adventures in dysthymia

Sunday, July 10, 2011

ON SUFFERING, EVIL and OMNIPOTENCE

Suffering, without God, would be intolerable. God, without suffering, would be meaningless.

We can not, as Buddhist philosophy might posit, escape suffering through losing our attachments to things, to this world. We must embrace our suffering. It is real.

It is life.

Only by truly living, accepting our existence, do we fulfill ourselves. Otherwise, we spin on, trying to deny our own essence, balanced between being and non-being.

We never find the God who is around us, in us. We lose love.

Suffering is not something to be sought. It is not good. Like evil, it is a necessary part of the interaction between being and non-being.

* * *

Evil is ultimately empty and (though be it a cliche) banal. It has no beauty, no nobility; it takes these things from the Good, dresses itself in them, distorts them. It does not create.

* * *

How can and does an all-powerful God permit evil? I would have to emphasize that evil does not exist as an actual thing, a part of Being. It is Nothingness.

Or more precisely, Evil is the action of Nothingness, of Non-Being, on Existence. It is the movement away from Being. It is the destruction of what is created, the turning away from Being. Good and Evil must exist in the interaction of Being and Nothingness.

Nothingness is within Being and Being is within it and both are infinite. Both might be considered all-powerful, in this sense. Each defines the other -- where one is, the other is. It is the Void in which God's omnipotence, his Being, exists. He would have no meaning without it.

* * *

All this could seem like Dualism. Were Nothingness an actual thing, a god-like presence, that would be true. But Nothingness is, well, nothing. There is only One that exists, albeit infinitely.

Stephen Brooke ©2011

Most of this I'd jotted down a while back but hadn't quite followed through on it to my satisfaction. A few things I've thought or read in the last couple days led me to come back and finish. For now.

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