Friday, February 6, 2009

Morning meditation - Laughing at tragedy


I think often about the love I have for my adult children. I feel terribly sad and guilty for the less than optimum upbringing they endured. I observe the problems that they struggle with which in no small way were influenced by their mother and my inability to be there for them in the ways they deserved.

Do other parents have regrets?

Does God have regrets?

Does God regret that God couldn't have done more for Adam and Eve so that they didn't commit the orginal sin and doom humankind to lives of hell?

I can imagine God crying in sadness, frustration, disappointment, fear for God gave Adam and Eve free will and therefore God, according to the story which has become the basis for much of our theology, was impotent, helpless, could only observe and suffer and not intervene.

Karl Jaspers said that tragedy is awareness in the excess of power. To know how things could be, should be, ought to be, and yet not have the power to make it happen fills one with terrible grief, helplessness, foreboding, and a sense of tragedy.

God knows how I feel watching my adult children because God has been there too.

The Buddhists tell us to let it go. The problem is in our attachment. If you don't care, you can't suffer, so detach, or maybe respond with compassion, but it is hard to be compassionate towards people suffering when you had a hand in creating the factors that they suffer from.

Unitarian Universalism says that it will all come out in the wash. We are all going to heaven sooner or later, and it looks like for us and those we love it will be later rather than sooner.

I suppose a sense of humor helps and a sense of reverence for the mystery of life.

Can you imagine God, watching Adam and Eve commit the original sin, laugh and say to the Godself, "there they go again, will they ever learn?"

7 comments:

  1. I think God says 'yes', that Adam and Eve learned from what the bible says was the 'original sin'.
    The regrets we have in life are with us forever. The easing of the pain is what we have to do. We have no choice. And as you know ... a sense of humor and friends help a lot.

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  2. Don,
    Well said. As someone who has lots of regrets I like your approach to 'easy the pain' as we have no other choice. As for original sin, it is a myth invented by a sick mind. To think that any imagined god would place the sins of the father on all his progeny is rediculous. And why would a creator not want his creation to seek knowledge anyway? I think that is why we are here - to seek knowledge.
    Best Regards,
    Alan

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  3. I could be mistaken but I expect that David does consider the doctrine of Original Sin to be a myth.

    :And why would a creator not want his creation to seek knowledge anyway?

    You might want to reread the first few chapters of Genesis, to say nothing of John Milton's 'Paradise Lost'. . . to find the answer to *that* question Alan. For the record it was not general knowledge but "the knowledge of good and evil" that the bitter fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil opened the mythical Adam and Eve's eyes to. Surely you can understand why the Creator might not want Adam and Eve or any other human beings to have that particular knowledge and awareness.

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  4. BTW to the best of my knowledge the Bible itself does not speak of 'Original Sin'. This was a doctrine created by the Christian Church centuries, if not a millennia or two, after the Genesis creation myth was first conceived. Interestingly enough Judaism does not hold to aka rejects the Christian doctrine of 'Original Sin' in spite of being the religion that originated aka created the Genesis creation myth in the first place.

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  5. Hi Robin,
    Yes, I'm sure David and most of us consider Original Sin a myth. It's just that I consider it a very destructve one. And yes, I think you are correct in placing its origin in the early Christian centuries, St. Augustine perhaps?
    I probably do confuse, or combine, the need for general knowledge with the specific knowledge of good and evil but is this so wrong? Can we deny one kind of knowledge and allow only others?
    I am again in over my head on theology on this but I think it mankinds' purpose to seek all knowledge. As Stephan Hawkings said, refering to finding the origin of the universe, in part, 'for then we shall know the mind of god."
    Robin, you say 'Surely you can understand why the Creator might not want Adam and Eve or any other human beings to have that particular knowledge and awareness.' but I'm not sure I do. I don't want to think that I was created to be kept in the dark.

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  6. Well if you read the Genesis myth the way I read it, and I expect the way John Milton read it, God did not want Adam and Eve to possess the knowledge of good and evil for the simple reason that God did not want them to know that God was capable of both good and evil. . . Not that, regardless of rather questionable Christian apologetics, God did not acknowledge this fact down the road a bit in Isaiah 45:7.

    :I probably do confuse, or combine, the need for general knowledge with the specific knowledge of good and evil but is this so wrong?

    It is wrong only in terms of misinterpeting the meaning of the Tree Of Knowledge in the Genesis creation myth which was specifically about the knowledge of good and evil and not about knowledge in a more general sense.

    :Can we deny one kind of knowledge and allow only others?

    You ask the dreaded Emerson Avenger that question? ;-)

    :I don't want to think that I was created to be kept in the dark.

    The Emerson Avenger likes to think that he is doing his bit to ensure that U*Us aren't kept in the dark like proverbial mushrooms. :-)

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  7. For the record I too consider the myth of "Original Sin" to be a very destructive one. The Genesis creation myth is by no means my favorite creation myth. OTOH it none-the-less contains a fair bit of wisdom, not the least of it being the implicit recognition that God is capable of both good and evil. It really would be quite worthwhile for U*Us to refresh their memory of the first few chapters of Genesis.

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