Comparison: The Jesuit's Message —

Updated: Aug 10, 2020

Once upon a time, during a period of great personal challenges, I sought out a Jesuit priest who was managing a Chinese convent in Boston. I was experiencing at the time something akin to "serial loss". We, here in Boston, in the first half of the 1990's were experiencing the AIDS crisis in full bloom and I had many friends a partner perish.

My Jesuit friend and I took a walk along the waterfront, stopped on a bench and talked. As with many bits of beautiful truth I've heard over the years, at first the words didn't seem so profound, yet, they never went away; I never forgot them.

He said to me, "I think the only sin in this life, is the sin of comparison."


When we compare, we reduce.

The criteria we use for comparison is by nature dualistic,

while the art we create is beyond definition.

Words can indicate, represent, but not possess.

macro or micro...

We are all unique.

Comparison can be useful to an extent, but,

only to a limited extent;

Comparison is how we communicate.

But when we "believe" our comparisons to others,

we do ourselves and our creations a disservice.

By reducing ourselves to elements, we're inaccurately believing things to be fixed and finite, when they are truthfully, beyond reduction.

.

Either/or, Night/day, Death/life, Loud/Soft, legato/staccato —

Sound/silence...

Even tho we use “gradation,” and nuance, our grey area usually exists between to poles.


How can we get from "either/or" to "both/and?"


It can be terrifying and tough to suspend judgement of musical performances— but terrifically liberating if we can be with the notes without judging them, and knowing that the notes you played were indeed the notes you played, as you played them, and that is fine.

The music that happens at a moment in time is alive in that moment in time; relax, experience, let it go.



"Nobody is superior, nobody is inferior, but nobody is equal either.

People are simply unique, Incomparable. You are you. I am I." ~ Osho ~