Interesting stuff, bro
Some of what you have to say about Genesis 3 in your third article sounds really similar to what my friend, Steve Doss, has to say about it, as far as the tree of knowledge of good and evil goes.
It’s challenging, as I tend to put labels on a lot of things myself, and it’s easy to separate things, and people, in my mind, so yeah, dualistic thinking is definitely a problem I think.
But the way I tend to look at it is that there really are things that are bad, or evil, as it were, which I think are, namely, things that are harmful to others or to one’s self, but being able to understand the difference between what is good and what is evil, or what is not good rather, or where there is an absence or simply a lack of good, what is true and what is not true, can be really hard for us sometimes I think, because we don’t have very clear vision most of the time about all of that, and only God sees with complete clarity about all of that.
And I think that in life there are a lot of gray areas, that there’s a lot of nuance in things, and that there’s a little light and a little dark (or lack of light) in a lot of things, and both some light and some darkness in people, even if the darkness is just the lies or illusions that they’ve believed about themselves or others or God, etc.
Even in nature, you have all the beauty and the wonder of things, but then on the other hand you have all the violence and death too, so it’s hard to know what has God’s stamp of approval, and what doesn’t.
I hear where you’re coming from, and where Steve is coming from too, on things like this, seeing how everything is one, and I think that’s important, because at rock bottom we’re all part of the same human family, the same world, and the ‘earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it’.
But I think we need to be careful when we say evil is an illusion, because some people might think we’re saying that because it’s an illusion, something like rape or murder isn’t really a big deal, though of course that’s not what you’re saying at all, I know.
The pain that people experience because of their own choices or the choices of others, or even because of things outside of human control, is real enough, and we need to always keep that in mind.
Evil may not be some separate entity that’s equal to good, or to God, the darkness may not be the opposite number to light in reality, and is really only a shadow that holds no real weight in the end, but the weight that people feel because of what is going on in their lives and/or in the world around them is real enough, I think, and we should always remember that.
But then I know you know that.
And I think where you, and Steve too, are coming from on this is that the tree of life, or love, should be our guide, because by following the way of love we’ll always be in ‘the good zone’ as it were, and we don’t even need to bother with trying to figure out whether something is good or evil, whether it’s light or dark, because if love is our guide, then it’s all good. And I think that’s a ‘good’ way to look at things, it’s just we need to be careful in how we explain things so people don’t think we’re a few planks short of a barn.
Life is complicated, at least from my perspective.
There’s so much that I don’t understand, and I’m not always sure what’s good and what’s not, what God wants me to do, or not do.
But though love is hard, it’s a simple enough idea and concept, not very complicated, not really hard to understand, even if its very difficult at times.
I guess I will keep praying that God will help me to love more, to be more loving, to embrace life more (because love is the essence of life I think, even if I have a hard time with it) love Him, love others, and even love myself, more.
All of this makes me think of this Star Wars book I was reading recently, where one of the characters, a man named Revan, is someone who has been on both the light side and the dark side of the Force, both one of the ‘good guys’ and one of the ‘bad guys’ and he’s come to understand that the two sides are more closely intertwined then he initially thought, and that the Force, and this life, is more complicated than he thought, that it’s more gray than black and white, that most things are a mix of this and that, and one can’t simply have a dualistic mindset about things, can’t just separate everything, because it’s all connected at the ground level.
And he came to believe that rather than denying all emotion like most of the Jedi believed one should do, one should instead try to work through all of their emotions, both those on the more positive side and those on the more negative side, and face their inner struggles and learn to overcome them and learn and grow by them, rather than just trying to bury them, and he also came to believe that love and the search for true happiness will make us one with the Force… or something like that anyway. I know, deep stuff for a Star Wars book
Not sure if I’m making any sense here, just throwing out a little feedback I guess
Looking forward to the rest of your series bro, and may you be blessed