Tuesday, April 03, 2007

One size fits all

While I was away this weekend I read about Procrustes, whose name means "he who stretches". He kept a house by the side of the road where he offered hospitality to passing strangers, who were invited in for a pleasant meal and a night's rest in his very special bed. Procrustes described it as having the unique property that its length exactly matched whomsoever lay down upon it. What Procrustes didn't volunteer was the method by which this "one-size-fits-all" was achieved, namely as soon as the guest lay down Procrustes went to work upon him, stretching him on the rack if he was too short for the bed and chopping off his legs if he was too long.

Can you think of anything that resembles a Procrustean bed? A place where one size fits all? I can think of a place where certain writings and traditions are carved up to make a 'one size fits all'.

This one thing was clear to me though: Wherever you see a Procrustean bed you find a structure/organisation/system that is at odds with the Kingdom of Heaven. What this bed does is it hinders and stifles and strangles and subdues the natural creativity and expression and personality and freedom of the person who is trying to find their way out of their vast cosmos of personal chaos into a universal edenic home of peace and justice.

1 comment:

Rock in the Grass said...

I am amazed at how God creates an infinite variety of people, and we try our best to remake everyone in our own image.


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