An Act Of God

Why do bad things happen to so-called "good" people? Why do good things happen to so-called "bad" people? Since earliest times we have tried to find ways of understanding such fateful occurrences.

The most common way is to consider the various conditions that befall us, whether good or bad, as being determined by some higher law, or power. We generally think of fate as a series of rewards and punishments, all being metered out by this higher law or power.

We further assume that this higher law or power is in control of the universe in which we live. And this assumption gives us, if not total comfort, at least a measure of contentment. It is after all, a good thing to be able to explain the fickleness of fate. Phrases like, "the Lord works in mysterious ways" or " it was her karma" provide a sense of closure to even monstrous circumstances, don't they?

And of course this would be fine, if that's all there were to it. But put two humans together and soon enough chaos ensues.

By observation we know that the natural laws which obviously control the universe are seemingly perfect. We are filled with wonder and awe the more we come to know and understand these pristine principles. Surely the force who put such wondrous laws in motion did so out of profound love; love of creation certainly, but also love of beauty, harmony and divine order.

What better way to honor and worship this force than to study and learn to appreciate, and perhaps emulate, these sublime natural laws; laws which are no less than the building blocks of our entire existence?

This must have been the thinking back in earliest times when we first began the never-ending task of unraveling the mysteries behind the marvelous universe in which we live. And what a joyous adventure it could and should have been, had our tiny egos not gotten in the way.

Based on observation and intuition, the earliest thinking persons must have found certain laws to be "self evident". Over time these gifted, often charismatic personalities developed the reputation of being blessed with deep insight and wisdom. People soon began looking to them as "sages", "wise persons" or "masters".

No doubt these early wise-persons were sincerely interested in delving into the mysteries. But soon enough, they found themselves the center of growing attention.

There are always those who wish to gain knowledge, yet for a variety of reasons are unwilling to seek it on their own. Preferring to attach themselves to one school of thought or another, by definition the best they can do is parrot the findings of others.

Those who actively seek out the truth for themselves are "knowers". All others, the parrots, are merely "believers". They believe what others know. Believers often spoil the journey for true seekers. Believers will duel to the death, and bring down the house with them, blindly defending what they believe they know.

Open-mindedness is paramount amongst genuine seekers; those who will settle for nothing less than the whole truth. Debate is a welcome tool. Only foolish believers remain obstinate when confronted with plausible alternatives. A wise person will change his or her mind as often as need be; such is the nature of one who loves knowledge and the toil of discovery.

Many of these early wise-persons found themselves awash with believers and overcome with the heady intoxication of such celebrity. Like a drug, they found power addictive. For them, leadership was a natural consequence of mastership. Of those who chose to rule, only a few were able to retain their humanity and remember the force that is really in control of the universe.

Others took on god-like powers, becoming demigods and/or self proclaimed instruments of the "Almighty". In their domains, human proclamations and mundane laws became the object of study, rather than the fundamental natural laws of the universe. Misinformation begat more misinformation until it was difficult or impossible to determine the origin and the validity of the commonly held precepts if the day.

From this mold would emerge the complex governments and large powerful religions of today. Over time we lost sight of natural law altogether, except as it applies to empirical science, which concentrates on quantifying the physical properties and structure of matter. Anything not obvious to the physical senses was deemed theoretical and outside the realm of serious study.

Many people originally came to the so-called "New World" to escape the God-like control of their rulers, an oppressive religious hierarchy and the narrow minded schools of thought extant throughout Europe. They sought freedom of expression and freedom to pursue the religious or spiritual path of their choice. Many, especially those who settled in the region around Philadelphia, hoped to enjoy lifestyles more in harmony with the natural laws of the universe. Through work and worship they hoped to gain a better understanding of those laws, for the betterment of all.

Today, over two hundred years later, America has deteriorated into a nation of believers. We continue pushing the limits of technology to ever increasing highs and lows. We swim in a veritable sea of data; facts and figures on just about any subject are immediately available to all.

We do so many things better or faster than ever before; yet one oftentimes wonders if we have really made any real progress at all. Especially when it comes to issues such as equal rights for all, conquering our prejudices, compassion for others, over-coming pettiness and personal insecurities, truthfulness, personal integrity and so on. Narrow-mindedness and intolerance appear to be growing more prevalent, not less. How many of us feel loved? How many are content and happy with their lives?

Is it just me, or does the world appear to be growing more insane all the time?

A thinking person simply cannot measure the chaos extant in the world today. However, America is at the apex of this global chaos; America is nothing less than a chaos generator. Insanity is too small a word; only chaos will do and even it pales.

We are a nation of total contradictions.

Our federal, state and local laws all contradict and amend each other. These laws give our government the power to kill, steal, lie and to commit just about any atrocity it decides to undertake in the name of national security.

Our religions offer codes of behavior and commandments which are not absolute and which can be bent to fit the circumstances. Every part of life from birth to death is regulated by one authority or another. Only duly authorized and empowered persons can marry, divorce and bury us. Even eternal sainthood can only be conferred by a mere mortal, not God Almighty.

There are three braches to our federal government. The forces of nature could smite them all from the face of the earth in a matter of hours, yet they believe they are actually in control! They believe anything can be fixed with the proper new law or amendment. They believe their undertakings are of intergalactic importance!

Our educational system is designed to produce non-thinking believers with good parroting skills. A good student is a good parrot; actually knowing or comprehending anything is totally unnecessary. Real seekers of knowledge are perceived as troublemakers.

In America we the people are given only one real power for change. We can vote. We can use this single power to elect knowers instead of parroting believers. But even when knowers run for office, only a third of us bother to vote. Many believers are even proud of the fact that they never vote, as if not voting somehow gives them power!?

Many Americans have no real friends. Others have one or two. These best friends are often either a computer or a TV. Some Americans consider the personalities they watch daily on TV as friends and/or companions.

Most Americans look to TV news as their main source of information regarding current affairs. Yet most Americans do not trust the media, or at best, believe it is biased.

America has the most modern health-care facilities in the world. Yet they are dangerous places where thousands of needless deaths and injuries occur annually due to malpractice and mistakes. American's spend billions on prescription medications to make them well, yet these same prescription medications are now the fifth leading cause of death in America. Doctors prescribe rat poison to millions of American's every year as a blood thinner.

We pay other people millions and millions of dollars a year to watch them pretend to do things. We pay still other people millions and millions of dollars a year to watch them play games like baseball and football. Our main form of entertainment is watching other people make millions of dollars. This is more fun than actually getting up and doing something ourselves. Yet we often consider ourselves experts on things merely because we watch other people do those things.

We eat more food per person than any other nation in the world. Yet we are nutritionally challenged. We must rely on a host of supplement to get even the barest minimum daily requirement of essential nutrients.

We have for the past two decades created the most polluted environment ever know since we first began keeping records of such things. We innocently committed this atrocity against ourselves and nature in the name of comfort and easy living. Give us lavish, spacious automobiles and other forms of transportation. Give us chemicals that quickly and easily do the job with the least work possible and the lowest possible initial cost. Give us instant everything; fast everything! Huge lavish malls! Trees? Cut them down with abandon! More fish, more shrimp, more beef, more chicken and eggs galore! More cheap energy! More! More! Who cares how much it costs or how much harm is done . . . we want it and we want it now and we want as much of it as we can get! The environment . . . let the government take care of that.

These contradictions, and thousands more, are the symptoms of chaos. We have created this chaos by our own actions. As a nation, perhaps as a world, we have lived as if there were no natural laws extant in the universe. We have, instead, focused our attention on the laws of men and women. And yet we have ignored and corrupted even those.

For example, one group of believers say that God initially gave us a paradise. God also gave us domain over this paradise. When we messed up and chose to ignore His laws, He all but destroyed us with a flood. Those who remained after the water receded were given a second chance. However, if we failed again, God promised he would smite us once more, only with fire, rather than water.

Anyone paying attention may have noticed there is trouble once again in paradise. And I'm sure there is a boat load of believers out there who are feeling rather smug right about now. They may even feel comforted by the belief that this whole Global Warming thing is just God's will!

And they are right. We have ignored the natural laws of the universe, and chosen to follow a different path. Like last time, things will probably get a whole lot worse before they get better.

Me, I say we brought it on ourselves. So it's only right that we should try and fix the mess we've made. But we must also remember that everything in the universe is always in divine order.

The perfect natural laws, put into place by Mother Nature or God or Allah or Jehovah or Yahweh or Vishnu or Buddha, promote and maintain a constant state of balance and harmony. We affect this balance is small ways by our every thought, act and deed. Perhaps this is why some religious cults say it is a sin to even think about bad or negative things.

Should any portion of the universe become out of balance, the laws of nature swiftly begin restoring things to a state of harmony. They do this in their usual impartial, no nonsense way. In other words, a cosmic smiting may well be in the cards.

If you think being a believer will serve as protection, or somehow make you immune to God's wrath, I wouldn't count on it.

Remember how bad things often happen to good people? And when they do, we just say it was God's will? Well, I can't see where believers have ever been spared the pain and suffering of this world either.

In fact, when believers are smitten with hurricanes, tornadoes, hail, floods, earthquakes, pestilence and so on, why else have they always blamed their misfortune on an "Act of God"?

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