Today's lesson comes from John chapter 8 verse 33:
33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”
Plato told the story of a dimly lit cave where men were imprisoned. Light from outside the cave made it possible for the men to see shadows on the wall, but nothing more. They could not see things as they really were. One day, one of the prisoners escaped the cave and came back to tell the other prisoners of the world outside. But they would not believe him. They were happy living in the dark.
The great philosophers and religious teachers come to bring us enlightenment. They come to show another way of living -- a life free from the addictions of our age. They come to show us a way different from the racism, materialism, and militarism which are now and always have been the ways of the world. They come to show us a way different from tribalism and vengeance. They come to unshackle us and set us free.
But we do not believe them. We cannot imagine what it would be like to live outside the cave. We have grown accustomed to being imprisoned in the cave.
Harriet Tubman said, "I set a thousand slaves free; and would have set free a thousand more if they had known they were slaves."
In other words, the first step is always recognizing we have a problem. Without that step, we're happy to stay right where we are - imprisoned in darkness.