Mark 7:18

“What, do even you understand so little?” exclaimed Jesus. “Don’t you see that there is nothing external to a person, which by going into a person, can defile them,

don’t you know
no don’t know
magic is real
names selves enthrall
contagion is everywhere

you don’t know
no don’t know
family and heritage
occupiers and bullies
deny any belovedness

you don’t know
no don’t know
yet we try
one more time
hope lives within

If you spoke Mazatec the translation would be that the outside “cannot dirty the heart” (Bratcher232).

This sense of a separation of body from spirit, soul from substance, is a bit of the Platonic creeping into Mark. Given the pervasive nature of Greek philosophy at this point in time, this is understandable and can even be tracked back further to early examples of sympathetic magic where only like can touch like.

Yet there are the rituals and tapes that are ingrained from childhood. These tell us that danger is everywhere. To this day we can see it in others and ourselves in a desire for privilege. Rich food is addictive and we’ll give up our heart, our morality, to receive more of it.

We have lived in enough wilderness to know temptation’s power and have seldom enough made it through that to a retreat space where we learn heart’s worth able to hold its own when siren softness calls (remember the scene in the Jimmy Stewart movie, Harvey, when the psychiatrist is finally on the couch and longingly murmurs, “To have her hold out a soft white hand and say, ‘Poor thing. Poor, poor thing’”) or daggers are stared at us and even shoved into us.

How could so many generations of our ancestors have gotten this one so wrong? It will take more teaching than this once to learn about hearts—what hardens them and what allows for change. It will be worth anticipating this coming around again in Mark and in present living. With this awareness, the next time through this gauntlet, we will catch what is going on sooner and be one step closer to gradual or convulsive conversion of heart and then of living.

Though it is a long wave, we are back at 6:52, not understanding the loaves, and also ready for 8:15, not mistaking multiplied power for an increased partnership base with G*D and Neighb*r.

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