My Fellow Spiritualists,
It happens over and over. In fact, it happened again this past week. A friend of mine who had performed admirably and been faithfully devoted to his company for many years was, without warning, laid off.
Someone, somewhere along the line decided that his position, or his department, or his division, was expendable.
It is enough to leave even the most devoted, disillusioned.
Disillusioned (ˌdɪsɪˈluːʒənd) adj having lost one's ideals, illusions, or false ideas about someone or something; disenchanted.
Disillusionment happens when we discover that that to which we entrusted ourselves,was not trustworthy. We assumed it would treat us justly, humanely or even better, charitably. In reality it’s actually indifferent toward us.
I say ‘it’ because the object of our trust is exactly that. It’s a an object: unfeeling, uncaring, ungrateful....indifferent.
I was once at an event in which an exceedingly kind woman, after receiving an award, and said, ‘I’d like to thank the universe for granting me this award.’
At first I thought, ‘Oh. She is a pantheist.’ (‘pan:’ from the greek word meaning ‘all’ and ‘theism’ from the greek word meaning ‘god’ ie Everything is god, or is god-occupied).
Then I thought, ‘ The universe would never satisfy me.' That's because an ‘it’ (in this case, 'the universe' or perhaps, a 'life force') would leave me more insecure and uneasy than I already am.
Why? Well, if you begin, as I do, believing that we were made for relationships and any relationship worth it's salt requires two self-aware, emotionally-engaged, uniquely-characterized, animated persons, then an 'it' will never suffice.
'I-It,' rather than an 'I-Thou,' doesn't provide the ingredients necessarry for the sometimes maddening, sometimes wonderful, often messy, back and forth of a real live relationship.
I know that many of you are New Age Pantheists in one form or another. You also know that I cherish your friendship and hold each of you in high regard. It’s not my objective to demean so much as to explain why I can't go New Age with you.
It's because I believe that, in the end, we were made for a person and not an it.
When we are in pain, will it notice?
When we celebrate, will it join in?
When we lay on our death bed or watch a loved one pass, will it comfort us or dry our tears or offer us hope?
Does it even know what it's like to suffer?
Will it give it's life (if it had one to give) in exchange for ours?
Even if it were capable of emotions, whose to say that it's emotions would be benevolent? Whose to say that it isn't a merciless tyrant?
Many will retort, 'Ah, but you forget that the universe does have a personality' and you'd point to nature to discern it's personality to which I’d reply, ‘Not very comforting....especially for the weak and vulnerable. After all, have you ever watched the Nat Geo station?'
No, I find the God attested to in the New and Old Testament, who, while puzzling at times, is anything but indifferent....and far more trustworthy. Unlike it, He knows us by name.
Am I being unfair? Maybe missing something? Creating a strawman? Being a trouble maker or bully? Being a theological buzzkill? :-) Your thoughts? All are welcome.