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July 26, 2008

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Of course, the fundamentalist Christian view is that god enables an imperfect universe to make people see how much they need 'his' perfection. Therefore, the free will of humans is there but the option of not giving it all to god is so unattractive that logical people will choose god i.e. religion.

If you spend much time looking at god in the Old Testament, it shows a very jealous, sometime spiteful acting being who can let one person off and punish another unmercifully, even hurt someone simply to prove they love you as in the case of Job. All the time it is said how perfect god is so whatever is done has to be good.

Having come out of that mindset, I find it kind of amazing now that it was okay with me back then that god would tell Abraham to kill his son, something that is against the law even but it was okay because it was all a test. It's no wonder that people still do terrible things today 'Under the Banner of Heaven.'

Sorting out what might be the nature of god or even gods from religion is where real spiritual work begins, I think. It's not hard to take on someone else's viewpoint, their teachings, so long as you don't think on it too much. It is actually easier because you just take a deep breath and let go your own wisdom and you call it faith.

What is hard is working it out for yourself based on what you see around you and your own inner voice. Reading the experiences and ideas of others is good; but in the end spirituality, I think, has to be experiential; therefore subjective not objective and nobody else can really learn from someone else. We each take our own path forward if we want to make it ours. That's why the great spiritual teachers all have a time in the wilderness which I think we all have to also do-- figuratively speaking.

Naturally this is just my opinion; but I think if we want to grow spiritually in a deep way, we benefit from have had a time in a religious tradition, learning the foundation of it; then a time in the wilderness, where we come out the other side (in no predetermined length of time in any phase) it will be with our own spiritual power and path. Religions do not agree with this, of course.

One thing I really do like about your blog is you make a person think as it's obvious you are constantly doing. I come here often in the mornings with my mind on many other things and you bring it back to what I think spiritually about this or that or you get me to consider a new idea. I think that's a very good thing.

Brian,

You quote Carrier as saying: "it is obvious that a perfect being, by any definition, could not and would not create an imperfect universe".

If God is perfect then, by my definition, anything other than God would have to be less perfect than God. Otherwise whatever it was wouldn't be "other" than God. It would be God.

So, God creates the best of all possible worlds. It isn't perfect but it's the next best thing.

Then we come along with our space-time-physical human thinking and we create our own versions of God's best but not perfect world.

Then we look at our own thought-construction and, finding fault with it, we criticise God.

Well, God didn't create the thought-world in which we live. God left us free to create that world for ourselves.

God also gave us the conscious resources and the life-opportunity to create our own world of thought.

If we take the gifts of consciousness and life for granted and run off to make whatever we want with them for ourselves and leave God out of the picture all together, then that's fine.

If, instead, we want to find God and thank God for the gifts, then all we need to do is direct those gifts of life and consciousness that God gave us back towards where they came from. That's what the Platonic Zen exercises are about.

Some do. Some don't. The rest criticise. It's all up to free choice.

As far as I am concerned, perfect and imperfect were pretty much rendered null concepts after the first time I read Chapter 2 of the Tao Te Ching. You seek out one, the other shows up too.

Perfection/imperfection, chaos/order, turns out it's the monkey's mind doing what it does best: Breaking things down into graspable bits, injecting *order*, rejecting *chaos*. Every one of those concepts really begins and ends in the mind of the monkey in question.

Arhtur Koestler also ridiculed the god of a universe that created the koala, which can only live on one substance. Koestler thought that any creator who allowed such a thing as the atrocity that was World War II was a fool at best, and psychopathic at least.

The universe is perfect, except for my plantar fasciitis.

Edward,

Several years ago plantar faciitis was an issue. A doctor said he had a reliable surgical technique that cost $3,000 or I could wait for it to improve on its own in a year or so which turned out to be a good estimate. This helped in the meantime...

http://www.heel-that-pain.com/

Rain,

Love, reading your comments. You are a very sweet lady. Many best wishes, Roger.

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