Thursday, January 7, 2010

Divided Loyalties

An unfortunate craze. Life is full of divided loyalties. Imagine genius diluted into a thousand disparate colours. What a mess it is. It never really could be. But, that’s what’s asked of it in this world; a place pumped full of crass mediocrity.

“You find a glimmer of happiness in this world, there’s always someone who wants to destroy it.”

—J.M. Barrie (writer of Peter Pan) played by Johnny Depp in Finding Neverland (2004).

The world chooses half our loyalties for us. Or, as it seems, we do, with a moment’s craziness unto a lifetime of working out something that was never meant to be in the first place. And that’s what we have in the true life story of J.M. Barrie and his once wife, Mary Ansell Barrie. As Barrie himself is enchanted by the Llewelyn Davies children, who incidentally inspire him to write Peter Pan for release in 1904, his marriage falls apart; his jealous wife running off with a censorship boffin. Divided loyalties riddle the entire story.

What a frustrating fix we find ourselves in. Divided loyalties quash most sense of ingenuity and creative spark if they’re to remain unvanquished. Only the brave (or foolish) would upset the applecart and focus on one’s true loyalties.

But, there’s a rank sadness in this for the life lived spent seemingly before it actually starts. And is this not the point of Peter Pan, the story? It challenges and radicalises the status quo... we must all grow up, and quick smart at it! (Supposedly.) That’s probably the biggest disloyalty to the human race right there, especially when we deny our childhood innocence in the process. Peter Pan flips the rationale and not before time!

Once we’ve made our bed in this life we have to lie in it; consequences for our actions come thick and fast. And, of course, this runs ninety degrees against the grain of the heart of our lives; those innate instincts for sin. But realistically, the loyalties raised here don’t have to belong to sin! Many don’t. Indeed, the enforced divided loyalty is often the great travesty.

It is a mighty sad reality when we get ourselves “designed” into a bind as we proceed and decide in life, for decisions must be made. We cannot not decide for ourselves. The world won’t stand for it. Besides, we’re schooled in ‘free will’ from a young age. And free will never has anything to do with real spiritual wisdom, more is the pity.

The point is the flow of life is best divined in purity of purpose. We are too easily distracted and our loyalties are too easily called into question. There’s always someone (or a certain crowd) ready to deride and castigate us for the things we most naturally and most morally do.

Life is about shedding the divided loyalty and to carry on toward fullness of purpose.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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