Yes, Rich we are all carrying a great deal of baggage, or these ‘occlusions of the self’ as James describes them. James tell us that God is not frightened by us or scandalised “by our cruelty, violence or stupidity”. You refer to “the lies of our temporal facades reflect occlusions built up through long interaction with the social other” and yes, exactly. So many of our weaknesses and defects are played out in reaction to the social other. So could the path towards God and faith not be helped by compassion toward the other, in the realisation that this person or persons have the same weakness, defects and occlusions as we?