Starving Surrounded by Food: a Frog
A frog will starve to death even if it is surrounded by food, provided only that it the food is not moving. By the same token, it will starve to death if you feed it bits of non-food, so long as it is the same size as an insect, and moving.
Frogs are not stupid. They are just really good at catching what is food - outside of a laboratory, anyway. Frogs see only one thing at a time, and, moreover, the exact thing they are looking for.
A Trip to the Chicago Art Institute
If our frog went to the Art Institute of Chicago, he would see nothing, unless there were some joke-art mobile made out of dead bugs on tiny wires. Then he would see a buffet.
However, a human might suffer the same problem. Perhaps he has heard about the famous La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat. Looking down at his booklet, he nearly runs into the painting. He looks up, nose nearly pressed agains the canvass, and his anticipation turns to disappointment All he sees are a bunch of meaningless dots. He looks at one dot, then another, and spends the whole day standing there trying to divine what the dots mean.
He is in the exact same position as the frog. He might as well be blind, staring at motionless dots that mean nothing to him.
As the museum guards finally drag him away, he cries out for them to stop. Now he gets it! This is what he sees:
|La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat|
Seurat used a technique called "Pointillism." Countless brush-tip points make up a picture.
Every Murder Tells a Story
Criminal trial lawyers also paint pictures using discrete bits of evidence. If you were to jumble up all the physical evidence and testimony from a murder trial, it would mean nothing. But during a trial, each side organizes it and interprets it to tell the most plausible story favoring its case. To change metaphors, they tell a story.
To put it yet another way, a lawyer might tell the jury in his opening statement that he is going to spend the next twenty minutes showing them what the pieces of the puzzle will look like at the end of the trial. He might say he is going to show them the picture on the box of the jigsaw puzzle. (This is a favorite analogy.)
How to Put Together a Jigsaw Puzzle
A good jigsaw-puzzle putter-together knows to look at the pieces sort of all together, not to focus on each piece. You look. You wait. Then, suddenly, a piece will jump out at you. Eventually, you have the whole picture. Yes, it was put together piece-by-piece, but the pieces are not as important as the whole. And the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Someone who jumps horses over obstacles for fun uses "soft eyes." Someone who lands an airplane on a runway uses "soft eyes," too. At least the Bear, who has done these things, did. It means you don't focus on details, but take it all in. It is also relaxing.
You now know how food looks to a frog, and how the Church looks to the Bear. While everyone else is focussing on Canon 915, or parsing "who am I to judge?" and describing the day's new dot from the Vatican, the Bear is standing back, looking at the whole picture. The whole story. He sees it like a Bear. Like a trial lawyer. Like a storyteller. The Bear happens to think these are excellent things to be if you are trying to understand complex situations. Gestalt, as it were.
Of course, there is a place for those who can learnedly write on Canon 915. But this is not the Bear's way.
When the Bear writes that he sees the Church being repurposed according to the ways of the world, it's because, without a shadow of a doubt, it is. He is not just looking at the Church, but also the world, and correlations emerge; the dots are connected. The world is in the habit of making certain mistakes. Church leaders are now in the habit of officially making the very same mistakes. Therefore, both are animated by the exact same spirit. The West is failing. The Church is failing; not in some different way, but in the exact same way as every other institution.
The Bear could write a book about the dots; about the dead bugs in front of the starving frog, but the truth would be no less unmistakeable. The Bear knows that if you don't see it when the Bear describes it, no amount of dead bugs are going to make you.
Catholics Must Fear Error and Lies, Not Facts
And one last thing. The Church - we - cannot fear facts. If it must, then it is not the Church. That is why the Bear does not worry about saying anything about the Church, as long as it is true. Indeed, the Church - we Catholics - need only fear lies and error. And we need fear and expose those who tolerate them and promote them. Nobody is one of the good guys because of the title he has been given. Nobody is one of the bad guys because he or she lacks a title. Truth remains truth whether it fits in with your understanding of what you should believe or not.