Unlike the church of spaghetti, I am not a “pastafarian”. However, as I’m trying to do what I can to maintain my level of abilities as they slowly die off from the COPD, I’m running into many people who are saying that God has played a role [sic] in their lives. William Lloyd, Jr. posted an interesting blog that I came across moments ago:
and his timing is excellent because I ended up excusing myself early from swim class last night as we got into a debate about God, the Trinity, Good and Evil. I have to swim with these people a few times a week in order to keep what nimbleness I have – I certainly don’t want hard feelings over their definitions of what their “invisible friend” brings to their lives. Just not going there !
For me, the Devil doesn’t exist.
When you’re alone on a deserted island, and you have just yourself to rely on, YOU are the doer of Good or Evil deeds. Saying, “the Devil made me do it”, begs one to allow mercy through obfuscation of who did what, and that’s pointless when you are the only one in the room. While that may be a very narcissistic viewpoint, to me it’s just practical. Work with what you can see and touch, feel and taste. Don’t let your imagination run away with you for blaming or thanking some mystical “other”.
As someone who is a very linear thinker (I swear, despite my flights of fancy), I see cause and effect every day, so I’m not one to blame the tool for the actions of the wielder of the tool. Just like I don’t blame the gun for the deaths caused by the owner of that same handgun, I don’t blame some mystical bogeyman for the evil that people choose to do.
I believe people can be complete “tools”, without also thinking that they aren’t without responsibility for their actions.
To absolve someone of ownership of their actions because “the Devil made me do it!” is just not an act of fantasy that I can embrace.
Because of that hard and fast line it took me a long time to embrace regarding personal responsibility, I have a hard time believing in God, the all-knowing and beneficent higher power, just as I have a hard time believing in the Devil – the seducer or pied piper of evil.
I admire spirituality in others. I admire the fact that they can believe in something that they can’t see or taste, touch or smell. Just like I enjoy people believing that there is a reward for them being kind in this life when they move on to whatever the next life has in store for us. For me, kindness is its own reward. It harms no one.
However, as a homosapien, I acknowledge that we are intelligent. We are a thinking people, and we CHOOSE what to do every minute of every day. We CHOOSE how to react (or, over-react), and we CHOOSE whether or not to ignore the consequences of our actions.
Truly, the only folks I give a pass to are children (immature minds), and the old or infirm.
Otherwise, I expect everyone to be accountable. I’m kind of a pain-in-the-butt in that way.
So, as I’m pursuing this journey down the COPD path to see what life has next in store for me, I’m having a really hard time with the whole God concept. Either God chose me for this burden as an act of atonement [for whatever crime I don’t recall] , or because I have a lesson to learn (maybe even to bring my arrogance down a peg or two), or I’m expected to believe that I embraced this life as a refurbished person simply so that I could experience all the trials and travails of one who (insert naive comment here) “truly wishes to enjoy life in all its fullness”.
Seriously, I am more about chaos theory. Things happen regardless of our best plans, and we make the best of them. It can’t all be good or bad, and you simply hope that life is more good than bad in the long run. You play the odds.
While it would be nice to feel that Karma is going to level the playing field at some point, I think I’m more of a Buddhist in that I embrace the possibility that this life is all a dream, that we’re all alone on our individual islands, and we are torturing ourselves. It may sound simplistic or crazy, but that’s one interpretation of the life challenges once faces from a Buddhist or Zen viewpoint.
It’s pretty whacky to think that I would get the “life I deserve” based on what I think of myself, but that’s no more alien to me than seeing someone struggle with an enormous emotional burden, and have their heart broken because their God (as they know him or her) has “abandoned” them.
My favorite homilies are usually the ones about being forsaken, and the response, “that’s when I carried you”, is maddening. Seriously? You mean when life really sucks, you PROTECTED me? That it would have been worse without your aid?
Hmmmm…. going to have to think a lot more about that one. Being a Logistician isn’t easy, but my inner voice is generally kind. When it’s not kind, it’s usually outraged and sarcastic.
If I get to the next place where energy ends up going after this human life is done, I’m hoping that there will be a kitchen table, a cozy light, and we’re (God and me) sitting around some great food and drinks, and having a heck of a lot of conversations about the whys and wherefores of this life and the pointless and sometimes endless suffering I can see.
If God exists, he or she has a heck of a lot of ‘splainin to do !
As for you… what’s your take on this particular vision of endurance in this life, and reward in the next life? Inquiring minds would love to know.