Thursday, January 21, 2010

“Why God hates Haiti”

This is the title of Lisa Miller’s column in Newsweek. She quotes Western religious attempts to crack the mystery of theodicy—why does God let bad things happen? None of the attempts gets past the limiting habit of discussing spiritual reality (“God”) as if it were an individual “He.”

A more answerable question is, Why do disasters induce deeper relationships with Spirit? Why do tragedies turn people toward spiritual reflection?
Being jolted out of ordinary existence prods us to look deeper than surface existence. It plunges us to a depth where Spirit reigns and we can’t deny It. In shock we yearn for and stumble toward greater purpose and meaning than caring for creature comforts.

Bad things happen. Evil is part of reality. This is easier to accept with a more abstract notion of Spirit than a theistic god with humanlike mind and will as Westerners imagine Spirit. In the face of Infinite Immensity we intuit a Force that cannot be fathomed, and we are humbled.

P.S.
Sure, I know intellectually that spiritual reality needs to be understood more inclusively than as a single set of humanlike images like the Father/Son guys of Christianity. But I’m human.

So I relate to God as if She were a human individual. I get mad at Her, for instance, for making life so complicated & hard. I say I wouldn’t mind it being boring once in a while, but I know that’s not true. Silly emotional me.
One thing we Christians can learn from Jesus is relating to God as to a parent. He called God “Abba” or the familiar “Dad,” we were told at the School of Theology.

1 comment from Green Monk:
Very well said. I share your feelings towards God. :)
Next time—back to the theme of mind over matter.

1 comment:

Miguel Conner said...

Well said. Obviously the Gnostic answer would be-- God hates all of
humankind equally. Suffering and the assumption that growth comes
from it is one of the tools He uses to keep our divine spark in the
universe. Along with the Buddha, the Gnostics would say that
transcending suffering is the ultimate goal.