Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Enlightened Ebbing 10/14/09

Only the hand that erases can write the true thing.

Meister Eckhart
Come sit over here by me.
It seems a very odd thing for most people to look at evil squarely in the face with all of its evidence and to deny it, to deny its rights and to deny its very existence. And yet that is what many great thinkers of the past and present have told us to do. The slate must be cleaned before the right words can be written on it. Denial must be matched with affirmation, and affirmation with denial.

The director of a local high school play called and asked if I would come and help him. He was having trouble with the last scene and he didn't know what to do about it. The students performed the scene for me and it was a mess. First I had to get the teacher's permission to take over the redirecting of it, then I undid everything he had done, brought the whole scene to a stand still and started over to do it right.

One day in New York I was stopped by a radio interviewer who wanted to know my opinion about a current homicide trial that was happening and what I thought of capital punishment. I had no opinion about the murder case but I said I was not in favor of capital punishment because I believed that anyone is basically redeemable no matter how tethered they are to crime and violence. If I did not believe that, though my sins may be minor compared to some, it would be hypocritical of me to hope for my own redemption. And it has happened. People have been inspired to turn their lives around, overcome the crimes, malignancies and anti social behavior of their pasts and emerge as good people.

I knew a man who, because of a minor indiscretion when he was young, was required to register with the police as a sex offender wherever he went. And yet he became very effective at straightening out other men who were guilty of even worse such behavior and an advocate for the protection of children.

When the war in Iraq started those who pray were, I'm sure, praying for the safety of our armies, for the right actions of our generals and the right decisions of our president. But I'll bet none of those who prayed were praying for the one man who needed our prayers more than anyone else, Saddam Hussein.

"WHAT??!!" you are screaming. "I should have PRAYED for that son of a bitch???!!!" The answer is "Yes." After all he was the one caught in the spider's web of evil. Hussein was an intelligent man. He could have brought together the disparate elements of that society in a diplomatic attempt to resolve their differences. He could have established an agreement of safety and security with his neighbors. He could have been friends with the free world and been a force for international peace . But somewhere along the way he was convinced to take the wrong road and, as a result, he kept half of the country under suppression, thus feeding the fires of divisiveness, legalized torture to satisfy the sadists and became a world wide threat. So they arrested him, tried him and executed him, which accomplished absolutely nothing. It wasn't Saddam that needed to be destroyed, it was the dark, evil road he was on. The Koran says "Evil shall recoil on those that plot evil."

It has also been written that evil is never a person, it's a thing. And it's a thing that needs to be denied existence, to be cleared away, erased, wiped off the mental slate. And the good must be affirmed with just as much vigor, or more, as one uses to fight against the beliefs of evil.

This two part activity is the diastole and systole of our lives. It is cosmic in its importance, It's ebb tide and high tide, night and day, plowing and harvest, winter and spring. Deny the wrong. Give it no place, validity or reality. It is the absence of good. Affirm the good and claim its rightful truth. Denial and Affirmation. They go together.

DB - Vagabond Journeys
Delight yourself in joy, please.


Beth said...

I never looked at it in that way, but I like that: Denial and Affirmation. Hugs, Beth

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

We all have the capability for evil inside us, but it is a very negative and difficult road. If we pave our way with love, friendship, and understanding, the going is much easier and there are many fewer potholes.

Jon said...

It's always a pleasure to read your beautifully written and thought-provoking point of view!

Selchie said...

Hi DB,

Yes I agree we all have shadows, I think sometimes its one of the hardest things in life to accept. Things often aren't so black and white, as for Saddam, I dont know I never met him and I've never been to Iraq.

Thank you as always for your inspiring thoughts.

Happy days,


Bonnie Bonsai said...

Did you bring this up to any Sadducees and Pharisees DB? Perhaps, they may be enlightened by your practical wisdom. Your spiritual logic is one am sure the One on High will not disagree though His Will be done as He is the One who executes the final judgment.

I can nod my head from down under. Look down!

Am back from my hiding hole. Beautiful up there where I went!

So sorry to have missed out a lot! Am still your fan.

Linda's World said...

Yes, I actually did pray for Saddam. No matter how horrible were the acts he was accused of...he was still a human being. I prayed that he would be treated with kindness, that he would ask his people for forgiveness and find peace with his maker. Linda in Washington state where it poured down rain all day

Gerry said...

I have been reading a very good history of Henry the Eighth and I really did not know that at the ssame time he found reason to have his second wife put to death he was transforming religion in England, now known as the reformation with himself more or less the head instead of the Pope. Of course it boggled the people's minds when he had wife put to death and quickly married another the next day or so. I had always heard about the beheading of Anne Boleyn but did not know that the reformation was tied to Henry the Eight as it was, so talk about good and evil in the same man, power and progress! Gerry

Kyle said...

DB, I found you through Beth and Ken's blogs. I forward to reading your posts.

The world is full of dark patches and each of us holds some of the darkness in us, but I think what we do with that darkness is the real test.

Some people let it consume them, while others use it to fuel nefarious purposes, and some turn that darkness into light.

In the end the darkness and light are not really separate, though they appear to be, they are the same, the only difference is how they are applied to any given situation.

Arlene (AJ) said...


Nina P. said...

Through the act of affirmation, you are deniying the oposition of that being desired. Beautiful thoughts from a brilliant soul. Thank you for sharing your enlightenment. Love and Light, NIna P

Selchie said...

Hi DB,

I hope all is well in your world.

All my good wishes,


Anne said...

DB.....very concered. Hope you are doing OK. Anne

Nina P. said...

Haven't heard from you in a while so I'm just checking in to say Hello and send along well wishes. Love and Light, Nina P

Mark and Elayne said...

Actually my friend, Mark and I as well as many of our freinds did pray for Saddam as well as for the people of Iraq. Just as we continue to believe it or not pray for the Taliban in Afganistan where Mark is now.

Arlene (AJ) said...

DB, getting to send a search party out to check and see if you are ok your way. Touch base, dear.

Alice said...

DB, I took a long break from blogs & see you haven't posted for a couple of wks. Just want you to know you're missed & do hope nothing major is wrong. Sending GOOD wishes :)

Valerie said...

I prayed for Sadam Hussein. I also pray for Bin Laden. I don't wish a life of evil or a bad hereafter on anyone and I wish for them to change. I have learned to pray for my enemies. It is hard to hate your enemies when you pray for them. It takes the anger away. You have been quiet. I hope you are okay. Sending love, Val ox

Bonnie Bonsai said...

I hope you are okay DB. I can see that all your friends are very worried about you as I do.

I am also wondering if you were trying to be true to your words that if things are sorted out, you will join the Amesh.

Whereever you are friend, hope you are okay.