For an explanation of the title and why we are publishing this diary, please see the first entry (27/3/13). Being of a philosophical turn of mind, some entries in the diary are no doubt a bit turgid! To help the reader who isn’t interested skip these more meditative parts I’ve put in headings. 

Monday 2nd July 2012

The story of Jonah

Today we hope to hear when Margaret will be going to hospital for her body scan. Yesterday, we were in church as usual morning and evening. The sermon was on Jonah and how God gave him a second chance to go and warn Nineveh of impending disaster. We pray that Margaret will also get a second chance. The story of Jonah has always spoken powerfully to her.

Jonah’s story illustrates one important source of suffering and evil. That is, human free will. The human being is an agent with free will and he or she can choose to do what is not right. Jonah made the wrong choice in the first instance by refusing to go to Nineveh. But in the end he obeyed God’s command and thereby saved Nineveh and saved himself. For me Jonah’s story is an allegory of our relationship with God.

Suffering resulting from wrong choices

The ramifications of wrong choices can be enormous. Christianity speaks of the fall or our disconnection from God, the source of absolute good. It is really the will of man that is fallen and corrupt. A lot of wrong choices by countless individuals result in an absolutely horrendous world. These include corporate choices – for corporations are made up of individuals – and the choices made by nations. Think of the lessening in suffering there would be if the money spent on armaments were spent on medical research and the relief of hunger. Much of the suffering in the world would be no more, if there was genuine cooperation.

Having the interest of the ‘other’ at heart

So much of the suffering we see around us is caused by people’s free choices. Honest introspection can let us see the facts. We know that when choosing we don’t always have the interest of the “other” at heart. By the “other ” I mean whatever does not belong to my self-interest, such as other people, animals, the environment and so on. If everything served the “other” more than themselves what a wonderful world we would inhabit.

Four different worlds (or aspects)

There are also different worlds (or, more exactly, different aspects of one reality). The first world is the created world, the world created by God in the beginning. Naturalists, of course, don’t believe that, they call it Nature and it just popped into existence somehow by necessity and chance! I speak as a Christian and believe the universe was created by a conscious Wisdom, and mind and that consciousness is basic and precedes ‘matter’ so-called. The second world is the world created by humans and their decisions, the world of human affairs and humanly created things and institutions. Cities, accoutrements of all kinds, legal systems, medical processes, the world of the media, wars and armaments are all part of the second world. The third world is the historical past, the decisions that have been taken, all events that have happened. The second world is being constantly created by human beings and is constantly merging with the third world, with history. There is also what we could call a fourth world, the world of the here and now where human decisions are being made at this very instant. And these decisions and actions will affect all the other worlds. This is also the Spiritual world, consciousness, the world where the divine and human intersect. This, in essence, is the same as the first world, because its source is Spirit.

Human decisions and actions help create the second and third worlds. Humans can never create the first world but they can affect it by their actions. The first world includes your own body and soul. It includes the earthly environment. We can abuse all three by taking the wrong decisions. Of course, thinking of human experience in this time-conditioned way is trying to rationalise our experience and from God’s point of view, outside time, it is artificial. From God’s vantage point everything is a seamless One.

Scan

Today, Monday, we got word about Margaret’s CT scan. It will on Wednesday at 1.30pm in Fort William. We pray that the scan will not reveal anything worse than what we know at present. We plan to leave Skye in the morning and come back the same day. It will be a difficult day. But we do believe in miracles because they happened to us already. God is sovereign in all worlds because he sees all things from the viewpoint of eternity. Whatever happens, his holy will be done.

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