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Is Hurricane Ike God’s will? Is the possible devastation of Galveston, Texas God’s will? Who creates our reality, God, or us — or no one in particular…just….Fate….?
If you have come to this blog for the first time today, welcome to Sunday School All Week, an ongoing discussion about God and Life and our place in all of this — your place and mine. We have been discussing here the notion of Creation, and of God’s Will, and of the place within the creative process that human beings occupy.
Now before we get further into this exploration today, I would like to take a moment to pray for all the people living in the Gulf of Mexico, and especially in Galveston and Houston, and they seek to, quite literally, “ride out the storm” that has been named Hurricane Ike.
I opened my Internet Browser this morning to find some of the more dire words I have ever heard about weather in the United States.
CNN was reporting that the weather service was speaking today of “a towering wall of water, possibly up to 22 feet high, crashing over the Galveston Bay shoreline as the brunt of Ike comes ashore.”
That wall of water could send floodwaters surging into Houston, more than 20 miles inland, the CNN report said. The CNN report went on…
“All neighborhoods … and possibly entire coastal communities … will be inundated during the peak storm tide. Persons not heeding evacuation orders in single family one- or two-story homes will face certain death.”
So before we go one step further, this prayer:
Dear God…Send your help and your strength now to all the people whose lives are being touched this day by this storm. Help them to find safety, and fold them in your loving arms. Bring each person, Dear God, the outcome and the experience that is their soul’s agenda, and keep them out of harm’s way if that agenda will allow. Help all of us, as well, to understand that we do not know the journey of each individual soul, but that You do, and will always see that this Will is done. Amen.
And now, let us explore some things in these days ahead. FIrst, what is the purpose of prayer? I’ve just said a prayer there. Why? For what purpose? Am I asking an all powerful God to stop something terrible from happening in the lives of some people? If God creates everything, why is this happening to begin with? How does this all work? Is it like this….(?)….God creates something terrible (like Hurricane Ike) and then, if enough of us pray to Him, He “rescinds” the damage that could be done….or reduces it to only a few?
This incident, in our lives right now, raises remarkably important questions, if we believe in a God at all.
(1) Why do things happen the way they happen?
(2) Can God change the things that are happening, at Will?
(3) If God can perform a ‘miracle’ and change what is happening, why did God bother to make it happen to begin with?
(4) What is going on here, on the Earth, and what role, if any, do human beings play in the events that occur in our individual and collective lives?
Are certain things simply “non-causal”? In other words, is it possible that certain things happen that are caused by neither God nor man? Shall we call these things, simply, “fate”? Or is there really a Third Party involved in all of this…the Devil?
Is the Devil creating ‘Ike’…with God doing whatever He can to stop it, or at least reduce its harmful effect?
Is it possible that neither the Devil nor God have anything to do with it? Is it possible that there IS no such thing or being as ‘The Devil’? For that matter, is it possible that there is no such thing or being as ‘God’? Are we just making this whole thing up?
Is it possible that there IS a God, but that WE are responsible — all of us human beings — for what is going on here on the Earth? If so, how far does our responsibility extend? To alal the circumstances of our individual lives? To the events in our community? In our nation? In our entire world?
What about galactic events? Who ‘controls’ them? Who creates them?
How about this scenario….’God’ created the Universe, but now stands apart from it, watching it “do its thing,” whatever that is, and intervening when called upon, but otherwise allowing things run pretty much amok….?
I mean, what is the story here?
Any answers, class?
Deb Reilly believes she has the answers. If I understand her correctly, she believes that we humans are not responsible for our lives…but that we are responsible for how we react and respond to our lives. As she put it in her most recent post…
I didn’t choose my parents.
I didn’t choose my sex.
I didn’t choose the country I was born in.
I didn’t choose my sisters and brothers.
I didn’t choose my childhood.
I chose to listen to God at age 50, and listening saved my life.
Well, boy, do I hear that. I, too, chose to “listen to God” at age 50, and it saved my life also! Wow! Isn’t that wonderful? I mean, that Deb and I had the same experience! Yet it seems that Deb and I heard somewhat different things; received a somewhat different message from The Divine. How is that possible, do you think? Is one of us “right” and the other of us “wrong”? What do you think?
Class member “Arthur” entered a huge and wonderful post — way too long to re-print here — but you may wish to go back to the most previous blog and check out his commentary.
I was most touched, though, by the posting of “LLB”…and this one I have to quote, at least in part, because it moved me so…
LLB was talking about her life, and the many, many challenges she has faced and continues to face. She said, in part…
And right when it looks like things might get a little better–I have to go and need another expensive referral to a doctor again. Oh, right, I’m creating this, I want it! I WANT to have acid reflux so bad I’m in pain 24-7 and a cancer risk, and it’s going to cost thousands of dollars to fix that I don’t have! I want to have surgery again…yeah…yeah…
Oh, my gosh, LLB…I am so saddened when I read this…and I understand your deep frustration and the pain, both physical and emotional, that you experience. I know that it is clear to you that you did not consciously “want” all this, or “choose” it, or “create” it.
Yet your circumstance continues to bring up, and loudly amplify, the questions I am asking here. If you have not, at some level, “created” these outcomes…working on concert with others, including an entire society which does not care enough to take care of all of its own members…then who has? Who has created this? God?
LLB goes on…
I’m talking about teetering on the edge here, getting older every day, and knowing there’s health problems that HAVE to be taken care of that are going to send you into bankruptcy. I’m talking about not knowing how the heck you can have a needed operation anyway, when you cannot possibly afford to be out of work for any recuperation time.
I’m talking about wondering where we’re going to be when we’re too old and sick to work. Where is the money going to come from to keep us in this house with food, lights, and heat? Social security ain’t gonna cut it, and may not even be there anymore. What’s going to happen when I’m 80 and never earned the money to pay off all this debt??
I hear you again, my friend. I hear you. And we need, all of us, to create some kind of community response to these kinds of needs, which are being faced by thousands and thousands of us. It is within the Human Family that we will and can solve these problems. Yet we have created a national and global society which says, in effect, “every man to himself.” This is called, within some political circles, “personal responsibility.” But you and your husband, LLB, have TAKEN responsibility for your lives,,,and STILL no relieve, STILL no respite, STILL no help when you need it most.
Wait! Wait! I HAVE it! More tax relief for the rich! Yes, that’s it! What’s the matter with me?! Of course, extend the Bush tax cuts, which allows that 5 percent of the population that already has millions to have even more! Yes, yes, that’s it! Yea, yea, John McCain! Boo, and double boo on Barack Obama. He wants to cut taxes for 95% of Americans. What is the world is the matter with him? Typical Democrat! Tax and spend! Tax and spend! And spend on WHAT! Social programs to help the poor? Geez, what is this guy thinking???
Ah, yes, LLB…I hear you. And here is what you must know: No one is suggesting that you created all by yourself the challenges that you face. My book Happier Than God explains this all very clearly. I mean, this process that causes such suffering and pain in our world. It is the result of Collective Consciousness, LLB. Not YOUR consciousness, but the consciousness of the Whole of Humanity, of the Whole of This Nation, of your neighbors and friends and all of us who create together this sometimes experience of a “hell hole” that we call Life On Earth.
We are going to take an action on Nov. 4 — election day — that will do a great deal to affect our Collective Reality, my friend, and I ama deeply hoping that our decision in this Fall’s presidential election will reflect our higher-evolving Collective Consciousness, and not the consciousness of the past.
i absolutely LOVE what Jay Leno had to say about this the other night…
“It’s a very strange political campaign. Out on the campaign trail, John McCain and Sarah Palin are talking about how they stood up to the Republican Party, they fought the Republican establishment, and they battled Republicans. Their message: vote Republican.”
But enough about politics. I know that most of you feel that God and Politics do not mix, should not mix, and that it is somehow “wrong” to mention one in the space of the other. But I am here to tell you all that unless we marry our highest thoughts (read that: our thoughts about God and Life and How We Are Going to Be With Each Other) with our politics, we are spiritually bankrupt. We say one thing but do another.
I hear you, LLB, when you tell me…
We do not live in some big, fancy place. We’ve slashed our lives to the bare bone, we drive beat-up old cars.
You know, a little bit, just a little bit of worldly success could fix this. It really could. OK, so I’m a shit, I have a horrible attitude, I just don’t want to change, and my fate is all my fault, and you can yell at me all you want to, but my husband is a good person who has the best outlook and more faith than I could ever have in ten million years, and look where he’s at. Maybe I don’t deserve better, but this person really, really does.
You know, just this summer things could have turned around and gotten dramatically better. We’ve worked and worked and worked and worked for it for years. So many years I had hope, I visualized, I believed, it kept me going. And instead, things got worse.
Where is God, anyway? Hello??
That is the Question of Our Time, LLB. That is the Question of Our Time.
Class? Any answers?