(I actually wrote this 26 Feb 2011)
This is very speculative and not a post of belief by any means.
“How can there be evil in the world?”
“How can there be evil in the world?” or bad, or sickness, or pain… or in the universe? — that is a question I hear asked quite often and perhaps though I don’t ask it myself often I do sometimes ponder an answer to give.
The pat answer “God works in mysterious ways.” while is in truth a Truth that I believe is an answer is not very satisfying to give to people who are asking that question — especially people who are distraught and have just lost a loved one and are grieving or to people questioning their faith for whatever reason.
I have other answers I have given and worked out, but this is one I pondered today. The ills of the world perhaps are there because it is the only way there can be a world in which we can have a world with individuality. Perhaps it is those ills that distinguish this possible creation as one where we can be individuals separate from each other. Without the potential for conflict there would be no need for choice. Without the choice for greater goods there would be no lesser evils.
What I am meaning is that in order to be individuals we have to be able to choose our own path and that means there need be different directions to take. With perfection isn’t there only one path? Can one path be more perfect than the perfect one? In order for there to be choice “perhaps” there has to be a path that might be less perfect, less good and with a less good path then there are lesser and lesser good choices that might be made that lead away from perfection.
I wonder as I write this, if this is the true meaning of that original sin. The Original Sin being the first turn from the Path of Perfection? The fact that there was this branch on the road we could take meaning that this was intended so that we might actually have this individuality?
Like I wrote at the beginning, this is very speculative and not a belief.
I am not saying by this that God is granting us free licence to sin or hurt each other or to stray from a path leading to God. What I am saying is that the very Universe is what gives us the ability to choose God. That gives us the ability to love God by choice rather than by directive. We can chose to deny God’s existence if we choose, or even to turn others from God. But foremost we have the choice to love God by choice.
I wonder, if on saying this people might ask me if the world might be a little less bad. I think, perhaps, if there are parallel worlds, that perhaps some might be less bad and hence have less choice and less individuality.
Perhaps there might be layers — like one of those strange cakes which are cooked by pouring a thin quarter inch – half cm layer at a time into the cake pan before broiling (Yes, I meant broiling, not baking.) so as to create a distinct layers. Each layer could be a different flavouring or each could be a stronger flavouring, though traditionally they are a fairly simple though very tasty light cake.
( This type of cake is called a
Schichttorte which is a version of a type of cake called a Baumkuchen. I would have said stack of pancakes, but figured that this is a neat sort of cake I have only heard of once and the differing flavours more like a cake thing. I figured you could create a virtual rainbow with different cake flavours and colours. Though reading about them figure that isn’t very traditional.
You can find a picture of a cake like I describe here: Hochzeitsorte – Wedding Locations) The page is in German, but the purpose is to show the picture. You could get Google Translate to translate it for you, but the recipe seems to be for a different sort of cake.
The point of this cake analogy is that each layer could represent greater and greater freedom of choice and greater individuality that goes along with it. Let’s say the freedom of choice increases as you go down and the very bottom has a layer of syrup or jam representing total chaos. The top has nearly no choice and above that icing representing total order.
Perhaps chaos and order are not the right words to use because chaos and evil often are equated and there are negative connotations to too much order and a lack of freedom. So both order and chaos in totality are seen as negative things.
I do not equate Love with order and Hate with chaos… perhaps disorder is a better word? Last night I read/heard that “fear” is the opposite of “love”?
Whether or not these parallel worlds exist, considering them we might look at this world we do live in. We have a choice of whether to believe in God or not and we have a choice of whether to help others or not. Sometimes it looks like we don’t have choices, but while they might not be easy to find, I believe they are there if not just in the way we look at what is happening.
If there is a stack of layers and we represent one layer and one “us” in a stack of parallel “us”s — perhaps, we are the ones with the greatest amount of choice? Perhaps we are the ones with the stickiest choices to make and the greatest mountains to leap? Perhaps, also we have the greatest occasions to shine? Perhaps we are at the bottom of the heap?