Friday, March 16, 2007

Continuing To Climb That Stairway

I already made my Alanis entry, so I won't repost the song in it's entirety, but I do want to discuss Thank U. In particular, these verses in the song.

how bout me enjoying the moment for once?
how bout how good it feels to finally forgive you?
how bout remembering your divinity?
how bout not equating death with stopping?
thank you Providence

We have to be able to make judgements without being judgmental, even though it's human nature to be judgemental. In all honesty, while it doesn't feel good to be judged, especially by people who don't have the right to judge you, without judgement of morals and obligations, how could we possibly form our opinions? So, in order to make moral decisions, good decisions, we need to be able to make judgements. In order to recognize good from evil, we need to be able to make judgements.

Now, whether or not we EXPRESS those judgements that we invariably have about other people remains a separate issue. I think it's easy enough to recognize that there are instances where we simply do not have the right or the authority to judge someone else in particular situations. We need to be able to judge people so that we can weigh when it's appropriate to forgive someone who has harmed us. Yes, we often judge when we don't have the right... and that makes our climb up the Stairway to Heaven more difficult and exhausting.

Judgement: the ability to judge, make a decision, or form an opinion objectively, authoritatively, and wisely, esp. in matters affecting action; good sense; discretion: "a man of sound judgment."

Which brings me to forgiveness. Do we have to forgive everyone who has ever wronged us? If you follow some sort of religion whether it be Buddhism or Christianity or any other religion, you've most likely been taught that to forgive is divine. Being unable to forgive someone takes a lot of anger and energy... which affects our ability to feel close to God. There's that stairway, looming before us. The longer it takes to forgive, the more steps we have to climb on the Stairway to Heaven. The further we are from God, the closer we are to Hell, and the further down that stairway we are, until we're so far down that Stairway that we're actually in the shadows of those steps.

Forgiveness: to cease to feel resentment against: "to forgive one's enemies."

Without "evil" in the world, we couldn't possibly know "good." We would have no point of reference. Much like the story of Adam and Eve in the Bible. Until the serpent approached Eve, everything was fine and dandy with the world, and they had absolutely no concept of lies, deceipt, or right from wrong. All they knew was that God had told them not to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. They didn't have the capability of making a sound judgement, nor did they even understand the concept of forgiveness because before eating of the fruit, they had done nothing to deserve needing to be forgiven. Basically, God set them up. Sneaky Supreme Being, that One, but for Man to understand and advance, Adam and Eve HAD to fall to understand. They had no idea of the concept of Evil until the serpent tempted Eve. They had no concept of temptation until then, for that matter. They were obedient little "sheep" until they ate from the tree, suddenly obtaining knowledge of not only good, but evil and shame and accountability.

Without knowing God, without forgiving, through Jesus (if you're Christian) without being able to make judgements, at least about our own lives, we can't hope to enjoy our own divinity or take pride in doing the Right Thing. We couldn't possibly know which choice is the right choice. There wouldn't be any ability to make a distinction between what's best for us or what harmful for us, whether it be our physical and emotional well-being, or our immortal Soul. We can't recognize that the world would miss us and our positive contributions, or that being unable to forgive and move on and seeing the good in other people, we lose some of our own divinity. Again, the climb up that Stairway becomes tiring and we feel heavy. We feel lost and out of touch with God when we lose the ability to sense our own divinity.

With all of this weighing so heavily on our Soul, we still need to stop and smell the roses, so to speak. If we're living a Good Life, and feel comfortable doing so, then enjoying life shouldn't be too hard. Without weighing ourselves down with negativity, excess judgements, holding grudges, and selfishness, our Soul should feel lighter, not only enabling our ability to enjoy life and those we share it with, but enabling our journey up that Stairway as well. We can look forward to reaching Heaven if we let go all of the Earthly trappings... if we can let go of hatred, let go of grudges, let go of harsh judgements, and if we can act to actually change our lives for the better with the judgements that we MUST make, the heaviness that weighs us down diminishes and the Stairway isn't quite as high.

In this instance, it's also important to remember Providence. Divine Providence is something that we should all, all of us who believe in a Supreme Being, should listen to the quietest part of our Souls for. Without listening to God and His Providence, we have nothing.

prov·i·dence [prov-i-duhns]
1. (often initial capital letter) the foreseeing care and guidance of God or nature over the creatures of the earth.
2. (initial capital letter) God, esp. when conceived as omnisciently directing the universe and the affairs of humankind with wise benevolence.
3. a manifestation of divine care or direction.
4. provident or prudent management of resources; prudence.
5. foresight; provident care.

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