Tuesday, 10 November 2009

All that glitters

This photo always catches my eye. I took it a couple of years ago. A firm were promoting a product or service in the City of London. I can't remember what was being advertised but I remember the girls!! Like any man I am drawn by a pretty face and a shapely figure. I suppose also it was the incongruity of these glittery showgirls amongst the soberly dressed outside Liverpool Street Station.

Mackerel can be caught on just a hook covered in silver paper. We are drawn to the brightly coloured and our eye is drawn by the beautiful.

I was reading the Philokalia today which is a collection of writings mainly by monks. There is great wisdom in this book. One of its features is to try and keep those in religious life from being distracted by things that glitter both in front of the eyes and in the memory.

We do not appreciate how much better the blessings of the spiritual world are than the tawdry attractions of this present world, which dazzle us with their specious glory and draw all our desire to them. In the absence of what is better, what is worse will take its place and be held and be held in honour. If only we had a deeper understanding of the realities of the divine world, we would not be taken in by the attractions of this world. St Neilos the Ascetic

St Neilos alludes to a technique that might help should you want to not be dominated by such distractions if you find them unhelpful. If you are drawn by the superficial try and fill your thoughts with the substantial, something better.

Carefully guard your thoughts because they are the source of true life. Proverbs 4.23
Don't try and repress the thoughts as this will make things worse but just try and take them somewhere else. Phillipians 4.8 is worth having in your memory bank.

Also it is good to use a bit of common sense for it is silly of me to think that those pretty girls would take an interest in me were they not hired to do so!!!
Go well!! MG


  1. Ah Mal

    But aren't we missing the point by failing to appreciate that this is God's good creation and we are his co-workers - albeit flawed!! Sure..there are temptations but there is something of this world, namely the best bits and all that is good and noble and lovely that will endure..there will be no discontinuity in these things between the now and the not yet.

    Isn't the spiritual world highly physical..certainly the resurrection body will be!!

    Appreciate the blog!!


  2. I have been reading the song of solomon and am developing a new appreciation of the sensual within the divine. As I look at these girls and the suited people around them, I think about how dull we have become in our appearance and how we may have sacrificed our expression of our individuality in order to be accepted. Bring on the glitz and the exotic to awaken our senses and perhaps also the divine within us?!