Evil on a Biblical Scale: A Practical View
The preoccupation with error is nothing more than a decision not to know.” (Secret 131 from Secrets of Heaven)
I have pegged a NY Times column to my “Is This True” board for many months now.
It’s been there for 18 months without rival for such a succinct and comprehensive philosophy for building world-class relationships, discerning relationships according to the ability to work together, with the least amount of idealism or intervention. The result, in my opinion, is realistic and practical. Thomas Friedman in “ISIS, Boko Haram and Batman” says first, understand what you are dealing with.
…”dealing with a world increasingly divided between zones of order and disorder? For starters, you’d better understand the forces of disorder.” [ed.: More information on Forces of Dissonance here.]
He offers a way to focus on the task of building human unity where possible and minimizing the cost of failure where it is not possible by developing “this progression:
Where there is disorder — think Libya, Iraq, Syria, Mali, Chad, Somalia — collaborate with every source of local, regional and international order to contain the virus until the barbarism burns itself out. These groups can’t govern, so ultimately locals will seek alternatives.
Where there is top-down order — think Egypt or Saudi Arabia — try to make it more decent and inclusive.
Where there is order plus decency — think Jordan, Morocco, Kurdistan, the United Arab Emirates — try to make it more consensual and effective, again to make it more sustainable.
Where there is order plus democracy — think Tunisia — do all you can to preserve and strengthen it with financial and security assistance, so it can become a model for emulation by the states and peoples around it.
And be humble.
I am reminded of these words from Revelation 22:11
“Whoever is unjust, let him be unjust still.
Whoever is righteous, let him be righteous still.
Whoever is filthy, let him be filthy still.
And he that is holy, let him be holy still.”
sung here by the revered Johnny Cash (2:35)
2EA Many of the words in this song, like those above that seem to endorse the let-them-burn philosophy of the 21st Century, are directly from the King James Bible, a very inspired translation, which you can see from the sheer poetic beauty of the word choices that do follow the original meaning closely … yet are in a language even native speakers of English are forgetting to know!
The setting and many of the KJV quotations are from one book of the Bible, the hallucinogenic Book of Revelation, a book even harder to interpret than Elizabethan English (written under duress of severe malnourishment is my prosaic interpretation, or rather, the notation posted on my “Is It True” board for the past 40 years).
One exception not from the Book of Revelation is the quotation at 2:03, Jesus’ words to Saul on the road to Damascus:
It’s hard for thee to kick against the pricks
This expression of most poignant compassion and patience with error is explained nicely here.
“Listen to the words long written down” (2:50) loosely conveys Rev. 22:7 :
And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.”
The let-them-burn philosophy of containment and Rev. 22:11 both resonate with this Word:
Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” (Mark 4:9, NIV translation)
The boisterous accompaniment of strings and percussion (and “as it were,” “a hundred million angels”) speak to me of the utmost joy; the drive and energy, accompanied by the words that have resonated while shrouded in complete mystery for 2000 years, fill me to capacity with joy.
We wish for you all to receive the joy that awaits you. In our world, there is joy. There are very few in this world who can contain the joy that we feel. We are not bound by what cannot succeed. We are not hopeless. We are not alone. (Secret 3 from Secrets of Heaven)