Tag Archives: good

Both Kinds of Good

It should be said (at least one time in jest)
that in the world exist two kinds of good
to separate what matters from the rest,
for use by some discerning soul who could

in keening the true nature of a thing
believe their observations to be fact,
and, damned be the naysay blabbering,
to light the world with simple, subtle tact.

To say the thing could scarce but make it so!
The world believes the magic of such words,
and will, despite what evidence may show,
imagine rocks transformed to cooing birds.

And what are these two parts of goodness named?
The pointing finger, and its share of blame.

14 MAR 2015

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Divine Intervention: Blessing or Curse

For a while, it is comforting to think everything happens for a reason. But honestly, MOST people who lay that on as a platitude mean that it applies when bad things happen to YOU. Just like so many go around with, “God is good” on their lips when they’re in clover, but blame others when the chips are down. There’s even a Muslim proverb that states, “Everything good in my life is thanks to god; the bad things, the rest, are my own doing.”

When people think of divine blessing, they usually think of largesse, of abundance, of ease and the absence of strife. A divine curse, on the other hand, is usually the opposite: ruination, famine, loss, defamation and sadness. If the presence of the divine is in both, who is to say which is the preferred state, at least theologically?

Diversity and conflict define us as individuals in a way that blissful homogeny never can. It is only along the fault lines that the world grows.

A loving god, like a loving parent, wants us to grow, right? And like a wealthy father (and by definition any divine being surely qualifies) they surely want “to give us enough that we can do anything, but no so much that we need to do nothing.” There’s a balance between hard and easy, convenient and difficult, joyful and painful that MUST be the underlying composition of any divine gift or inheritance.

The Buddha I think had it right when he proposed, “all life is suffering.” We suffer when we are without, surely. Without food, water, shelter, opportunity, we wither. But at the same time, unwarranted (or should I say untoiled for) abundance creates another kind of suffering. Without challenge, without effort, we become weak, shallow, malleable and cruel. Of the two conditions, the complacency inherent in luxury is the more dangerous, if not to the “soul” and our spiritual health, then as the result of the “rich man’s” problems (i.e., diabetes, gout, high blood pressure, obesity) that the majority of oppressed, underprivileged and cursed of the earth are blissfully free from.

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In my inbox this morning

(edited slightly for content and privacy)

I like you train of thought. I was in church this christmas eve to see my little girl in a play. I heard the preacher talk about Jesus (you know the one from Nazereth), being the “Prince of peace”. I thought you know this just dosen’t seem right. I mean all throughout history people, mainly governments have used his name to cause suffering, misery and conflicts all over the world. I wonder what he would think about that?

Any way, I thought of creating an orgainization called x For the purpose of promoting peace worldwide. Not a religious organization. God is Good Religion is Evil pretty much sums up my religious beliefs.

I have some really good ideas on how to make the organization grow exponentially and really making a differance. Would you be interested in working with me in this endeavor?


(and here’s my response, again slightly edited)

Dear x:

While I am flattered that you think my participation in any organization devoted to the purpose of world peace might be useful, I am sorry I must decline. At this point in my life, I feel that organizations really make little difference if the individuals who comprise them have not “made their peace” with themselves and their immediate surroundings first. After all, of what good is a hypocrite who attends peace rallies and then goes home and grumbles about how loud his neighbor’s stereo is, or yells at his dog? I think you get the point. All the organizations in the world will not do what is required, which is to change each single mind, one at a time? What that requires is that each individual who is interested in peace act peacefully — and from that small ripple in the pond, echoes emanate endlessly to all shores. That is the exponential growth that is needed, I think. To start with an organization, no matter how noble its intentions, that does not have as its core that basic belief — that individuals, not organizations, make the difference, is to pursue the wrong means, at least for me. And the means must justify the ends — after all, they define it if, as in my life, the journey, not the destination, is the whole point of existence.

As for the Prince of Peace … I have often wondered why such a prince would require such an extensive army. That seems to defeat the purpose. After all, peace-keeping is NOT peace-making. It is only punishing hatred with the threat of reciprocal, impassionate violence. And THAT surely is not Peace.

Thank you again for your kind words. I wish you well in your endeavors.

Happy Holidays.

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