Is Earth the Den of Iniquity?

In my attempt to clear out a bunch of stuff I have saved over the years I found this and thought I would provide a link.

http://www.gnosis.org/iniquity.htm
ON JUNE 10, 1991, A COVER STORY APPEARED in Time magazine on the topic of evil. The author, Lance Morrow, did not argue for a particular thesis and did not reach any conclusions. What he did, however, was in a sense more important. He began by stating three propositions:

God is all-powerful.
God is all-good.
Terrible things happen.
Citing several sources, Morrow said that you can match any two of these propositions, but not all three. You can declare that there is an all-powerful God who allows terrible things to happen, but this God could not be all-good. On the other hand, there might be an all-good God who lets terrible things happen because he does not have the power to stop them; thus he is not all-powerful.

This analysis might easily have been stated by a Gnostic of the first three or four centuries of the Christian era, or for that matter by a contemporary Gnostic, such as the present writer. Not that Gnostics were the only ones who recognized this uniquely monotheistic predicament. The supreme medieval luminary of Catholic theology, St. Thomas Aquinas, admitted in his Summa Theologiae that the existence of evil is the best argument against the existence of God. If the concept of the monotheistic God is to be accepted, then the issue of evil has no viable explanation. Conversely, if evil exists, then the monotheistic God as presented by the mainstream religious traditions cannot exist.

Whence Cometh Evil?
Throughout history, religious traditions have accounted for the existence of evil in a number of ways. In primeval times, the undifferentiated nature of human consciousness allowed people to say that both good and bad come from the Divine. Thus archaic shamans would not have found it difficult to say that good and evil are visited upon human beings by the Great Spirit. In the more sophisticated context of Sumero-Babylonian traditions, it was believed that the gods amused themselves by creating terrible things freakish beings, evil demons, and horrible conditions for human life.

To employ a psychohistorical rationale, one might say that when people did not yet possess a differentiated consciousness (which we may equate with the conscious ego), it was relatively easy for them to envision God or the gods as being like themselves, so that the coincidence of good and evil was part of their nature. More advanced spiritual traditions have inherited some of this attitude; thus in mystical Jewish theology we find the notion that God partakes of both good and evil tendencies (yetzirim).

With the growth of consciousness, the mind begins to differentiate between the beneficent and the malefic sides of being. The tension induced by trying to hold a God concept that unites good and evil becomes unbearable, so that it becomes necessary for the mind to separate the two. The notion of radical dualism thus arises. The most prominent example is that of Zoroastrianism. Here the true and good God, Ahura Mazda (sometimes called Ormazd), possesses a divine antagonist known as Angra Mainyu (Ahriman). The two are engaged in a perennial cosmic struggle for supremacy. Although Ahura Mazda is supreme and his ultimate victory is assured, as long as creation endures Angra Mainyu will continue to fight him and bring suffering into the world.

A sophisticated but very impersonal view of evil and its origins can be found in the great religions that originated in India. Most of these imply that evil is part of the unenlightened state of existence, and that the cause of evil is ignorance (avidya). If one attains to a transformed or enlightened consciousness and thus rises above all dualities, one is liberated from karma and from all other conditions in which evil plays a role. Whether such liberation inevitably leads to the cessation of incarnate existence is not always clear, but it is clear that life as one has known it ceases, and with it evil ceases also.

The fourth category is that of classical monotheism as found in mainstream Judaism and Christianity. As some of the other traditions ascribe the existence of evil to God, a malign counter-God, or human ignorance, this position ascribes the origin of evil to human sin.

The creation myth of the mainstream Judeo-Christian tradition, with its story of the Garden of Eden and of the curious events that are said to have transpired there, forms the foundation for this view. This belief holds that the transgressions committed by the first human pair brought about a "Fall" of creation, resulting in the present state of the world. The sin of the original pair passed by inheritance to all members of the human race, who are born corrupt, afflicted by the weight of this "original sin." Such evils as we find in this world, including natural disasters, plagues, and the ruthlessness of the food chain, are all somehow part of the momentous consequences of the Fall.

As some scholars, notably Elaine Pagels, have pointed out, these mythologems inevitably exercise a profound influence on the cultures founded on them. Even in a secularized age like our own, the powerful shadow of such beliefs continues to cast a pall on our minds. One may wonder how differently our history would have proceeded had the guilt of the Fall not been present to oppress the souls of men and women in our culture!

The Gnostic View
All spiritual traditions acknowledge that the world is imperfect; they differ only in how they believe this happened and in what is to be done about it. Gnostics have always had their own views of these matters. They hold that the world is flawed not because of human sin, but because it was created in a flawed manner.

Buddhism (regarded by many scholars as the Gnosticism of Asia) begins with the recognition that earthly life is filled with suffering. Gnostics, both ancient and modern, agree. Suffering is indeed the existential manifestation of evil in the world. Although humans, with their complex physiology and psychology, are subject to torments of a singularly refined nature, the fear, pain, and misery of all other creatures is evident as well. To recall St. Paul's insight, all creation groans and travails in pain. Yet Gnostics have not been inclined to attribute such misfortunes to the sin of the first human pair. They reasoned that it makes much more sense to say that the world has not fallen but was made in a sadly imperfect manner to begin with. To put it in slightly more abstract terms, evil is part of the fabric of the world we live in; it is part and parcel of the existential reality of earthly life. If indeed there is a creator of this reality, then it is assuredly this creator who is responsible for the evil in it. Since, for the monotheistic religions, this creator is God, the Gnostic position appears blasphemous to conventional believers, and is often viewed with dismay even by those who consider themselves unbelievers.

The Gnostic position may need to be considered in the light of the historical roots of the tradition. According to most contemporary scholars, Gnosticism originated in the Jewish religious matrix (probably in its heterodox manifestations) and then came to ally itself with the Jewish heresy that became Christianity.

Thus the Gnostics were confronted with the image of the monotheistic God in the Old Testament and its adaptations in the New Testament. They faced a God who was often capricious, wrathful, vengeful, and unjust. It was easy for them to conclude that this flawed God might have created a world in his own flawed image. The greatest of all questions the Gnostics asked was this: is this flawed creator truly the ultimate, true, and good God? Or is he a lesser deity, who is either ignorant of a greater power beyond himself or is a conscious impostor, arrogating to himself the position of the universal deity?

The Gnostics answered these questions by saying this creator is obviously not the true, ultimate God, but rather a demiurgos ("craftsman"), an intermediate, secondary deity. This Demiurge whom they equated with the deity of the Old Testament was the originator of evil and imperfection in the world.

Thus the apparent blasphemy of attributing the world's evil to the creator is revealed as originating in the Gnostics' confrontation with the monotheistic God. Kindred movements, such as Hermeticism, did not face this predicament: being pagans, the Hermeticists did not inherit the dark, ambivalent figure of the Old Testament God, so they were able to adopt a less harsh position. (Ironically, today many people tend to favor Hermeticism over Gnosticism for this very reason.)

Many have tried to evade recognition of this flawed creation and its flawed creator, but none of their arguments have impressed Gnostics. The ancient Greeks, especially the Platonists, advised people to look to the harmony of the universe, so that by venerating its grandeur they might forget their own afflictions as well as the innumerable grotesqueries of ordinary life. "Look at this beautiful world:' they said; "see its superbly orderly way of functioning and perpetuating itself, how can one call something so beautiful and harmonious an evil thing?" To which Gnostics have always answered that since the flaws, forlornness, and alienation of existence are also undeniable, the harmony and order of the universe are at best only partial.

Those influenced by Eastern spirituality have at times brought up the teaching of karma whereby one's misdeeds generate misfortune later in life or even in another life as explaining the imperfection of the manifest world. Yet a Gnostic might counter that karma can at best only explain how the chain of suffering and imperfection works. It does not tell us why such a sorrowful system should exist in the first place.

Qualified Dualism
As we noted earlier, one way of explaining the existence of evil was radical dualism, of which the Zoroastrian faith is a possible example. The Gnostic position, by contrast, is not of a radically dual nature; rather it might be called "qualified dualism." In a simplified form one might define this position as declaring that good and evil are mixed in the manifest world; thus the world is not wholly evil, but it is not wholly good either. If the evil in the world should not blind us to the presence of good, neither should the good blind us to the reality of evil.

Here we might resort to the approach that was most favored by the Gnostics themselves the mythological. (The power of this method has been rediscovered by such contemporary figures as C. G. Jung and Joseph Campbell.)

Myths telling of the commingling of good and evil in creation predated the Gnostics. One of these tales is the Greek myth of Dionysus. When this god was torn apart by the Titans, Zeus came to his aid and blasted the malefactors with a thunderbolt. The bodies of both the Titans and Dionysus were reduced to ashes and mixed. When all sorts of creatures, including humans, rose from these ashes, the divine nature of Dionysus was mingled with the evil nature of the Titans. Thus light and darkness are at war with each other within human nature and in the natural world.

The Gnostics had their own myth about the origins of good and evil. They began by speaking of a boundless, blissful fullness (Pleroma) that dwells beyond all manifest existence. The Pleroma is the abode of and constitutes the essential nature of the true, ultimate God (alethes theos).

Before time and memory, this ineffable fullness extended itself into the lower regions of being. In the course of this emanation, it came to manifest itself in a number of intermediate-deities who were rather like great angels endowed with enormous talents of creativity and organization. Some of these beings, or demiurgoi, became alienated from their supernal source, thus becoming replete with evil tendencies.

Thus the world-creating will was tainted with self-will, arrogance, and the hunger for power; through the works performed by these alienated agencies, evil came to penetrate creation. Ever since then, as the Gnostic teacher Basilides reportedly said, "Evil adheres to created existence as rust adheres to iron." As one of these created beings, the human entity partakes of the nature of his flawed creators. The human body, being a material creation, is subject to disease, death, and various other evils; even the soul (psyche) is not free from imperfection. Only the spirit (pneuma), deeply hidden within the human essence, remains free from the admixture of evil and tends toward the true God.

Such mythic statements can convey insights in a fashion that is not possible through other methods of communication. At the same time it must be admitted that these myths were formulated long ago and far away and so may profit from certain amplifications and clarifications within a contemporary context.

Contemporary Conclusions
Terrible things do happen, as the Time essay stated. The world is filled with evil, with grotesque horror and universal suffering. Fiendish humans, often possessing great power, torment and slay others daily. The history of the twentieth century offers much proof of rampant wickedness in the world. Believers in the monotheistic God and/or in karma often tell us that this does not matter all that much, because in the final analysis evil really promotes good. They seem to be saying that evil is not really evil at all, but good masquerading in an unpleasant disguise. Yet this kind of topsy-turvy argument is an affront to all those who have looked evil in the face. To present this argument to survivors of the Holocaust or the Gulag or the killing fields would be insulting as well as ridiculous. For these victims, evil is evil, and all else is but an evasion.

Moreover many terrible things happen that are in no way due to human volition. While the perversities of the human condition are responsible for some of the suffering in this world, much of it is not our fault. Frequently, however, we believe that it is. Yet, whether occasioned by the myth of Adam and Eve or by the propaganda of some trendy folk today who make out humans to be the sole villains in the environment, the cultivation of guilt in the human mind is no remedy for evil. On the contrary, guilt usually begets more sorrow in the long run. Let us be done with this self-flagellation and try to mitigate the evils over which we have some control while remembering that it is beyond our powers to eradicate misfortune altogether.

Like the world, humans are a mixture of good and evil. Just as it is impossible to exorcise evil from the fabric of creation, so we cannot entirely get rid of it in ourselves. If human schemes and techniques were able to eliminate evil from human nature, they would have succeeded in doing so long ago.

This is why so many spiritual traditions teach the need for redemption from outside. Every spiritual tradition worth its salt has always possessed a soteriology a teaching about salvation. Gnostics ancient and modern do not perceive liberating gnosis as a do-it-yourself project. We cannot purify or psychoanalyze evil away by our own strength. The Messengers of Light recognized in the Gnostic tradition, such as Jesus, Mani, and others, have always been envisioned as the great facilitators of salvation. Their salvific mission is to enable the consciousness of the individual to experience gnosis. An early Gnostic source, Excerpta de Theodoto, defines this gnosis as the knowledge of "who we were, what we have become; where we were, whereinto we have been thrown; whither we hasten, whence we are redeemed; what is birth and what rebirth."

Many have noted the similarities between these Gnostic teachings and those of Hinduism and Buddhism. In all of these traditions, insight into the origin and nature of the manifest world is seen as liberating us from it and its evils, reuniting our spirits with transcendental reality. Unlike the great Eastern religions, however, Gnosticism specifically identifies the root of all evil as the faulty creation brought about by spiritual agencies of limited wisdom and goodness.

The Gnostic view of the human condition thus also differs from the modern secular view. Gnostics do not share the assumption of many in our culture that there is a purely naturalistic and humanistic remedy for evil.

Contemporary Gnostics for the most part agree with the fundamental insights of their ancient counterparts. Do modern Gnostics believe in the Demiurge? Do they believe in Messengers of Light? Do they regard such ideas as metaphysical truths or as mythologems hinting at more subtle and mysterious realities? The answer is that some Gnostics may believe these things more in a literal sense, while others may believe them symbolically; still others may hold a mixture of both views.

What matters is not the precise form of these teachings but their substance. And this is clear enough. It speaks of the reality and power of evil, of its fundamental presence in all of manifest existence. It declares that while we may not be able to rid the world or ourselves of evil, we may and indeed will rise above it through gnosis. And when the task of this extrication is accomplished, then we shall indeed no longer fear the noonday devil or the terror that walks by night.

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Kat's picture
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>>Gnosticism specifically identifies the root of all evil as the faulty creation brought about by spiritual agencies of limited wisdom and goodness.

To give a clear, though simplistic, example of the relativity of good and bad/evil... When a child in the 2nd grade is able to read on a 2nd grade level, that's good. When a 2nd grade child is able to read on a 6th grade level, that's an even greater good. And when an adolescent repeatedly fails his courses, we'd not only say that's bad, we'd likely assume such a child is probably stupid.

But when a child graduates cum laude from college at age 13, we'd hail him as a prodigy, a genius. And if the same child has also been nominated, twice, for the Nobel Peace Prize, few would hesitate to say he's not only a genius, he must also be a good person.

We know the difference between a good person, a bad person, and all those who fall somewhere inbetween, through comparison. We develop the ability to make such comparisons, which take into account not only what a person actually does, but what they are capable of, through personal experiences.

In 2002, Greg Smith, the genius in the example above, was a delegate at the United Nations' first children's summit - a fractious meeting which ended with approval of a compromise children's rights document that pleased virtually no one. Greg said, "I saw firsthand how countries that didn't want to deal with these issues sabotaged the document." His mentor, psychology professor Michael Wessells, said, "He was quite upset by the level of political rhetoric and all the self-serving positions that were taken. It was a bitter pill for him, but that's part of growing up. He didn't lose his idealism, but tempered it with a better sense of reality."

So, based on the above, would you say that this first-ever children's rights document is good, bad, or somewhere inbetween? Even if it's a compromise, and thus not as good as it could be (by some delegate's standards), if it were to be rigorously implemented in every country, most would probably say it's good. If an 'even better' children's rights document were later approved, but most countries disagreed with it and refused to implement it, would we still say it was better?

What does this have to do with the article's assertion that the root of all evil is the faulty creation brought about by spiritual agencies of limited wisdom and goodness? If a spiritual agency of limited wisdom and goodness created an imperfect planet populated with imperfect beings, wouldn't our assessment of whether this creation was good, evil, or somewhere inbetween, depend on whether or not these imperfect beings had the desire and ability to continuously improve themselves?

Suppose that, at first, these imperfect beings were capable only of rudimentary instinctual behavior, but, over time, also developed the ability to feel. Suppose their feelings/desires eventually lead to them developing the ability to think - and thus to become self-conscious. A furthur sophistication of this ability might include reason, abstract thought, which might eventually allow them the possibility of overcoming the shortcomings inherent in their residual instints and desires.

At this stage of development, such beings would most likely notice what seemed to be numerous flaws in the creation they were part of, but would they be justified in judging it to be bad/evil? Based on their limited view of how much they had achieved, and the time required for such achievement, they might assume that no further growth of consciousness was possible for them. And based on the glacial speed of their own growth of consciousness, they might also assume that no further growth of consciousness was possible for any 'flawed spiritual agent' which may have created them. But would such assumptions be logical, or true?

To my mind, such assumptions are as flawed as the judgment that an adolscent who repeatedly fails in math is likely to be stupid. Many biographies of Albert Einstein say that, at times, he got so board with his schoolwork he stopped doing it and consequently failed math. From the time he was very young till his death, he would only study what he wanted to. Einstein's mathematics professor, Hermann Minkowski, got so angered with Albert's lack of interest in the class, he called Einstein a "lazy dog." Early on, the gifted are frequently so-misjudged - as stupid, lazy, or failures. Imho, all of humanity, creation itself, and any creative agencies, flawed or otherwise, who played a part, are all frequently misjudged in the same way. Earth's and humanity's story isn't over yet, and it may have a much happier ending than the current plot-line would seem to imply.

Kat

udanax's picture
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But it might be the kitchen or bathroom.

Kat's picture
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I sometimes call it the insane asylum of the solar system.

Kat

udanax's picture
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Hey Kat....was that insane or inane?

plw12752anderson's picture
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As we blather ad nauseam ... LOL -----------------------------Truth is stranger than fiction.

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http://www.csicop.org/si/2005-09/eth.html
The God of Eth
Are the usual religious defenses of belief in God really up to the job? A dialogue.

STEPHEN LAW

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Most people who believe in God assume their belief to be pretty reasonable. “Perhaps God’s existence can’t be conclusively proved,” they’ll say, “but it’s a fairly sensible thing to believe—far more sensible than, say, belief in fairies or Santa Claus.” But are they right?

Christians, Muslims, and Jews all believe that God is both all-powerful and all-good. Indeed, God is often characterized as an infinitely loving father. Yet most of the popular arguments for the existence of God allow us to deduce little if anything about his moral character. Take the argument from design, for example. Even if it can be shown that the universe does show signs of design, what’s the evidence that its creator is all-good?

There is also a well-known argument that, even if the universe was created by an all-powerful being, that being is not all-good. The argument is called the problem of evil, and runs roughly as follows: if God is both all-powerful and all-good, why is there so much suffering in the world? Why does God inflict earthquakes, floods, famines, and the Black Death upon us? Why does he give small children cancer? Why does he make life so grindingly miserable for so many? Why does he arrange for millions of us to end our lives horrendously scarred—in many cases both physically and psychologically crippled—by the world he created for us? This hardly sounds like the behavior of a supremely compassionate and loving father figure, does it? Surely, there’s overwhelming evidence that the universe is not under the control of a limitlessly powerful and benevolent character.

Many find this argument compelling. But of course, there are plenty who believe the problem of evil can be dealt with. How? Religious thinkers have, over the centuries, developed a number of ingenious solutions. Here are some popular examples:

The free-will solution. God gave us free will. We are not blind automata, but free agents, capable of making our own choices and acting on them. As a result of God having given us free will, we sometimes choose to do wrong. We start wars, steal, and so on. So some suffering results from our possessing free will. However, it is still better that we have free will. Free will is a very great good that more than compensates for the suffering it can bring.

The character-building solution. We know that a bad experience can sometimes make us stronger. We can learn and be enriched, through suffering. For example, people who have suffered a terrible disease sometimes say they gained greatly from it. Similarly, by causing us pain and suffering, God allows us to grow and develop both morally and spiritually. It is only through our experiencing this suffering that we can ultimately become the noble souls God wants us to be.

Some goods require evils. Theists often point out that God inevitably had to include quite a bit of suffering in his creation in order that certain important goods could exist. Take, for example, charity and sympathy. Charity is a great virtue. Yet you can only be charitable if there exist others who are needy. Similarly, you can only sympathize with someone whom you perceive to be suffering. Charity and sympathy are so-called “second order” goods that require “first order” evils like neediness and suffering (or at least the appearance of such evils) to exist. It’s argued that these second order goods outweigh the first order evils, which is why God allows the evils to occur.

Play the mystery card. Some theists point out that God works in mysterious ways. It’s arrogant of us to suppose that we can understand the mind of an infinitely powerful and wise being. The evil God inflicts upon us is, actually, all for the best. It’s just that we, being mere humans, can’t see how.

Many believe that these and other similar arguments largely take the sting out of the problem of evil. Some think they dispose of the problem altogether. I find them utterly inadequate. The following dialogue is my attempt to convey why.

Welcome to Eth, a modestly proportioned planet on the far side of our galaxy. Here, beneath the great marble spires of Eth’s finest university, the debate of the age is taking place. Arrayed on either side of the university’s Great Chamber are Eth’s finest scholars and thinkers. They are here to decide the most controversial and emotional issue dividing the inhabitants of Eth: Does God exist?

To the right of the Great Chamber are arrayed the believers. To the left sit the skeptics. The public galleries are nearly bursting with those waiting to observe the proceedings. At the end of the debate, the audience will vote.

Booblefrip, the birdlike Professor of Origin, and Gizimoth, the portly Arch-logos Inquisitor, lead the debate.

Gizimoth: Here, on Eth, many of us believe in God, do we not?

Booblefrip: Certainly.

Gizimoth: So what is God like?

Booblefrip: Well, God is all-powerful, of course. God can do anything. He created the entire universe, including every last one of us. God’s awesome power knows no bounds!

(A whisper of approval ripples across the believers on the right side of the Great Chamber.)

Gizimoth: Let’s agree about that, then. God, if he exists, is omnipotent. But here on Eth, those who believe in God also attribute another property to him, don’t they?

Booblefrip: Yes. As you know, we also believe that God is all-evil.

Gizimoth: Can you explain what you mean by that?

Booblefrip: Not only does God’s power know no bounds, neither does his depravity. His cruelty is infinite; his malice without end.

(Booblefrip casts a cool look across the right side of the chamber.)

Gizimoth: I see. All powerful. And all-evil. Now Professor Booblefrip, do you think that you could briefly explain why you think it’s reasonable to believe in such a being? What grounds can you provide to justify belief in this evil God?

Booblefrip: Well, I don’t say I can conclusively prove beyond doubt that God exists. But it seems to me that there are at least two rather good reasons for believing in God. First, it seems obvious to me, as it does to many, that the universe must have come from somewhere. Don’t you agree?

Gizimoth: Of course. The scientists assembled here will tell you that there is a perfectly good scientific explanation for the existence of the universe—the Big Bang. About 14 billion years ago, an unimaginably violent explosion occurred, in which all matter and energy came into existence, and in which space and even time itself began.

Booblefrip: We’re all familiar with the Big Bang theory, Professor Gizimoth. But of course, the Big Bang really only postpones the mystery of why there is anything at all, doesn’t it? For now we need to explain why there was a Big Bang. Why did the Big Bang happen? Science can’t explain that, can it? There’s a real mystery here, isn’t there?

Gizimoth: Hmm. Perhaps.

Booblefrip: The only satisfactory explanation we have for why the universe came into existence in the first place is that God created it. So, there’s my first reason to believe in God.

(Gizimoth frowns—he’s clearly not buying Booblefrip’s argument—but he encourages Booblefrip to continue.)

Gizimoth: And your second reason?

Booblefrip: Take a look around you at the wonders of the universe. Life. Conscious beings like ourselves. Do you suppose that all this appeared just by chance? Surely not. The universe shows clear signs of design. And where there’s design, there’s a designer!

Gizimoth: But science can explain life. What about the theory of natural selection? That explains how, over millions of years, life forms evolved and developed. It explains how complex life-forms can gradually evolve from even the simplest of bacteria. Science can perfectly well explain life without introducing your supernatural designer.

Booblefrip: Natural selection can’t explain everything. For example, it can’t explain why the universe was set up to allow natural selection to take place in the first place, can it?

Gizimoth: Hmm. Well, no, it can’t explain that.

Booblefrip: Did you know that if the laws governing the universe had been only very slightly different, the universe would not have survived more than a second or two? Either that or it would have quickly dissipated into a thin sterile soup, incapable of producing life. For life to emerge and evolve, you need very specific conditions. The universe must be set up in an extremely precise fashion. And of course, we know that it was set up in just this way, don’t we!

Gizimoth: I guess so.

Booblefrip: Now, that it should just happen to be set up in just this way by chance is too much to swallow. That would be a fluke of cosmic proportions. It’s much more sensible, surely, to suppose that someone deliberately designed the universe this way, so as to produce life and ultimately ourselves. That someone is God!

(Another warm ripple of approval arises from the right side of the Great Chamber. The assembled academics feel that, so far at least, Booblefrip is getting the better of the argument. But Gizimoth is perplexed.)

Gizimoth: Very well, let’s suppose the universe does show clear signs of having been designed by an intelligent being.

Booblefrip: Ah, a convert!

Gizimoth: Not at all. I’m supposing this only for the sake of argument. You still haven’t given me much reason to suppose that this designer is all-evil, have you?

Booblefrip: But God is, by definition, all-evil.

Gizimoth: But why define God that way? Why not suppose, instead, that God is neither good nor evil? Or why not suppose he is all-good?

(Booblefrip thinks Gizimoth has gone too far.)

Booblefrip: What a bizarre suggestion. It’s obvious our creator is very clearly evil! Take a look around you! Witness the horrendous suffering he inflicts upon us. The floods. The ethquakes. Cancer. The vile, rotting stench of God’s creation is overwhelming!

Gizimoth: Yes, our creator may do some evil. But it’s not clear he’s all-evil, is it? It’s certainly not obvious that his wickedness is infinite, that his malice and cruelty know no bounds. You’re deliberately ignoring a famous argument against the existence of God—the problem of good.

Booblefrip: I’m familiar with the problem of good—we theologians of Eth have been debating it for centuries. But it’s not fatal to belief in God.

Gizimoth: Really? Let’s see. The problem of good, as you know, is essentially very simple. If the universe was designed by an all-powerful, all-evil God, then why is there so much good in the world?

Booblefrip: That’s the supposed problem, yes.

Gizimoth: Why, for example, does God allow at least some people to live out happy, contented, and fulfilled lives? Why doesn’t he torture them instead? If God is all-powerful, he certainly could torture them, couldn’t he?

Booblefrip: Well, yes, he could.

Gizimoth: In fact, he could make their lives utterly miserable. And we know that, since he is also supremely evil, he must want them to suffer. Yet, he gives some people every consideration. Why? It makes no sense, does it?

Booblefrip: Perhaps not at first sight, no.

Gizimoth: Here’s another example. Why does God allow us to do good deeds, to help our fellow Ethians? He even allows us to lay down our lives for each other. These selfless actions improve the quality of our lives no end. So why does God allow them? Why doesn’t he force us to be nasty and do evil, just like him?

Booblefrip: I grant you that the fact that God allows so much noble and selfless behavior might seem like very good evidence that he is not all-evil. But appearances can be deceptive.

Gizimoth: Also, if God is absolutely evil, why did he put so much beauty in the world for us to enjoy? Why did he create such sublime sunsets?

Booblefrip: Good question.

Gizimoth: And why does God give us children, who bring us immeasurable happiness? You see? There are countless ways in which our lives are enriched by God’s creation.

Booblefrip: But there’s also evil!

Gizimoth: True, there’s evil in the world. But there’s an awful lot of good. Far too much good, in fact, for anyone reasonably to conclude that the universe was created by an all-evil God. Belief in a supremely wicked creator is palpably absurd.

(There is much quiet nodding to the left of the Great Chamber. Gizimoth’s argument has struck a chord even with the unbelievers. But Booblefrip thinks Gizimoth’s argument is far from conclusive.)

Booblefrip: Look, I admit that the amount of good in the world might seem to undermine belief in an all-powerful, all-evil god. But actually, we believers can explain why a supremely evil God would allow all these good things to happen.

Gizimoth: By all means try.

Booblefrip: Surely you are familiar with the free-will defense?

Gizimoth: Perhaps you would care to explain it.

Booblefrip: Very well. God’s malevolence is without end. True, he lets us do good. He allows us to act selflessly for the betterment of others, for example. But there’s a reason for that.

Gizimoth: What reason?

Booblefrip: God gave us free will.

Gizimoth: Free will?

Booblefrip: Yes. God could have made us mere automata that always did the wrong thing. But he didn’t do that. He gave us the freedom to choose how we act.

Gizimoth: Why?

Booblefrip: By giving us free will, God actually increased the amount of suffering there is in the world. He made the world far more terrible than it would otherwise have been!

Gizimoth: How?

Booblefrip: Think about it. By giving us free will, God can be sure we will agonize endlessly about what we should do. For free will brings with it the torture of temptation. And then, when we succumb to temptation, we feel guilty. Knowing that being free, we could have done otherwise, we feel awful about what we have done. We end up torturing ourselves. The exquisitely evil irony of it all!

Gizimoth: Hmm.

Booblefrip: By giving us free will, God allowed for far more intense and subtle forms of suffering than would otherwise be possible.

Gizimoth: But what about the good that people sometimes do?

Booblefrip: It’s true that people do sometimes choose to act selflessly and nobly and that this can produce good. But this good is far outweighed by the additional suffering free will brings. Just take a look at the world, for goodness sake! It’s a world full of people who not only behave despicably but also agonize endlessly about what they have done!

Gizimoth: But this is ridiculous!

Booblefrip: Why?

Gizimoth: Well, for a start, this only explains the good that we bring about by acting freely. It doesn’t explain the existence of naturally occurring good.

Booblefrip: Such as?

Gizimoth: Well, what about the glories of nature: sublime sunsets, stunning landscapes, the splendor of the heavens? We’re not responsible for those things, are we?

Booblefrip: No. God is.

Gizimoth: But why would an all-evil God create something that gives us pleasure? Also, why does he give us beautiful children to love? And why does he choose to give some people extraordinary good fortune—health, wealth, and happiness in abundance? Surely, the existence of these goods provides us with overwhelming evidence that, even if the universe has a creator, he’s not all bad?

Booblefrip: You’re mistaken, Gizimoth. Such things are exactly what we should expect if God is supremely evil.

Gizimoth: But why?

Booblefrip: Some natural beauty is certainly to be expected. If everything was uniformly ugly, we wouldn’t be tormented by the ugliness half as much as we are when it’s laced with some beauty. To truly appreciate the ghastliness of the environment most of us inhabited—urine-stained, concrete-and-asphalt wasteland peppered with advertising billboards, drug addicts, and dog dirt—we need to be reminded every now and then that things could be different. God put some natural beauty into the world to make our recognition of the ugliness and dreariness of day-to-day life all the more acute.

Gizimoth: Hmm. But why would a supremely wicked God give us beautiful children to love?

Booblefrip: Because he knows we’ll spend our entire lives worrying about them. Only a parent can know the depth of torture a child brings.

Gizimoth: Why does he give us healthy, young bodies?

Booblefrip: He makes sure that both our bodies and their vitality and health are short-lived. You see, by giving us something and then snatching it away, our evil creator can make us suffer even more than if we had never had it.

Gizimoth: But then, why does God allow some people to live out such contented lives?

Booblefrip: Of course an evil God is going to bestow upon a few people lavish lifestyles, good health, and immense success. Their happiness is designed to make the suffering of the rest of us even more acute! We’ll be wracked by feelings of envy, jealousy, and failure! Who can be content while others have so much more!

Gizimoth: Oh, honestly!

Booblefrip: Don’t you see? The world clearly was designed to produce life—to produce conscious beings like ourselves. Why? So that its designer can torture us. The world is designed to physically and psychologically crush us, so that we are ultimately overwhelmed by life’s futility and bow out in despair.

(Gizimoth is becoming frustrated. Every time he comes up with another piece of evidence that the universe wasn’t designed by a supremely evil deity, Booblefrip turns out to have yet another ingenious explanation up his sleeve. And yet, thinks Gizimoth, the evidence against the existence of an utterly evil God is overwhelming.)

Gizimoth: This is ridiculous. You have an answer for everything!

Booblefrip: Yes, I do have an answer to all your arguments. So far, you’ve given me not the slightest reason to suppose that the world was not created by a supremely evil being. But if you’re unhappy with my answers, let me try a rather different approach. There are some evils that require good in order to exist, aren’t there?

Gizimoth: Such as?

Booblefrip: Take the evil of jealousy. Jealousy requires something to be jealous of. God gave good things to some people so that others would feel jealous. Or take lying. Lying requires that people often tell the truth—otherwise, there would be no point in lying, because no one would believe you. The evil of dishonesty requires that there be a certain amount of honesty.

Gizimoth: And you think this evil outweighs the good it depends on?

Booblefrip: Exactly. God allows some good things into his creation. It’s the price he has to pay for the greater evil.

Gizimoth: These tricky replies of yours are patently absurd. You can’t seriously maintain that the world you see around you—a world full of natural beauty and laughing children—is really the handiwork of an infinitely evil God?

Booblefrip: I do maintain that, yes. True, I may not be able to account for every last drop of good in the world. But remember that we are dealing here with the mind of God. Who are you to suppose you can understand the mind of an infinitely intelligent and knowledgeable being? Isn’t it arrogant of you to suppose that you can figure out God’s master plan?

Gizimoth: I’m arrogant?

(There’s some subtle nodding from the believers on the right.)

Booblefrip: Yes, arrogant. Evil God works in mysterious ways. Ultimately, everything really is all for the worst. It’s just that, being mere humans, we can’t always figure out how.

Gizimoth: Oh, really. This is—

Booblefrip: I think it’s arrogant of you to suppose otherwise—to suppose that you must be able to figure it all out.

(At the end of the debate, the audience votes. After the deliberation, a spokesperson steps forward with their verdict.)

Spokesman: It seems to us that Booblefrip has made a powerful case for supposing the world was created by God. In addition, Booblefrip has provided a compelling defense of belief in this evil being. He has successfully explained why even an evil God would allow a great deal of good. And so the motion is carried—we are persuaded that Evil God exists.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Are you persuaded by Booblefrip’s defense of belief in a supremely evil God? Of course not. His explanations are clearly utterly feeble. Surely, despite all of Booblefrip’s convoluted maneuverings, the fact remains that belief in a supremely evil God is patently absurd.

But of course, Booblefrip’s defense merely flips around the standard explanations that theists offer in defense of belief in a good God. His attempts to explain what good there is in the world mirror the theist’s attempts to explain the evil. If Booblefrip’s explanations are deeply inadequate, why aren’t the theist’s explanations? That’s the question theists need to answer.

Of course, theists consider belief in an all-evil God to be downright silly. And rightly so: there’s clearly far too much good in the world. So why is it that they consistently fail to recognize that the sheer quantity of suffering in the world renders their belief in an all-good God equally silly? Surely, even if the universe does have a designer/creator, isn’t it patently obvious that this being is neither all-evil, nor all-good?
-----------------------------Truth is stranger than fiction.

Peter_Novak's picture
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God is all-powerful.
God is all-good.
Terrible things happen.

There is a third solution to this puzzle : "terrible" does not equal "evil", or even "wrong".

Ancient Judaism, prior to its contact with Zoroastrianism in the 6th century BC, was a true monotheism. That is to say, they genuinely believed in just one God, Who, yes, was both all-good and all-powerful. How then did they account for the existence of evil in the world? Ultimately, they denied its existence. Evil, they believed, was but an illusion born of ignorance. That is to say, so long as a person only saw part of the whole truth of things, it would seem to them, from their limited perspective, that they were genuinely witnessing evil in the world. Since only God sees the whole picture, only God sees the universe as it truly is -- utterly pure and innocent of evil.

At that early stage of the faith, the ancient Jews attributed all fates, all historic developments, to the will of their one God; He was of author of everything, both the apparently good as well as the apparently evil.

Later, when the Jews encountered Zoroastrianism during their exile in Persia, they confronted the dualistic Persian belief in two equal-but-opposite Gods, a good God and a bad God, and from that encounter, they developed their idea of the devil, and began to blame him for all evil. That was, some would say, a great corruption of original Judaism, when it lost its true sense of monotheism.

Conventional Christianity, that is to say, the Christianity adopted and certified by the Roman Empire in the 4th century, continued the later Jewish notion of a dichotomy of good and evil gods at war with one another. Indeed, the role of the devil became greatly magnified in Conventional Christian thought. However, there is evidence that Original, pre-Roman Christianity did not subscribe to that dualistic notion, but instead thought, as the earliest Jewish theologians did, that God was truly one without any rival, and that everything, good and bad, was equally attributable to Him.

For the last 18 years, I have been studying the long lost Gospel of Thomas, and in this long banned and censored work, we do indeed find a Christianity that declares that, if one achieves spiritual perfection (by "making the two one'), one will indeed find himself already living within a miraculous universe in which no evil exists. All that once appeared to be evil will then, with one's newly opened eyes, now seem good and perfect.

In Original Christianity, then, the goal was not to "attain heaven" upon one's death, but to undergo such a profound transformation of personal consciousness during life that one discovered that one was ALREADY living in heaven, and always had been.

True Christianity was meant to be a challenge, not merely a consolation.

- Peter Novak

How divided are you already?
Find out at http://www.divisiontheory.com

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Peter Novak

But, I think that for most of their history Jews have been henotheistic; because, they have accepted the fact that other groups had other Gods. Internally, for the most part, they have been monotheistic. For example, it would be a stretch to accept King Soloman as a true monotheist! Also, it should be noted that we are refering to the Southern Kingdom of Judah. The religion of the Nothern Kingdom of Israel was, to say the least, quite different.

What do you think?

kennc

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plw12752anderson

In theological circles, this is known as "The Problem Of Evil". Calvinists probably have more diffculty with this than any other group. Probably, the two most common answers are:

1) Evil is allowed so that we can be tempted.

2) Evil is the result of the absence of God, Yahweh.

There are many more answers given by different groups! You need to go to a library an check-out a few books on the "Problem of Evil".

kennc

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Thanks knnc. It's one of those articles that I thought would make a good topic of discussion. Before I deleted it I thought why not post it and see what others thought of the article. I was merely trying to contribute information that I had saved for future reference, not divide or hurt or cause a problem. When I came upon TDG in the late nineties I was encouraged that others enjoyed looking at history and pre-history. I truly enjoyed the humor as much as the articles being linked. I have enjoyed my time spent here and then at Phenomena and now back here. I live and learn as we all do. Without going into a long explanation I'm more than aware of evil. At age eight I was suffocated (to the point of having a near death experience) by an adult male. I still cannot explain what I experienced. I chalk it up to anoxia or the dying brain theory. My IQ is 187. I'm hesitant in trying to explain myself. It was not an easy task to find out informtion on death and dying (especially there in the early '60's) but I stayed at it enough that I'm fairly certain there is something else. Maybe it's the KA, the (not good and not evil) force of creation. I'm just glad that what happened, happened and I was able to turn an event of death into a clebration for life. I can tell you my truth never stops evil, it embraces living mindfully and doing as much good as possible, that "keep on keeping on" no matter what has worked well for me. I was just thinking how wonderful it was that I looked at that experience as a learning tool. It made me fearless in many aspects, prudent in others and quite leery of most. I have lived a synchronistic life. Stepping from one event to the other each is a NOW moment. One is not better than nor worse than another it simply is. Like KA or whatever label we humans like to use, it's a reference as I go along on this path of life. Sincerely, Pam -----------------------------Truth is stranger than fiction.

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"Evil" is a subjective value judgment, and one that seems to always be vulnerable to being changed by a wider or broader perspective.

For instance, a two-year-old child who is forceably restrained from running into traffic to retrieve his ball might well view that imposed restraint as being 'evil', while someone else with a wider perspective would recognize it as being in his own best interest.

Nonetheless, one might argue that certain examples of 'evil' are so extreme that nothing could transform them into 'good', but I don't believe this to be the case. One might argue that the acts of Hitler, Stalin, and/or Mao were so evil that no good could come of them, but the fact is, we just cannot know that for sure. Our vision is hopelessly limited; we don't know, for example, what transpires in the afterlife, and we don't know what effects those acts will have in the 23rd century. Either or both of those eventualities might arguably justify what currently seems, from our limited perspective, to be evil.

We do not know. What's more, we know we do not know.

That's the problem humanity has been struggling with thruout its entire existence. Knowing we do not know for sure one way or the other, should we assume that what seems to be evil really is, or should we assume that what seems to be evil really is not? Whichever way we answer that question, we find that doing so requires us to take a decisive stand in the face of ignorance, which, I submit, is another definition of "faith".

Knowing we do not know, we can either admit we do not know, or we can pretend we do, and thus claim some sort of "faith" in the unknown.

- Peter Novak

How divided are you already?
Find out at http://www.divisiontheory.com

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Peter_Novak

All things are relative or so they seen; but, are they really? I think that they are!

What do you think?

kennc

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Not sure about that Kennc,

Consider this for a moment,

The mind perceives things according to its makeup, its modus operandi.

If human psychology is a relativistic process of reality, it will project its impression of itself onto its environment. Not surprisingly, it will even associate its own psychological associative process to the impression it has of its gods.

Since psychology defines itself in relation with its environment and that everything it considers is given a value on the comparative scale, it feedbacks itself (its comparative process) against the environment being defined in relation to itself. Therefore all things for a psychological mind are relative to each other in an impression of chaotic cause and effect that needs to be sorted out. The mechanism that psychology uses to give itself a relative value to the environment remains the same tool used to define the environment relative to itself and relative to other elements within the environment. Science of course is forced to fall under that same process. This is why a radical change within the mind must come; less human evolution remains in low gear.

The intellect being an empiric function of the mind and being limited to its experience, in our case the experience of the soul for the time being, it is forced to look at things from its cave and that cave is the limit imposed upon it by both the information and its propensity to deduct empirically rather than see with the eyes of his own spirit.

We think in relative terms, we compare ourselves to figure where we fit in the scheme of things; we fail to realize the possibilities that are not part of our experience, even if such possibilities have been described and would be accessible to the mind of a more integrated man.

Our relationship with the universe and our perception of it is totally dictated by our psychological relativism and tainted with our emotional values that act as reference points. That is why, when we seek, we only find what we already had set ourselves to find, the mirror of ourselves rather than the undercover reality. That is the lot of relativism.

It is easy enough to see that everything we consider is examined on the base of comparison and association. This removes all essence from the observed subject and gives it a relative value.

When taken a step further, our impression of ourselves also stems from our 'relative position'.

We could otherwise consider that things may not be so much relative than complementary into a perfect pyramid of architectured energies that amplify their potential by associating even beyond the subatomic level. We could also consider that for all the Aleph, the fundamental principles that combine to create the current reality, more fundamental principles have yet to manifest themselves into a further cycle of cosmic evolution that is yet both unthinkable and unfathomable.

Imagine, if the very universe as a whole can be subject to mutations by the coming of until then unmanifested fundamental principles, how much the mind can be subjected to personal mutation by the eventual manifestation of fundamental principles dormant within to force its integration with another level of universal law and with the polarized energies of its mentation.

There is one thing with which I agree from Peter Novak’s proposal (Binary Soul Doctrine). It is that the human mind is split. That split has for result the mortality of human consciousness and its polarization, the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

I also surmise that the integration of the parts that make that split does not only put an end to the psychological experiment but also creates another order of mentation that is not based on relativism but on determinism, giving access to another memory, one that is of a galactic experience rather than of a local system experience.

(Those who believe that immortality means the immortalization of their consciousness in its shape and form within the material body I do not agree with. It is to me grasping at straws that are not there, only the result of the instinct of survival of the soul. This is the hope that human minds are kept in a status quo forever and that the ego’s personality is kept intact as it is. This would be a sad predicament indeed since personality is a temporary construct that is only there to insure the ego can be programmed into teleguided fate.)

Hope I am making some sense here.

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Richard

You made made sense and I agree! But, most people don't realize that they see things relativistically. So, from a perceptive perspective, everything is relative to most people. It is only when realize that we see things relatively and that our value systems are relative that we can begin to see beyond our relative perspectives and question them in a constructive manner. When we can do this, we can begin to understand non-relativeistic reality which, at first, we see relatively. So, we need to be careful in order to learn. But, in our encounters with the world around us, everything is relative and we should see it as being relative. So, from one perspective, everything is relative. Those of us who realize this can then begin to see beyond the relativity of the world around us. But, we will see everything relatively at first. So, we must always question our perceptions and try to see beyond them! Therefore, we must view everything relatively, because, our reality is relative. But, we must continue to seek non-relativistic reality through questioning in order to learn.

What do you think?

kennc

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Perceptions are real but they don't reveal reality, rather they point to the direction the psychological conditioning of the ego brings him to look towards.

A spirit does not perceive in relative terms, therefore its vision is 360 degrees, incorporating all the possibilities without form.

This is what is at the base of the thought process before a form is applied to it, what we call thought forms.

The mind must be freed of the form, which means it must be free from its memory, if it is to go beyond its conditioning. For this, it must result from the integration of the fundamental principles that are now fragmented for experimental reasons but that have a time.

In the mean time, as you aptly said, we must work with what we have.

Being aware of these principles might not free us from the mechanisms but it gives the ego some chances to sustain the changes that it will undergo when the source starts invading its psychic field.

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Richard

We must disect form and memory in order to learn and rid ourselves of conditioning. If we rid ourselves of memory and form, we will be reconditioned; because, we won't have a data base to tell us the difference!

What do you think?

kennc

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It is simply not possible to be rid of the form. Not in this evolutionary stage at least. You are absolutely right about the referent being necessary for a psychological entity. Those referents can be changed or could be changed at least had we been properly instructed to that effect. Unfortunately, humanity has been subliminally and historically lied to and the lies have become both referent and base for the human evaluation and interpretation of his relation with his existence.

I would stay that we must become free from the impression of the form psychologically and from the persistence of its action against the easily impressionable ego.

Same with memory.

There is a parallel to be made with civilization, as we know it.

Because the 'normal' man is conditioned by the values of the culture he belongs to, if those values are removed, such as how they are being diluted today, the common denomination will be a sense of loss for there is no energy to replace the lost beacon of culturally pre-defined values. The individual, not having learned to generate the form from his own spirit, from his own source, from his own intelligence, sees himself lost and groping for whatever replacement that may seem adequate at the moment.

The first effect of this is the loss of culturally induced restrain and the proliferation of abuse. The dissolution of values has a direct impact on how far one will allow himself to go into short term auto-gratification without care for the consequences on his peers, and even to himself.

In the process of the mutation of the mind between a form-based process to an energy based process, the ego is caught into an even more powerful dilution. That dilution is that of his impression of himself, which is a form (the image left by the impression).

One does not lose memory or loses its ability to interact with the form but the psychological processes that underlay the magnetism that the form has over the mind are short-circuited because the psychic field is filled by an energy that does not proceed from the form but that is behind the form. This energy, which I call the self-source, or the self-spirit, then replaces the thought form mechanism by fusing with the soul, automatically sublimating, if you will, the memory of the soul for the benefit of the creation of a new vehicle, which might be called the ethereal vehicle and that allows the mind to visit and be conscious of yet other realities more subtle and beyond that of the Astral and the world of the dead.

This energy then becomes the reference. Since it does not proceed from human experience but from the source of consciousness, it does not refer to relative experimentation and empiric processes but rather it directly, telepathically, instructs the ego and leads him through his solar initiation against the loss of his personality and his illusion of free will.

So, what I am saying is not to do away with memory and form but to become aware of their magnetic power over impressions. Knowing this already minimizes the interferences to a point.

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Richard

I want to think a little before I reply!

kennc

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Richard

Now, I see what you are trying to say. Actually, we were trying to say about the same thing in different ways. Our only real difference is our approach to the subject; but, beyond that, we are in agreement!

What do you think?

kennc

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plw12752anderson

We discuss things. You didn't divide, hurt, or cause a problem. So what if everyone doesn't agree on everything! My few remarks were made for purposes of clarification. I have a high IQ too and my own set of idiosyncrasies to go along with it. A penchant for discussion on blogs where I can be anonymous is one of them and a penchant analyzing and clarifying things is another one! As everyone knows, socially I'm an introvert!

This is a great post! Please keep posting!

kennc

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I'm home and I'll bury this info in this thread, I was to be operated on this morning, to repair my left knee. The operation has been postponed until the 15th. I can't be still but I have to. So, by being forced to be still I ruminate on various subjects. I have gone through a myriad of emotions. I have meditated, and Robin Crookshank Hilton's Sufi heart with wings kept flying before me (see Phenomena Magazine and website to learn more about her, she is a good person)I kept meditating, then I saw a great big blue button, I could even see the threads neatly in an X, hope I can decipher that out, then the last part was just morphing into various colors. I got on the computer and googled "wings of truth" and found lots of sites. The first one I went to was Emmanuel Swendenborg interpretations from 1688, it had been awhile since I had read his stuff. Then www.aumcreations.com got me pretty calm and centered. There was also a nifty site www.wingsflove.com Wings Of Love had the exact winged heart of Robin's made into jewelry. A wonderful site (www.goddess-gallery.com) selling statues that had replicas of gods and goddesses (is that plural correct?), Celtic (got to show Aurora this), Norse, Egyptian and Oriental and some of the Greek Gods, each one has an informative paragragh. I checked out some plant information on phytochemicals.info as the plants are drying out here and there are lots of poisonous weeds, we are in our 38th day of no rain. It almost rained about daybreak, I was sure it would but just banks of clouds so grey and bleak. The temps have been so pleasant. Perfect for working outside and I can't. I feel like such a dud. Good for nothing. I hate the crutches and the great big old blue brace that velcroes on from thigh to ankle. I'm mad at myself for falling apart and geting old. Now, how stupid is that? Very. It means my productivity is failing/ceasing. I have opened up all the windows and am letting in this cool autmnal air. It just hit me, my dad died at this time of year in '98, he was so good in so many ways, I'm so grateful I had a father so wise, gentle and kind. They just said on the news we will not have rain in the forecast for another 12 days. The nurse at registration was shocked that I was not on numerous meds. No pain medication, no muscle relaxers, nothing. I told her, not all pills were the cure all they are cracked up to be. I didn't tell her I'm afraid of a lot of drugs nor am I keen on mixing a bunch of them. I did tell her I was recovering from the meds from the ER visit, I had a violent reaction, hives, vomiting and rash. I am going to get better, I'm just in a funk at present. It will make me uncomfortable enough to do a positive thing or two before the day is out. OK, enough of this snuffling about my woes. I appreciate the reply kennc (Kat and Peter and Richard and unadex all of you I thank you very much). This topic is a touchy one, I was insensitive by posting it. It was one of those forays into thinking of other views and beliefs. Glad your here and we can be introverted together, it took me years to get up the courage to post. I kept at it. I made plenty of mistakes and still do! I get hate mail from time to time and how they find out my email address is a mystery but it sort of shocks me at first and then I say to myself that this person needs love, that by attacking me maybe they feel bigger or better. They leave no name, just a cryptic name or initials. I just wish I knew what it was that I had done so wrong as it isn't clearly stated. So, I sorta disappeared for awhile, anyway I was making hay while the sun shines, my husband and I helped my son out, that part of my life has really turned around. My eldest son was needing help badly, getting over a divorce from a bad person who had bankrupted my parents shortly before they died, I was more than glad to do what I could to launch him into the business world. We hired an affable 45 year old man of Czechoslovakian descent, first generation, his father escaped Nazi's and literally walked across Europe finding passage to the USA. He was so grateful to have a job and to work. He said we were the first people to treat him well on the job and pay him enough to get him and his family back on their feet ... that made me cry for I have been there myself. Then there was the hurricane and the trip to Tennessee and the coming back to a water damaged house and just a big uncomfortable mess in general. Making a drastic decision to build a house and not keep pouring funds into a money pit. The timing was perfect(many thanks to all "on the other side" of this paradigm who may have helped) as we were first on the list to build and the contract was signed, sealed and delivered before the giant price hikes. Informing our grown children as to what our plans were. Totally angering my daughter as she was counting that money before I was dead, that was a "bitter pill" to swallow, I can be so wrong on some things. Banging my knee up was just a way that subconciously I think I was throwing in the towel. Too much conflict, seeing bad attitude from the people around you that you love dearly and have to ask a favor of yet have no choice. It's all for the good. We have to keep on keeping on. I'm confounded by meaness, it confuses me, makes me wonder what happened to make that person so hateful. I am getting my long hair cut off to collar length. I did get the garbage out and down the hill to the road this morning all by myself. The dog looked like she was laughing at me! I can go now, I'm not feeling so sad anymore. Sorry I bent your ear! See you later tater ... Love, Pam -----------------------------Truth is stranger than fiction.

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plw12752anderstand

Bend my ear anytime and take care of yourself!

kennc