We are probably the vainest culture that has ever existed. All our public figures are primarily concerned with their images in order to gain or maintain or increase their following and popularity. They and their parties employ professional ‘handlers’, ‘spin-doctors’, and image-makers to make sure they always ‘appear to best advantage’ as they announce anything and everything in just the right setting with just the right wording and approving audience. In any contest of optics versus substance we know always know which will win out.
Kohelet’s wisdom has never been outdated. It stands as strong and solid today as it did when he first recited it to the cynics and skeptics of his own time. Hear him once more: “Being human starts, and ultimately ends, with knowing we have a Creator. The Creator has made us to live and care for His/Her world according to the “commands, ways, principles, manner of being” the Creator has established. “Being human” can only be achieved within these simple parameters.”
“Your faith tells you that you need not fear any god or God to whom you will give an account for the things you have done, said, and thought during your very short time on this earth. But you really do not know whether you are right or wrong. You are taking a great gamble, like staking everything, absolutely everything, on a single flip of a coin.”
Thing is, the nature of love demands a universe where evil is possible because free creatures made for love must have the freedom to choose not to love but to do evil in its stead. But to avoid blame, guilt, and responsibility we must then blame God, or deny Him/Her altogether, because we don’t want to look ourselves in the face—especially since, as we are told over and over these days, humans are not fundamentally flawed in their nature. Nevertheless, as we have just observed, in all the greatest evils inflicted on the human race throughout its history, it was other humans doing the accusing and condemning, then wielding the swords, guns, and machinery of destruction one upon another, expending incalculable energy and creative imagination to find new and better ways to pile evil upon evil and body upon body in the name of vengeance, justice, or plain old avarice, power-hunger, and blood-lust.
the fundamental missing link in any hope for our quest is to find, to go back to, the only worthy and reliable starting point—the Creator and the nature of what He/She has made. And, from there, to confess, to agree, that what He/She has done, which reflects His/Her inevitable nature, is “unfathomable from beginning to end”.
Having acquired everything wealth, power, and ambition could give him, he finds it empty. Yet, as he predicted, three thousand years later we still find these pursuits to be the main goal of life for masses of folk all over the world. Granted, most people do not usually chase these goals on the same scale as Solomon (although the several hundred wealthiest people on Planet Earth today could probably directly relate to a great deal of what he said), but from the USA to China, India, and Kenya, people are still seeking “more and better” of whatever peculiar portion of Solomon’s universal lust for ever more has “turned their crank”. All modern economic theory is built on this covetousness.
“I have ruled out … any possibility that the problem of evil can be solved in terms of developmental progress or evolution. If the world gradually gets better and better until it turns into a utopia—though we should in any case be appropriately cynical about such a possibility—that would still not solve the problem ofContinue reading “The Third Way, 10: Point of Departure”
My belief or disbelief in His reality has no more effect on Him than the ant believing I am here has on my being here. That is why Qohelet says “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth (KJV Translation).” After all, youth may be the only days you ever have.
Saying that this ‘meaning-seeking’ is a mere residual effect of evolution just won’t cut it. The instinct to survive is the strongest of all, we are told. Other species have survived by developing (or being endowed by God with) superior strength and speed, special cunning, or unusual adaptations. But none of them have ever sought to understand “WHY?” It is probable that no other species (at least on earth) is cerebrally equipped to undertake such a quest. That in itself raises the question why humanity is so uniquely endowed.