Fakeness is rampant in the world. Fake items are passed off as luxury goods and lies masquerade as truth. The whole world is filled with bogus and sham. Not infrequently, difficult to separate the fake from the true. We may think that since the present reality is such no need to distinguish and lose our peace of mind. We forget this is dangerous thinking. So begins an article in Bible and Life by a diocesan Peace and Justice Committee head.
The problem is that the fake passes itself as genuine. Those dealing with the counterfeit know that it is not genuine and right from the beginning are out to deceive. This is the work of evil. Sometimes it's deception about life itself. What is not God is passed off as God, bogus love is given as true love, a life which is not life is used to deceive and harm true life. Consequently the need to distinguish between truth and the false.
How does one distinguish between the bogus and what is true? We need to search for the essences of our realities. He gives the example of those who spend their time roaming the mountains to find ginseng roots. One searcher knows thousands of different herbs and plants except for the ginseng plant, the other has no such knowledge but knows the ginseng plant. It's obvious who will be finding the ginseng root. We have in Matthew's Gospel 4: 1-11, the temptation of our Lord where he knew how to distinguish between the false and the true.
"I am the light of the world; anyone who follows me will not be walking in the dark; he will have the light of life." "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life." Both from John's Gospel, however, still very difficult to distinguish. Not only do we not know the essential we are absorbed with the nonessential. We are so busy with all kinds of complicated matters our heads are spinning and we forget who and where we are.
The perplexity of life clouds our minds and we don't clearly see what we are about. Like a clean window but with time gets dirty and we can't see anything beyond the window. The bogus which finds such a favorable climate in society finds a place in our own hearts. To prevent this from happening we have to simplify our lives. We are like a person standing before the front door of our house fishing inside our pockets for the key. Too many things in the pocket and difficulty finding the key. If the key is the only thing in the pocket no problem. We have to empty and simplify our lives.
Our Lord reminds us: "Yes, if you mean yes, No if you mean no anything more than this comes from the evil one." Our lives are too complicated to distinguish between 'Yes' and 'No' the genuine and the bogus. We have to rid ourselves of the non-genuine. Why is it difficult to love? Hundreds of excuses, explanations hide the simplicity of the life we should be living and see the difference between the true and false.
In Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale: ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ in the last scene when the king comes to visit it was a child who broke out laughing when he saw the naked king. Everybody else remained quiet but the child's simplicity was not overcome by the fear of the crowd and their thoughts. He was quickly able to see the reality of the naked king. We need to become simple as children and put aside the fakeness of much we see.