Jim and Klaus,
I eavesdropped on your conversation. Please allow me to inject my beliefs: We are all spirit children of an intentional God and Goddess—so-called heavenly father and mother—the real parents of our souls—who knew us as premortal spirit children and offered a plan that one-third of the spirits rejected outright: to come to an earth, experience a mortal probation, with conscious agency (conscience) to choose right and wrong and to continue our progression in a post-mortal realm in the context of family, with an eventual reunion of body and spirit (resurrection) and divine judgment and degree of glory and immortality and a new life of eternal progression with a sense of purpose and plan.
Without such an understanding—without God and commandments and conscience and absolute truth and divine purpose for life—everything is negotiable and situational: all law, all ethics, all morality, all judgment. Moreover, all is vanity and folly. All mortal pain and suffering, all heroics and achievement, all obedience and disobedience to law, all judgment and consequence—everything as we know it on earth is an enigmatic (and somewhat egocentric) experience with no core energy, only centrifugal forces.
Without an eternal perspective and divine parentage, we are no better off, perhaps much worse off, than E. O. Wilson’s insects—destined to be born and die in the far less idyllic conditions that a rather cruel “mother nature” provides. We are only puzzles to ourselves when we fail to see the big picture and only fiddle with the jigsaw pieces. Our hell, if we live one, is not knowing who we are. No animal has to endure such torture!
While some people surely “play the system” for all its worth, it’s not a fair assumption that the pregnant black woman with seven children lives on welfare. Indeed, she has the toughest job in this world, regardless of the source of her revenue. Yes, the Blacks have their challenges, and need to address them in ways that the “black lives matter” movement avoids.
I once spoke at a Black Leadership Conference in Atlanta. The head of the NAACP spoke just before me and argued for more government benefits and more reverse discrimination against whites. Yes, he blamed most of the problems of his black community on white racism. I left my prepared notes on my seat and spoke for 20 minutes in rebuttal to his remarks, using the Mormon experience of the 1830s, 1840s and 1850s as my text. While not slaves, Mormons were exterminated (legally) as pests and driven out of six states, all their property and money stolen, then pushed handcarts 1,200 miles across hostile territory and started over again in a desert (Utah). Today, because of their faith and industry, they prosper. True, if you let hate and prejudice control your life, seeking recrimination and revenge, you will be poor and miserable.
Birds, while very intelligent, are not our kissing cousins, just products of both creation and evolution (alas, compatible concepts in high intelligence).
The mind is marvelous, but we are blessed even more when we follow the heart. If we have an open mind and receptive heart, a moral compass and conscience, we know when something rings true to us. That may be “religion” enough, you say? You are both justified in being critical of “organized religion” (churches) for its shamans and showmen, for false prophets and many conflicts and overreaches into social, political, legal, financial and familial realms. As fathers, we have all felt the heavy hand of religion in the business of our heads and beds. Still, we can’t evict God from His universe, nor trash those who believe in Him. Yes, myth and “religion as myth” are as quintessentially important to our spiritual well-being as education is to our economic and material well-being. We can’t live without spiritual and material sustenance.
Man is no interloper on earth, no stranger out of place. Indeed, this earth was created expressly for him, and he was given dominion (stewardship) over all things on the face of it. Still, we are not to act “superior” to other forms of life but as responsible stewards who at some point must give an account of our actions toward all human beings, plants and animals.
Those tyrants, like Hitler, who dip into the “Honeywell” of humanity and force others to fight their battles, even to die for their evil causes, shall be made to pause and to atone.
We are all part of the same “Royal Family.” What is mythical is the supremacy of the anachronistic monarchies that assert their celebrity for the sake of monetary gain and the glory of their compatriots. Perhaps we need myth to live, but we don’t need the expensive pomp and ceremony or changing of the guards at palaces or White Houses.
Indeed, we humans can exhibit backwardness, especially as we lump all religion—Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam—into the same pot of plagiarism. Early Judaism and Christianity are distinct in their stories of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God savior of mankind. Is it just another form of nonsense, a giant myth, or the only story that makes sense? Are Christians just as crazy as the Nazis, Communists, and pathetic politicians? Let’s ask Christ, himself, and not presume to have an answer.
If “black lives matter,” then all of life matters. If life matters, then life comes with great cause, purpose, and for millions of good people, a semi-utopian destiny (though not of this world). Both myth and truth have much power in our lives. And though we often sway on the bridges that connect them, in our hearts we know the one from the other.
Indeed, when scientists and others deny the “myth” of God and act out in open rebellion of God’s laws, we quickly lose discipline and regress into debauchery and degradation.
So, why life? Are we all coconspirators in cross-purposes with divine rationality, destined to self-destruct in our greedy quest for power and fame, to be boiled alive in the caldron of our ignorance and to operate in dystopia as accessories to the very conditions we say we despise?
Yes, is my surprising answer, unless we accept our own fallibility and the potential fallibility and unsustainability of our utopias—our doctrines, ideologies, traditions and governments. Indeed, we can’t transform a dystopia to a Utopia on demand, enabling instant immortality. Let the truth ring out: we are the why . . . the work and the glory of God, the eternal father of all humanity, and his son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost.