Radical Pedagogy

Written by:
Gene Marshall

Our job as prophets of Reality, as teachers of religion and ethics, as aware persons of our profound humanness is to tell the truth. We just tell the truth as we see it; the truth we genuinely believe has been shown to us by that Final Reality that baffles us as it also informs us. We begin such radical pedagogy from within our own awareness of how Final Reality has revealed to us some measure of truth. We do not know the whole Final Truth, we only know what has been revealed to us a measure of truth that makes real for us our commission to speak truth to our times.

As radical pedagogues, it is our assignment to be as clear as we can, honoring all sources of truth scientific, contemplative, and socially practical, workable ethical insight. Radical pedagogues just tell the truth, live the truth, keep learning the truth, and stick to doing so.

We are not responsible for other people accepting the truth we speak. That is their responsibility. We cannot manipulate them or force them to see what we see. Wecan only present to them an opportunity to see what we see, and thereby provide them the opportunity to choose or not choose to see it. We can in no way prevent them from going along with their current indifference, half truths, and downright lies. We can perhaps show them how what they believe or tend to believe is not the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. We can ask them to inquire of themselves if they actually believe what they take to be true. We might even make fun of the lies they believe, perhaps humiliating them for their gullibility in comforting themselves orhurting themselves with their untruths. But we have no power to hinder them from rejecting the truth we try to share. And we have no powerto assist them in submitting to that new edge of truth that we are presenting. This is their choice, and their choice alone. We are powerless to change that. We might profit from the style of Jesus, who said what he had to say, and keeping on walking down the road to say his say to others. Truth is a matter to be settled between the essentially free person and the Author of that freedom.

Therefore, our success as a prophet of truth is not measured by other peoples responses. Our success is only measured by our actually telling the truth, and how well we do so. We must expect all who live otherwise to be offended by the truth. We must expect people to delay for days or even years before they hear the truth that we speak. We have no control over when they hear, or if they ever hear, or even if they want to hear. Our pedagogy is itself a lie if we assume we have any control over the results of our pedagogy. We may never know for sure the results of our pedagogy. And we do not need to know.

If people respond with bitter tears over having been so gullible as to believe the lies that we have challenged, we can guess that Reality is using our words to bring these persons home to Reality. We can welcome them with our certainty of Realitys forgiveness and provision of a fresh start. But we have no control over whether they will accept such forgiveness or begin a fresh start.

All we can know for sure is whether we are speaking the Truth that Reality has revealed to us. And we know this not by other peoples responses, but by our own inner assurance. This Spirit of Truth rising in our own most personal being is our only certainty. Such certainty is a solitary thing.

There is no other authority.

Reality will provide us with people who join us in loving the truth and with people who reject us and the truth we tell. Both are valuable gifts to us. As Jesus suggested to his disciples when they meet rejection: Dust off your shoes in protest to that village and move on to the next village. We certainly do not need to moan or complain about rejection, or waste time analyzing the rejecters. Just tell the truth, and move on to tell the truth some more. The results are entirely out of our control.

If it takes a hundred years for most people to hear what we say and act upon that truth, such delay, or lack of it, is not our concern. To be concerned about the results of our witnessing is a type of co-dependence; a craving for support that we in no way need. The deniers of truth have no support to give us. And if they cease to lie, that is still no support. Our only support comes from the Spirit of Truth.

[Realistic Living Pointers, March 15, 2015]

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