Martin & the Diet of Worms

I just watched a documentary about Martin Luther. It was narrated by Liam Neeson.

Here I am, and, being honest, as I always try to be; until two weeks ago I didn’t know who Martin Luther was. To me, the only Martin Luther was Dr MLK Junior. I knew there had existed at one time a historical Martin Luther, at a stretch if you had pushed me, I might have been able to guess that he something to do with religion. As to what he did and the effect he had on society, and likely me, sitting at my computer today, I couldn’t have told you.

Martin Luther was born on the 10th of November 1483 in the German town of Eisleben. In his early life, he was a keen student and at the behest of his dad studied for a degree in law at the University of Erfurt; before he qualified, he had some sort of revelation which was further strengthened when he was caught in a storm; he dropped-out of university and became a monk. (As you do…)

I won’t recount the rest of his life as, if you are interested you can check the Wikipedia page yourself, or, listen to the Dan Carlin episode on Munster which gives you some background.

Anyway, the point is that Luther determined that there was not only corruption in the Catholic church (I am not going in to this either as I don’t want to use my ignorance to offend anyone), specifically in relation to the granting of indulgences which were blessings you could buy to guarantee your entry to heaven. You could, even, leave indulgences in your will, so that if your ungodly life ended unexpectedly you would be OK – like an afterlife insurance policy (this was during the Black Death, so death wasn’t that unanticipated).

As I said, I don’t want to (and, can’t) go into the details, although it was also cool that Luther, during his time in seclusion at Wartburg Castle, translated the bible into German so regular folk (like you and me, could read the stories).

The point to me is that he had the nerve to stand-up to the entire Catholic Church, which was the dominant political and religious force in 15th Century Europe and express his opinions about free-speech and an individual’s relationship with god. (Whatever god is or isn’t).

What an interesting period in history.

And the connection between this story and almondemotion? Well – frequently, in my experience, it is the accepted norms, the groupthink or prevailing opinion that creates situations where patients are at risk and creativity is stifled.

We humans have a propensity to enter into a certain way of thinking and stay there indefinitely. Yes, Ignaz was right, you wash your hands and fewer people die. But, if someone is dying in front of you, washing your hands is not necessarily the most important thing. It is priorities and perception.

Luther, I don’t feel, quite understood the power of his words. When you shine a light on a different approach or methodology, prepare yourself for the consequences.

Some folk are waiting for the Matrix, for a holographic universe, others are content with the cricket.

I am not saying that either is more important.

But, hurrah to Luther for ignoring risk to himself, hurrah for standing-up for his beliefs. That is what it’s about.

Acting this way can be good – it can be bad; it can slip into fundamentalism. Yet, to me, the alternative is so benign, so vacuous, we have to do something.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s