A Mystical Perspective on the Problem of Evil

A friend asked me what my take was on the problem of evil, or theodicy, so I thought I’d write about it here.

Here was the question:

How do you handle the problem of evil? Coming from a Mormon background, evil had its place in the plan of salvation. If you are right about the idea that to be godly is you be one, then why does the devil of our egos get in the way? What’s the point of a fall in the first place?

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A Psychological and Mystical Interpretation of the Myth of Adam & Eve and the Garden of Eden

The story of Adam & Eve can be considered as a mythological allegory describing humanity’s “fall” of consciousness into the complex dualities of self-awareness, subject/object relationships, and all the opposites of existence (male/female, light/dark, hot/cold, day/night, happy/sad, health/sickness, etc.). This is symbolized in the partaking of the “tree” of knowledge of good and evil, i.e. dualities.

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Falling in Love with the Earth is Knowing God and our Self: A Commentary on Thich Nhat Hanh and Climate Change

This past week I was saddened to see the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report that paints a grim picture of the current status of climate change and the future projection of this century. This report was commissioned during the 2015 Paris summit on climate change. It’s a wake up call to the world. Continue reading “Falling in Love with the Earth is Knowing God and our Self: A Commentary on Thich Nhat Hanh and Climate Change”

What is “Eternal Life”?

“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”

—John 5:24, NIV

Eternal life is not eternal if it doesn’t exist right now, because that which is eternal has no beginning or end. We either have eternal life now, or we don’t have it. Because you are reading this now, you can be sure you have it, even if you don’t know it for yourself. Continue reading “What is “Eternal Life”?”

Is There a “Healthy” Ego?

In spirituality and mysticism we often encounter discussion about the ego, the psychological self, the “self” that we think we are. This is often referred to as a kind of illusion, something to rid ourselves of to see reality as it really is. It is called an obstruction, a veil, something which hides the Divine from us, which obscures our perception, and that it must be torn from top to bottom and done away. Sometimes mystics loudly denounce the ego, loathe the ego, punish the ego, calling for its death, its annihilation, its crucifixion, its extinguishment, extinction, falling away, passing away. This all sounds quite harsh to the “self” that we think we are, and so some spiritual teachers deny that we need to eradicate the ego, but rather transform it into something good. Which is it? Do we need to allow the ego to fall away, or transform it into a “healthy” ego? I’ll share some of my thoughts about that. Continue reading “Is There a “Healthy” Ego?”

What Good is the Ego-Self?

Over the past several months I’ve explored the nature of the human ego as it relates to spirituality in many of the major religious and spiritual traditions, as well as in science. As I noted in a series of posts, it seems that a recurrent theme throughout many of them is the idea of sacrificing ego, overcoming ego, transcending ego, even experiencing a kind of “death” of the ego, so as to realize the true nature of the self, of reality, and of God. We might ask then, what good is the ego? Is it all bad? Do we want to destroy our ego? Is that true spirituality? Continue reading “What Good is the Ego-Self?”