Paul is an explorer of spiritual well being, and he hopes that his articles reflect this, as well as his firm belief that life is good.
Food for Thought
I have always felt that there exists a perfection behind everything that is. It lies at the heart of reality. I cannot imagine it any other way. We are all a part of this reality, so I believe that we must possess at least some of this perfection.
It may be difficult to imagine perfection because we are obviously less than perfect beings living in a less than perfect world. Perhaps we are just fallen, fallen like apples from a tree. But the tree is part of the earth, this good earth, and whether we have fallen near the tree or far from it, we remain of the tree. Or maybe something has been lost in translation, the translation of that which lies beyond language and understanding into something we can contemplate and utter words to. Like trying to make sense of some nighttime dream, we seek to bring to light that which we know is there, yet difficult to describe. But the perfection is there. Some call it consciousness; others call it source. Some call it God, and many call it Love. And what is of the core is also of the whole, the perfection that permeates all. Some call this Spirit.
It is Good
If perfection seems too strong of a word to describe this fundamental reality, we can at least say that it is good. Why is it good? Or we could also ask: why do some things feel good, while others do not? Compassion feels better than hate. Even-ness of temper feels better than anger. Calmness of mind feels better than stress. Kindness feels better than meanness. Compassion, calmness and kindness make us smile, while hate, anger, and meanness make us frown. And smiling feels better than frowning.
When things are good, we seem to be connected in some way to something higher, something finer, than that of our supposedly imperfect world. When things are going well, we might say that we are in tune. When we are enjoying some peace of mind, we may say that we are at one with the universe. When we experience rhythm and ease while working or during some athletic or creative activity, we say that we are in the flow. And we all, at times, must have had those very good days where we look back and say that everything is alright with the world. These are all real things, physical things, part of the physical universe, the universe that we feel so much a part of when things are good.
Imagine a reality that has perfection at its heart. The universe is part of this reality, and the stars and their worlds are part of the universe. Our sun and our earth are products of the universe, and we as human beings are products of the sun and the earth. There are those who study this physical realm, looking deep into reality at its tiniest levels. Much has been learned, discovered, and uncovered, and among the conclusions, by way of theories, that have been reached in modern times, are the ideas that there may be an inherent randomness in the physical world, and that it is governed more by probabilities than certainties. It appears that God is playing dice with the universe.Or is He?
When we think of randomness and probabilities, we may think of things like chance and luck. It all just makes the world seem that much more imperfect, one big mess. But if we look at it a little differently, all that randomness and uncertainty can be seen as a kind of flexibility, something we can work with. We are being given some leeway, margins of error, windows of opportunity. This is where things like free will and creativity arise from. Being more than the ability to choose between good and bad, free will is the ability to choose direction and purpose.
We put this flexibility to work for us through our good intentions. And with them, gaining the ability, perhaps, to steer things in positive directions, creating better scenarios, or uncovering more of the perfect scenarios that some may see as God's will.
We are human, but we are more than just physical beings; we are spiritual beings, and it is through our spiritual nature that we are connected and in tune. If there exist intentions that are something other than good, they are weak because they have nothing to connect with. With our good intentions, we do good things. Yes, good intentions can and do produce good results.
When times are tough, all this stuff may become just a bunch of words. When we suffer tragedy and loss, many of us will question our faith, the idea of a perfect world becoming nonsense. The same can be said when we suffer at the hands of hateful and hurtful people. Extreme events of nature can bring us to our knees. How can these things happen? "Why?", we ask. It may also be that we suffer by our own hand, with our self-defeating behaviors and not so good habits. And there are always some disappointments and frustrations in our lives, and just some plain old difficult days.
Some of these hurts are of the kind that we can never seem to be reconciled with. As for some other of these hurts, there are those who look back on them and see them as a part of their growth. Some look back at certain trials as necessary events that led them to where they are today. But try telling that to someone who is in the thick of it. Looks like some of that randomness and uncertainty does lead to some messed up things in the world and in our lives. Any way you look at it, human suffering is real, part of the equation, as one might say. Yes, human suffering is real. Just ask the man who died on the cross
Like those who look deep into physical reality, we can look deep into ourselves, discovering and uncovering the good that lies within our hearts. We can also look outside of ourselves for the good that is the whole, the perfection that is Spirit. We open our hearts to this perfection and become one. And when we do this, we may find ourselves receiving assistance in finding our way, guidance in moving forward in the face of adversity. The perfection from within and the perfection from without is what we call love. This is God intention. When we align our good intentions with God intention, love reigns.
So, we continue on, reminding ourselves that we have the choice to live in loving ways, and if we find ourselves moving away from that path, all we have to do is to turn our heads, and the loving path will be there; it is the brighter path, the feel-good path. When there are obstacles, we look towards love, because, as they say, love will find a way. We use our good intentions to create atmospheres in which people may be that much less likely to hate or to hurt, atmospheres in which we can rise to any occasion, helping others in their adversities. We can create better worlds.
In a Perfect World
This is all just food for thought, no magic formula or 'how to' guide here. Some may see it as mere optimism, positive thinking, or perhaps a little over optimism. And there are those who may say something like, "It's all well and good but I'll stick to my faith and my prayers, thank you." And one can't go wrong with that.
And with all the not so very good things that happen all around us, 'perfect' may seem to be too strong of a word to use to describe reality or anything else these days. But as I was walking one day, thinking about all this stuff, and it's funny how these things work, a woman passed by, walking her dogs. She asked, "Enjoying the sunshine today?" I said, "Yes, it's a beautiful day." She then said, "Perfect, isn't it?" Hey, what could I say?
© 2015 Paul K Francis