The following is both an example of my own writing, and a sample of my philosophy. Having studied logic, I have applied it to my own expression of faith. Whether or not you share my faith, I invite you to read it, if only as a way of determining my ability to help you learn either writing, or the study of logic. Please enjoy it.
I love being a tutor. It’s probably the best job I’ve ever had, because it gives me an opportunity to share skills and tools I have learned or developed, so that others, too, may reach higher and strive for more. I believe that teaching is a vocation; a way of being a godly person. And we all know what happens when you try to become godly, don’t we? Do we command the respect of people who say, “There goes an example of what others might strive for!”? Are we rewarded with honors and salutations, riches and respect? Do we, at least, receive a pat on the back, and a hearty, “Well done.”?
If you do everything you’re supposed to, and become as godly as you should be, they crucify you. They did it to Jesus Christ, and if I do what I should, in some way, they will do it to me, too. And to you, should you choose to do your utmost to live as God would have you live.
So, why try? If doing the right thing is only going to lead to Ultimate Failure, why even go there? It is a question that people have asked for thousands of years, and each must answer for himself. Here is my attempt to answer it, and in so doing, to suggest how you might wish to proceed.
Earthly life is lived in linear time. For many people, that is the only reality they know, because they either have not considered another view, or because they do not wish to consider another view, or because they cannot stretch their minds enough to wonder whether there is any view but the one that is obvious to the senses.
However, reality is not linear. Reality is global, and in large part not visible to the naked eye. What is seen and experienced here on Earth is, by and large, no better than stick figure drawings by an inexperienced hand compared to Reality. To paraphrase Saint Paul, trying to see Reality from here is like looking through dark glass; we are only able to make out the semblance of things unseen.
Now, I don’t know about you, but some of my Earthly experiences have brought me to the heights of emotion, positive and negative. A peaceful sunrise over the Long Island Sound; a glorious sunset over Catalina Island in California. The alps, still mantled in white deep in June, as the pure vital air gave voice to an alpenhorn’s full-throated call. The deep, ageless echoes of warrior songs sounding deep in the Singing River of Louisiana. The panorama of wide, high Texas skies, rich with herds of clouds, heavy with unshed rain. The hot splash as of tears on a rainy New Orleans summer afternoon. These things seem to me to be very real, but in fact, they are but a shadow of what is to come.
So, too, our sufferings and sacrifices seem to us to be truly awful. There are so many upsets and tragedies. This past week in my town, a man shot his pregnant wife, and most of his wife’s family as his son, celebrating his birthday at the local roller rink looked on in horror. There are cases you can hear of every day of disasters, natural and man-made. Some will ask, “How can God allow this? If there is a God, surely He does not cooperate in this torment!” They come to the conclusion that either God does not exist, or that our sufferings are chance events, or even that we bring our sufferings upon ourselves with no act of God’s will involved.
My contention is that God, in His infinite mercy, has allowed us to suffer this comparatively small and passing torment in order to alleviate real and lasting torment we would otherwise, in all justice, receive when we reach Reality. For as far as Heaven is above Earth, Hell is just as far below. And in all justice, only the purely perfect can exist in Heaven. Through the suffering and death of Jesus Christ on the cross, He defeated the mandatory sentence of Hell that we had earned through disobedience.
Now, linear-time thinkers will say that Adam and Eve ate the apple, then humanity was kicked out of Paradise, then Jesus came and gave us salvation, so now we only have to accept it in order to go to Heaven, because the work of salvation has already been done. Well, that’s true, in a manner of speaking, but only in a linear-time manner of speaking.
However, if you understand that time is not what it seems to be, that idea changes to one which, while still very flawed by our human inability to understand clearly, I believe is closer to the truth. It can be best conceptualized by realizing first that everything that is, exists in God. Everything that is not of God is in the great nothingness that is the ultimate torture - separation from all life of any kind -forever, at a geometrically increasing rate of pain and horror as it moves forever farther from God and existence. This is the phenomenon we know as “hell”; complete and utter separation from God, which is our own conscious choice and decision. God does not “throw us in hell,” nor does He desire hell for his creatures. We have true free will. Faced with the choice of Reality or Nothingness, there are those who will choose Nothingness. I don’t know why, nor do I wish to learn.
Secondly, God exists in every place and at every time, all at the same time. This concept rolls the idea of a “timeline of salvation” into a ball of twine. The Reality is, it’s all happening now; Eden, Mt. Sinai, Egypt, Bethlehem, Gesthemane, Calvary. And God is present in all those times and places Now. Our salvation is being worked out as we speak, the big bang is sounding, the flood is rising, the slaves are escaping Pharoah, the skull of Golgotha is looming in the distance as sweat and blood mingle under the weight of the cross, the sun is rising on an empty tomb. And, to quote an early television show, “You are there!”
Did I say, “You”? Yes, in fact, I did, because it’s true. All that is of God exists in God, and if He is there, then so are you. Can you pray for Moses to have the strength to face Pharoah and ask him for deliverance of the slaves? Yes, and your prayers will make a difference in the ultimate outcome. Can you ask God to ease the death of a loved one who passed on many years ago? Yes, because God is there as you speak, at the bedside. Can you pray for things you don’t know about that are still to come? Of course you can, because God is already there, ahead of you - or at least before your awareness of your presence there - and you make a difference now, because in effect and in Reality, now is then.
So, if we are already where we are going to be in the future, is there any point to trying? Is there any reason to do good, to pray, to make requests? Yes. God is good. All goodness is in God. The more you do good, the more you align yourself with God, and the more you exist inside His vast footprint. You cooperate in the creation and continuing existence of the Universe. You cooperate in the salvation of the human race. You cooperate in the defeat of the powers of evil and their eventual (now, in Real Time) overthrow. You are an active participant. Can God do it all without you? Unquestionably. Does He wish to? No. He wishes to include us in all His dreams and plans. He has made all of creation for our enjoyment.
This world, this imperfect kindergarten, is our place to learn God. We need our small pains and sufferings, great though they may seem to us at present, and our little joys and hopes, as grand and grandiose as they may be, to teach us about the much more real, intense and lasting possibilities of the Great Reality. So, if by participating in the teaching process, enlightening hearts, minds and souls to the truths God has allowed us to know and understand, I can become more godly, and help others to do so, too, then I can happily accept crucifixion or any other suffering God chooses to bless me with, so I can learn what all these things have to teach me about the Reality that is to come. The greatest adventure awaits.