Ten Rules for Realism

It should not surprise us that history has honored Moses and his descendants?of rule-writing companions.? If realism is your master context, these old?rules still breathe deep common sense.? Here is my 21st Century wording of?the classical Ten Commandments as listed in Exodus 20:

1. You shall not devote your life to any reality more than to Reality with a?capital ?R.?

2. You shall not mistake any names, thoughts, ideas, or symbols, for this?unnamable Reality.

3. You shall not trivialize the symbols that do illuminate this Reality.

4. Keep free a seventh of your time for nurturing your Reality devotion.

5. Honor your ancestry in Reality-devoted living.

6. You shall not murder your neighboring beings.

7. You shall not misuse your sexual powers.

8. You shall not take for yourself what belongs to another.

9. You shall not falsely accuse the life of another.

10. You shall not covet having a life that is not your very own potential.

All the stories surrounding Moses are the wildest sort of historical fiction,?but this truth need not diminish the rich meaning of these old stories.? As the?story goes, Moses, in his concern for his enslaved brothers and sisters, lost?his cool and killed an oppressing soldier.? He then had to flee to the desert.?Walking about one day he spied a strange sight: an ordinary bush, a small?piece of the natural world was enflamed with the Awesome Wholeness of?Reality?with a burning of Awe that did not quit, but turned the space?around it into ?Holy ground??that is, into an Awe-invested space.

The truth that was breaking through to Moses in that signal event was a?vocational calling of astonishing magnitude.? He was to lead slaves from?their captors without getting killed by the pursuing armies of Egyptian?civilization into the wilderness and there construct for them a new kind of?life.? Surely we can all identify with Moses when he cried out, ?Call?somebody else.?

We can also surely identify with Moses when he wanted to know who it was?that was calling him to such a radical vocation.? The answer he got from the?burning-bush revelation was not very satisfying. ?Just say that the IS in?every is has sent you.?? The Final Reality of the Moses dedication was, and?shall ever be, an unnamable mystery.? We still ask the Moses-type?questions:? Who or what sourced this cosmos?? What are we up against in?the horrific events of our overall history?? Will human effort ever make?sense of it all??? Is it truly my best case scenario to devote my life to a?radical?form of realism.? Would I be better off creating for myself a more?comforting view of reality?

Also, in spite of the fact that freedom from the slavery of Egypt was a?blessing to be intensely celebrated on the other side of the Red Sea while?Egypt?s chariots sunk into the mud, this freedom is also an anxiety.? Those?people knew how to be slaves in the then well-ordered Egyptian society;?they didn?t have any experience being freedom in the wilderness.??? Were?they sure they wanted to be free??? Surely we can identify with that?question.? We still have to answer it for ourselves.

It really does not matter to us that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were devoted?to this course of living?? These flawed patriarchs whom we also meet in?these ancient stories were pretty weak recommendations?even if they truly?are ancestors of the Mosaic Spirit wisdom?

Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and a lot of other men, as well as women,?plus Jesus?all thought that the devotion of Moses was ?right on.?? But who?were they?? Even if Jesus did turn out to be another hot burning bush of?Awed expression, he was indeed only an unauthorized peasant, in an out of?the way place, centuries and centuries ago.? It still takes some strong?imagination to see the full blaze of Final Reality in his birth, life, teaching,?death, and living presence among a small selection of ancient religious?fanatics.

Nevertheless, this small community of men and women have expanded, and?their Spirit descendants are still recommending to us that realistic living is?the best case scenario for our one and only lives.

3 thoughts on “Ten Rules for Realism”

  1. James Wiegel says:

    Your description reminds me of a cartoon: 4 or 5 people in lab coats, with their arms out in various extended positions. Sign on the door says “Cosmology Department”. Caption: “Scientists trying to describe the size of the Big Bang”

  2. Isaiah Storywarrior says:

    Following is a modest re-statement of S?ren Kierkegaard?s

    Proof of Truth:

    The proof of the authenticity associated with living in Reality is that this practice at first repels and only later attracts its practitioners; its most zealous enemies have become its most zealous defenders. With every other philosophy or practice the opposite often happens, the closest adherent later becomes an enemy and falls away. The double relationship associated with the practice of living in Reality is the very thing that demonstrates its absolute truth, the fact that it goads just as intensely as it attracts. Generally an adherent?s first relationship is immediately defined as that of a friend, not of an enemy; s/he becomes charmed but then later becomes bored. It is just the opposite with the practice of living in Reality where one is first repulsed. This posture and practice of living in Reality is so full of meaning that it first repels and then attracts, and the repulsion of the contrast is the measure of the inwardness.
    ?S?ren Kierkegaard

  3. Lauri Boyd says:

    I feel inspired by this new visions of the 10 Commandments. I have wrestled especially with #3. I never understood the underlying meaning behind ‘taking a name in vain.’ What a revelation to consider ‘not trivializing the symbols that illuminate’ a mystery that can never be fully described in words. I get it! I finally get it!

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