lines of the verse before that specifically to prove a point. Because what Jesus was seemingly addressing here was the tithing issue, and many people reason it to apply to that because that is what the words before that was addressing. But if you simply look at the line above, Jesus was actually talking about balance. You cannot simply have the set of laws without the true meaning behind it. Thats what He really meant. Anyway I think you get the point.
You see, I think a lot of people do this to scriptures and life in general. They are actually twisting what they hear in order to make sense of where they are or justify where they are. Let’s say a pastor is preaching about the sin of stealing, but because he does not mention your specific sin it renders you not guilty of it….
I think the crux of what I am trying to say here is, think a bit deeper and maybe realize that there are sometimes different things in life and we don’t always understand something fully. That is no reason to “reduce it to your level of understanding”.
Rather let us embrace the truth and open ourselves to the larger meaning, even if it means accepting that we may be wrong. We might just learn about ourselves and others in the process.