Just say "No!" to oversimplification!

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Good News and the Bad News

The jokes probably go back to ancient times... because life is like that; because we're like that.

Back then, whenever the Authorities told you something was Good News, that was really bad news: "There's a new kleptocrat in charge of keeping you people down!" The only thing good about it was: "We aren't fighting over who's in charge!"

We need to hear both aspects to really get either of them. Who's going to believe good news if they aren't hearing the bad? Who can face the horror of the bad news if they don't see it's part of a situation we can live with?

There are some awful difficulties: Most people these days, if you start talking about God, say: "Oh no! Someone else wants to tell me where I mustn't put what!" Or "Somebody else wants to tell me there's something more I should be doing!" That is, they think 'God' means 'Guilt' and they don't need guilt; they've got all the guilt they can handle and half of it about stuff that doesn't matter!

Hope is even harder to bear, for anyone with eyes and ears and mind keeping score. The Earth is terminal; our country has gone corrupt and blind crazy -- and even if we're just talking about our own bodies, the warranty is subject to expiration without notice.

People can accept that bad news about our bodies... because "The good news is that there's no Bad God to send me to Hell when I drop dead!" Hey, hey, look at that fine print! The bad news is, you're supposed to die! I know, it's a trade-off; but that's a lousy deal.

Some people take the deal because it's the only one they can believe. "So I'll be lying in my last hospital bed, full of wires and tubing with all the gauges reading 'empty' -- and your guy will just zip by on a white cloud and take me to choir practice? That's your opinion; and we Postmoderns are too sophisticated to imagine that anyone's opinion is really about anything, except of course ours."

I can't say about "most people". Maybe most people know "We aren't supposed to believe in anything anymore" but do it anyway?  Inconsistency is better than being consistently wrong, but still -- At some point we want to reach agreement between mind, heart, and how-things-are.

How do I know there really is actual 'Good News', that you can know it and walk on it and trust it not to drop you in a hole?

I really do know this... and hope to explain (later) how you can know it as well. But for now, just entertain the notion that the Life who's living you has something it's working to teach you. Open the eyes, mind, heart; look for a bit of 'Maybe' waving at you between the cracks...


  1. Hi Forrest,
    You seem to have some knowledge about the inner workings of the faith struggle (or the "faith" struggle?). Thanks for shining a light to let us know how to struggle with it a bit more or maybe who to struggle with, when we have these times where it feels easier to skip the "Good News" entirely.

  2. Being alive to an interdependent web of life matters to me. Humans seek meaning, and love. I don't stand outside, as if I were the only subject and everything else is object. My experience is, as you say, that the life that lives me, teaches me. It doesn't seem like a person, more a positive energy.

  3. I myself find it easier to address it personally, since it is evidentally able to person each personality of the human race...

    but the key issue is being able to trust and depend on What/Who's beyond whatever conceptional scheme we're using. It's not the bleak physical machinery of the classic materialist image, nor the sort of punitively moralistic personality seen in some versions of Christianity, nor is it helpless (though the wrongheadedness of collective humanity renders makes people difficult to help!)


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