April 1st, 2007

Sinfest - Cannot Predict Now

Good People and Bad Stuff

On a LJ community an philosophical person raised the following questions:
When someone says "we create our own reality" I usually respond with "I dare you to say that to a paraplegic". Personally I find that attitude is reserved for the comfortable and privileged, it tends to go right out the window when something truly bad happens. If you think about it, its a pretty arrogant position. Essentially declaring yourself God. If I get hit with a hurricane, Its because I created the hurricane? That was a pretty mean and selfish thing for me to do, wasn't it.
To me, the hindsight question of "why did thing X happen" becomes a Gordian knot of spiritual and philosophical proportions. The interpretation of a past event invites multiple interpretations. Some explanations are easy. Others reach into the higher reaches of the Divine or pre-natal astral influence. The most pragmatic interpretation would be that the person was at the right place at the very wrong time.

Bad stuff happens to good people. The "why" part is the fuel that creates religions. It can get really fuzzy as to why the child has abusive parents/relatives, the person crossing the road is paralyzed, or the hurricane destroys a region. There are no simple answers that allow us to understand these situations. Instead, we are dared to merely shake our hands at the Divine, shouting "how dare you!".

Does this mean choice is excluded? IMO, no. To borrow a trite saying, "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade". While we may not understand misfortune, we can make concrete choices regarding how we deal with the misfortune. Does the child, now grown, succumb to the trauma of childhood or do they seek healing through whatever means possible? Does the paraplegic vegetate or do they live life to its fullest possible outcome? Does the victim of a hurricane assume the life of a homeless person or do they find ways to build an even better life? Choice begins when the vagueness of the unfair universe ends.

The choice I speak of happens in the operational moment. Your choice is in the now. This does not mean that your choice is the only one on the table. The outcome of life is a mix of choices. They merge into the physical and energetic outcome of the moment. Some factors of the now can reach far back into time, the result of past choices. Even while there may be a physical and energetic outcome, the result of your previous choices and everyone else's, HOW you interpret and react to the event is a choice made in that moment.

I don't have the answer to why bad things happen to good people. I am convinced that life can go on beyond these seemingly fated points. Choice is alive and well in the aftermath of philosophical Gordian knots.
Sinfest - Evil Meditation

A Hero Meme

Yesterday I was thinking about the extents that the people will go to in defense of themselves. Action movies present an "acceptable" picture of carnage and mayhem. How much would you be willing to go through?

Background... you have an enemy who just does not like you. He's rather pissed that you exist and have decided to do something about it.

Situation 1
Your enemy sends five goons to "teach you a lesson". With luck and a bit of skill, you put the five in the hospital. You have no injuries.

Situation 2
Your enemy sets up a marvelous death trap. You manage to detect the nefarious device. You prematurely trip the switch. Ten of the enemy's henchmen are killed in their own death trap.

Situation 3
Your enemy is getting really serious. He puts one hundred of his best soldiers in an air transport. You sabotage the plane. It crashes, killing all aboard.

Situation 4
You face your enemy face-to-face. He is at your mercy. He begs for mercy. You have the option of handing your enemy over to the authorities, banging him around a bit, or just killing him.


Each of the henchmen crippled or killed had fathers and mothers. Many had children and other loved ones. While some were really bad asses, others were doing a job to support their families.

Given who you are now, would you be able to embrace each situation? Could you carry all the way through to the end situation? How would you resolve situation 4?
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