Saturday, May 16, 2009

"What About Evil? What About Injustice?"

I'm having a similar conversation
elsewhere ... I was asked, "what about evil, what about injustice?"

Here's what I shared, for what it's worth:

(disclaimer: this is what I've come to believe, at this point in my own journey
... not claiming that this is "all truth", or that any of us can grasp "all truth" while in a limited form of humanity...)

I believe that God made all things, and sustains all things ... that God is IN all things (& all humans as well). I believe that in Him we live and move and have our being ... I believe that He is the only Source of life ... apart from Him there is no life at all... but nothing and no one is apart from Him ... indeed, everything and everyone is a part *of* Him.

Given that, all is GOOD. It's our perception that would tell us otherwise, because we eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and we think we can tell what's good, and what's "evil" by our own perception. But we discern and judge with a faulty, limited, temporal perspective ... we do not yet see how ALL things work together for good, as we're transformed into the likeness of Christ. We perceive from our ego, rather than from the Mind of Christ (the intersection of Spirit and spirit within us).

We discern on a conscious level, but truth is often found on a subconscious level ... which is why we can *know* a think is true "in our hearts," even while our minds are protesting.

So, yes, we humans do perceive things to be "evil" and we judge things to be "unjust" ... and certainly harm seems to be done. We can indeed harm relationships, but we cannot really harm another ... though we can perceive to harm, and to be harmed.

Once we realize that we are not our bodies, but that we *have* bodies ... that we're really our spirits (& we're having a human experience), and that what we see is not what *is* (& even quantum physics proves this to us), that there is no death (it's merely the horizon of our perspective, but life is, by it's very essence, eternal), then we can lose the perception of evil and fear.

God has often met us where we are, and given us the level of truth that we could/can handle ... Jesus told His disciples that He had MUCH more to show them, but they couldn't bear it then (and can we now bear it?).

God shows us in the OT that He is the One who created evil (calamity) ... for we cannot experience goodness without the context of evil. We cannot know hot without cold, light without darkness, joy without sorrow ... they're really just the same thing, on a continuum.

So, too, we cannot experience Oneness without the illusion of separation ... which is what I believe this human life is all about -- to experience "separation" from God (though He does not experience separation from us), so that we can experience returning to Him. All things come from Him, and all things return to Him, for He is all there is.

So, I see, in the absolute sense, that there is no real evil, just the temporal perception of it.

BUT - we are called to experience what is "not us" in this life, so that we can know who we really are. So, when we experience harm, and even harming another, we can know that it's not really who we are ... and we can choose to respond differently.

If I see that someone is experiencing what appears to be evil, or injustice, I can choose to do something to ease their suffering ... the first thing I would do would be to intervene in some way ... but I would ultimately want to invite them to go deeper, to come to know God in an authentic way, and to come to see who they really are as well, in Him, of Him.

I'm invited to do unto others as I would want them to do for me -- to love others as I do myself. I can meet them where they are, feel whatever they're feeling, be with them, and help them to start to see the illusion that's really causing the pain.

It's not what happens to us that hurts us, as much as what we *think* about what happens to us that hurts us...

Maybe if I share a story, it will help to illustrate what I'm talking about.

A woman was at a workshop, being confronted with these very notions ... that all is good, that even death is good, and that no one dies before they choose to (on some level ... though they can be consciously as surprised as anyone else when they die). She was enraged by this, due to what she'd experienced. When she married, many years previously, she could not conceive ... and so they adopted a little boy, Bobby. Shortly after the adoption, as is often the case, they conceived a baby, and raised these two boys together. Bobby was always told he was adopted, in ways he could comprehend. But when he started school, he was tormented by the other children, who said, "Bobby's so ugly his own mother gave him away -- Bobby's mother didn't want him!" He was hurt and furious, and his adopted mom couldn't console him ... his adopted mom told him that when he was 18, she would help him to find his birth mother. For years he reminded her of this ... and gave her agony, through acts of rebellion, acting out his pain-of-rejection in a myriad of ways. She loved him through it, and even took his lashing out, as he reminded her, over and over, that he would find his "real" mother when he was 18. On the day he turned 18, he took off on a motorcycle, and died in a tragic accident.

She looked at the workshop leader, and said, "Tell me, what sort of 'good' is that? What sort of God would allow my son to miss out on what he wanted most? How did my son choose his death?!?"

The workshop leader closed his eyes, and prayed, "I need help here God, give me the words for this woman..."

Out of him the words spilled ... "Your son Bobby got what he wanted that day ... he didn't know it consciously, but his birth mother had died, and so he went to meet her, to be with her, because his job here on earth was done. It was his time, and he got what he most wanted. He's worked to bring you to this workshop, so that you could know this, so that you could know he's happy, that he's so grateful to you for all you did in loving him through those tough years, preparing him for the reunion with his birth mother. He's waiting for you, and wants to introduce his two mothers to each other. He wants you to be able to live in peace and joy until then."

The woman's expression changed from rage and pain, to utter joy and peace, with tears streaming down.

Our perspective changes our experience.

If we change our thinking, we can change our world, and then invite others to do the same...

(and that's where I am right now, awaiting further revelation...)

Shalom, Dena


Dave said...

Dena, maybe I am missunderstanding you, but do you really mean to say there is no evil and that God is in everyone?

Help me with this, then: I have a real hard time believing that Hitler, for instance, had God in him.

And I have a real hard time saying the holocaust was merely a perception of evil.

I'm also curious.. If there really isn't evil, what was it Jesus was driving out of people when it says he drove out an evil spirit? Was He simply driving out a perception of evil? In your opinion, do demons/evil spirits have God in them, too?

Also, if there is no real evil then I suppose there is no real sin... and if there is no real sin, then Christ died for nothing. Thoughts?

Dena said...

Hi Dave ...

You ask some really good questions here. Questions that I've certainly asked, myself. I'd like to copy this and use it as a new blog entry ... explore it a bit, outloud, and share my thoughts (which are just my thoughts, fwiw)... how I'm seeing things at this juncture of this wild and wonderful journey...!

Shalom, Dena