daf The other day, as my friend Levi and I shot the breeze, the subject of good and bad, evil and what-not came up. Now it was Levi's contention that if there is a God, He must be a pretty twisted freak to allow all of this rotten stuff to happen to people. "How", he said, "would a loving God let all of this horrible stuff happen to people?"

(Well, for those of you that don't know me, I believe in God. Now I don't mean I believe in shoving my beliefs down other people's throats. I mean I believe that there is a purpose to this all and an intelligence behind it that is NOT separate from us, but with us fact I know that God, being the ultimate engineer made US and everything around us both seen and unseen of ITSELF. In fact, it's about the ONLY thing I really know for sure. It's a long story.)

Well what struck me as strange yet familiar about Levi's comment was that hidden in it was that ever-present tendency of us human animals to want to pass the blame for everything. So I couldn't help but respond with my own understanding of how the whole thing works.

"You see, Levi", I began, "I don't exactly see it that way.."

The way I see it, life is like a stream that will not be tamed. Those things that fight the flow of that stream will be washed away, or worn down to nothing.

The trick, to the whole thing is to find the flow...then go with it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not exactly swimming downstream either, but to understand how it works is a start.

Understand that most things in the stream are already going with the flow. The trees and the grass, the sun and the moon, the birds and the bees. They're all going with the flow just fine.

Then there are the humans, who have the somewhat unique (as far as we know) ability to choose. What we call freewill.

Now these humans, with their freewill, they can choose to go with the flow, or go against the flow...or maybe even sort of go sideways to the flow. And depending upon what they do, they will encounter certain things.

Those that go against the flow have some very big problems in store.

The first is that everything that's going downstream is headed on a collision course with them. These are the bumps and the pits that folks keep running into. These are the moments that create miscommunications and misunderstandings. This is the stuff tragedies are made of.

Secondly, and this is sort of why people go against the stream in the first place:

When you're going against the can feel a sort of turbulence against your skin. It feels kind of neat. In fact, it's somewhat invigorating. And that's why the people are going against the flow...its the thrill, its the excitement..its that physical or mental stimulation that is so much more exciting than the blaaaahze world of floating lazily downstream. You get to create your own white water when yer walking upstream!

You also can't tell what's going on in the water anymore.

That's right...there are things going on in the stream that cannot be seen, only sensed. If you're going with the can feel those vibrations, no matter how subtle, and the stiller you are...the stronger they come in because the still waters around you make detection easier.

But our friends headed upstream have no way of knowing what's going on around them. They're making too many vibrations of their own, and strong ones..strong enough to attract predators and trouble.

So it might not be a matter of God being cruel, but of people being foolish, then looking for a scapegoat to blame it on. God didn't do this to anyone Levi, society and its conditioning did. Now kids grow up and are immediately inducted into the unnatural world of human freewill gone awry.

Now I won't say that none of this is by design. I'm a firm believer that the universe is as naturally full of pain as it is full of joy. It's when you throw in a few billion people going against the flow of the stream that you tip the scales toward the side of pain, and that's when the bellyaching starts.

Anyhow, it not a huge leap of faith to believe that we have nothing to fear but ourselves.

With as much as we've cut ourselves off from Creation, is it any wonder that we treat it like politicians do the illegal immigrant? Passing the buck for all of our problems off on the world and its Architect because we don't want the constituency (ourselves and those around us) to realize that WE created the whole mess in the first place. Pretty typical if you ask me.
Death of a Rose yeah but you sure as hell don't return e-mails in a timely fashion.

Lemon_Soda I agree, in a sense, with Daf.

I figure God started it off and let us take off with it. We are responsible for it all, really. Our decisions affect the whole of it. Certainly, a person can feel the repercussions of something someone else did, from finding a quarter on the ground to dying in a nuclear blast. But God didn't put that quarter there and God didn't push the button. We did.

"But he created it all...he let it happen."

And if he stopped us we would've resented him for it. If he kept us from going out drinking that night, yay, maybe Jack wouldn't have died in the accident, but we would have loathed God for "not letting us do what we wanted to" or "being a kill joy". We would have had no idea Jack was going to bite it. All we would have known was God was acting the parent and stealing our good time.

"But he's God...he could make it so we didn't do this stuff and everyone is happy always."

Yay, but whats the point of living if we started out in heaven? How would we know what good and happy are if we could feel or experience nothing else?

"Well, why doesn't he help me? Why doesn't he make me happy, or stop the things I don't like?"

Because HE/SHE is God, not you. God did not create the universe and all things within for your personnal pleasure. He gave it to us all. Pointing fingers at your fellow humans is pointless. When everyone is pointing fingers, who has free hands to hold eachother, or to work?

Does anyone really understand what free agency is, anymore?
dafremen Very nicely put..and less words too. : ) 050729
dafremen Doar I certainly apologize. It's not polite to leave someone waiting (I can't stand it) and particularly not a crunchy on the outside squishy on the inside crab person. Again apologies, but for some reason..I haven't been able to get into my hotmail account. I'd rather not have my other account getting into all of the stupid email bot lists.

I'll email you right now and then you'll have my other email address.
daf Sent it to your gmail account. 050729
jane you step into the stream,
but the water has moved on.
The Page of Septagons Keeping to the path, he approached a narrow stream that ran across the road and just as he was about to jump over it, eight magical wands appeared on the horizon and soared over his head.

"NZSLTZMB HGZUU..." creaked the enchanted wood. "Ah, a mystical chant!" the Fool remarked. "I wonder what it could mean?"

But he did not wonder for very long and hopped across the stream.
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