God?

Even as I go back and read my past post, I do not know if I believe it or just speaking the Gnostic party line.      With this tragedy of these children being killed, I ask myself "Where is God?".
Why did God not intervene?
I am left with several possibilities.


  • God could have but did not.
  • God could not.
  • There is no God.
In considering the first idea, that God could have intervened and saved those kids, but for whatever reason did not, I am disgusted.  This answer is not satisfying.  I expect morality of God.  Now, when I say God here, honestly I am looking at the biblical God who claims to be moral.  Would I be moral if I saw someone harming kids, and could save them and stop the harm (even with no harm coming to myself as in the case of God) but did not - That would be an immoral act.  I say the same would be true of a God who could have saved those kids from such a traumatic end, but did not.  I cannot honor nor worship such a God.

There is the possibility that God could not.  In a way this is the position of some more liberal theologians (Jewish, Pagan, and Christian). (In this scenario, Pagans may speak of the gods rather than God, but the argument is similar) In the former, God is not all powerful or even that God does not know the future as it does not exist yet.  It could be that God is in a state of becoming and evolving morally "him/herself"  That the God who demanded XYZ in the Old Testament has grown and evolved morally since then.

Gnostics might also go with the arguement and say that since God is not physical and this is not his realm at all.  Rather this world is a twisted idea of the Demiurge, a being that is a mixed bag to say the least.  One can see elements of good in this temporal world, but even so, one can see much evil and suffering.  Both of these can be found in the creator, the Demiurge, who is deluded at best.  If the true God is to impact this world that he did not make, then God must send in the aeons, almost undercover or as spiritual guides (angel types) to help.  But entering the flesh as Jesus did provides limitations.   In taking a body, one is limited to time and place.  I find these arguments a bit more satisfying.

The last option is one I wrestle with from time to time.  It is because the second option (apart from the Gnostic argument) still leave it open to why God does not stop something immediately when it is happening.  So I ask, what if...what if there were no God?

I cannot say I have any satisfying answers.  I waver at times with all three perspectives when faced with suffering.  I admit my opinions are a lot more agnostic with the death of my dad and the way he went.  Suffering in this life is a very real thing.  Buddha was right.  I hope against hope for God to help us somehow.   This world is screwed up.

It is times of suffering, or considering the sufferings of the past, where I wonder what gives...where is God in all this?  Perhaps God cries with us, mourning the suffering of his children.  Unable to affect this world, except through us, God weeps.

Perhaps what St. Theresa of Avila (1515-1582) said is true of God:

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world.
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.

Comments

  1. Brother Jay, it's difficult to talk about mourning in a gnostic sense without sounding like a sociopath at times. I think in part because we do our best to focus on pleroma and understand the eternal nature of pleroma instead of on the demiurge's distractions. Pleroma whispered the following to me a few times(at the WORST of times!) and I felt like beating the hell out of him.

    "Everything will be ok."

    See? How's that for sick? He says that everything will be ok and I get mad at him. It felt as though he took it in stride, though; wrapping me up in a hug and crying with me for a moment but the lesson was learned: it will be ok. But on his timetable- NOT mine.

    My family has been dealing with horrific pain the past few years in this regard and so this has been whispered to me a dozen times. Each time it gets a little easier to understand.

    After all the heartache of the past few years I believe that the 'grief' of a loved one's passing from this material world is ultimately a selfish expression. And a subconsciously jealous one. Sadness they're gone from us(if we allow it to) tends to spiral into a selfish circular logic which is all about what the survivor has 'lost' and not what the recently deceased has GAINED!! When my grandfather died an aunt of mine said it best, "I'll see Daddy soon and I guess I'm just jealous, really." She gave a silly laugh and smile afterward and we shared a knowing look with one another. No one else at the table got it. They looked at her slightly horrified.

    Do you see what I mean about jealousy among the living and then sounding like a sociopath? It's living on the edge, for sure. I don't open my mouth much any more about death for this reason. Consoling people only makes them livid if they don't know the eternal love of pleroma.

    My husband goes nuts if I try to talk him out of grieving for his dead sister(of sixteen years now) every year on her birthday and on her death every year like she was just buried yesterday. It saps the life out of him. He can't live at all when he gets like this.

    This is why in my will I've asked that people throw a party for me at my 'funeral.' You cry you have to leave. Seriously! I don't want any crying! I want people to remember me smiling and loving life the way I really do now. Miss me, fine. But don't wallow in your own self doubt about the universe and say that it's only that you're grieving for a particular person. That's not living your life.

    From the Nag Hammadi scrolls in the Manichaean literature section, I'd like to dedicate these verses to all our loved ones:

    Come, spirit. Death has fallen, and sickness fled away.
    Let there be no desire for the house of affliction,
    which is wholly destruction and anguishing death.
    You were cast out from your native abode. You suffered in hell.
    Come nearer in gladness. Don't turn back
    to regard the shape of the bodies. See, they return
    through every rebirth, and through every agony
    and every choking prison where they burn and sigh.
    Come nearer. Don't be fond of perishing beauty
    in any of its forms. It withers
    and fades like a broken rose that dries in the sun,
    its grace destroyed.
    Princes and dead souls lie shackled in the tomb
    where all is blackness.

    My soul is saved.
    I am dressed in light.

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  2. This is beautiful. I have never been one to dwell too much on the demiurge nor the fallen-ness of this world. Yet losing my dad and seeing my beloved grow sick, I find I do need to rage and grieve both.. and yet I too hear that promise... this is not the end. Don't desire to return to this house of affliction. woo good stuff.

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