Saturday, September 1, 2012

Taking Control of Your Life

Taking Control of Your Life

Such a seductive concept, that one can take control of one's life.  But what does it really mean?  Is it possible?  And most importantly, if it is possible, is it desirable?

My answer to all those questions is quite simply, "I don't know."

Sometimes I think I know.  And maybe, as someone said, "We know more than we know we know," applies here.

There are so many selves inside us, I guess it depends on which self is currently on stage, whether or not we believe we are in control of our own lives.

My "teaching" self certainly feels in control because I seem to know so much, and if by some chance someone needs to know what I know and I can share it with them, I really feel "in control."

How good it feels to feel in control, I will not deny!

However, most of my selves know most of the time that I -- that little I -- is only a puppet, jerked around by strings held in the hands of the "bigger" selves who know what the script is and are following it.

Ah, the script, but who wrote the script?

Bert, my oldest McLelland grandson, started to high school this fall and was telling me about a mock trial that was held in his history class.  Martin Luther was being tried by the Catholic church for heresy.

And Bert was playing the part of Martin Luther.

As he relayed to me what happened in his classroom,  I was reminded of this concept of being in control of your life.  Here's what happened:  The trial was designed to follow a script, like a play.  Somehow, in the process of preparing for the rehearsal, some people got only bits and pieces of the script, different pieces.  Some lawyers had only the answers to the questions.  The defendents had only the questions  to be asked, not the answers.  Only one person, perhaps the judge, had the whole script.

Bert, who was playing Luther, knew what questions he would be asked, but he didn't have the scripted answers, so he made up his own which completely bamboozled the student playing the lawyer (who possibly knew very little of history and of Luther's trial.)

As it turned out, Luther was acquitted because the prosecution was befuddled.

That often seems to me to be a fairly good description of Life.  We have only a part of the script; we don't have the answers, but have to make them up as we go along.  Only the Judge has the whole script.

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