OPC has posted to its website a four part video about Jean Vanier’s talk about Healing and Inner Liberation. Jean Vanier founder of L’Arche and Faith and Light communities sits down for interview with Heather Lee Kilty about healing relationships and ideas about psychotherapy and counselling.
OPC has posted to its website a four part video about Jean Vanier’s talk about Healing and Inner Liberation. Part one of four.
I noted Jean Vanier is the author of “Becoming Human” and some other books. According to his message in this video, we live in a world where fear is all around us:
- Fear of diminishing and death
- Fear of rejection – social and relational aspects of fear
- Fear of chaos, no meaning in life, loneliness
Hence, we need to find ways not to be controlled, motivated or subdued by fear. He observed that we all normally try to hide our fragility, poverty and vulnerability, particularly in a society that is very competitive. We need to reveal these, otherwise we create walls around our hearts in this competitive world in order to prove we are better than others. This kind of fear-driven motivation permeates in religions and cultures, where people compete to prove that their god is the best god, and their culture is the best culture. But we are healed by those who are rejected. He proposed that if we want to understand the fundamental mechanism of society, we need to listen to those who are rejected. They will tell us something about the mechanism of rejection.
I find his message meaningful, as it reminds me that it is good to acknowledge and embrace our vulnerabilities and fragilities, such as our fears, so that we become more human, and we also become more humane because we are then able to empathise with others in their own vulnerabilities and fragilities.
I was also checking out his book “Becoming Human” in Amazon.com, and I like what this reviewer said about his book:
“I came across this book after reading a footnote in one of Henri Nouwen’s book. It first caught my attention in one of Neowen’s passages. I was quite intrigued by Vanier’s insight and remarks. Once reading Becoming Human I was again reminded of the sanctity of life. “We are simply human beings, enfolded in weakness and in hope, called together to change our world one heart at a time.” (p.163) Vanier’s insight into the human heart brings a chilling reminder that we are not a society of the strong and intelligent, that is just part of being human. Understanding our weaknesses and brokeness brings us to a fullness that God originally intended for us.”
(From a book review of “Becoming Human” by Jean Vanier in Amazon.com)
Yes, acknowledging and understanding our weakness and brokenness enables us to accept that we are only being human, and this acceptance is able to connect us with ourselves and others as fellow human beings, which can bring about more unity and wholeness, individually and collectively.