Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Ever had those times when the world seems against us? True, I've been having one of those times lately and I've had times where I find it hard not to believe in a higher power that pulls what he pulls on humanity merely for his own amusment. (I think this was the point of Kurt Vonegut's Cat's Cradle I suppose you wonder where I'm going with this.

Not too long ago I got a newer computer to replace one which, although it worked, had a few problems with it. Things go well for a while, but the fan on the power supply stops working and the power supply overheats. Fine, no problem. I get a new powersupply installed on New Year's Day but drop the blasted case while taking the computer up to my apartment. Now it won't work and I don't have a clue what's wrong with it. I suppose it's either a new one -- again -- or taking to get it repaired. (Which at least I trust the place where I did my internship.)

Sometimes these things happen and it has nothing to do with a higher power, curses or bad luck, although it is tempting to believe that is the case. (My current favorite theory is that my mother's spirit is preventing me from getting a good computer since I once told her that my computer was more important to me than her or something like that. Repeated calls from the police at 3 a.m. and her belief that you were trying to kill her make statements like that easy regardless of whether or not you really mean them.)

Of course, it is my parent's fault that I'm a klutz since that's a genetic thing but dropping the computer itself was one of those things that just happened. Unfortunately the line of thinking that leads us to believe something beyond ourselves is causing bad luck in our own lives (which may be the case as some things, such as the weather are beyond our control, but these forces are impersonal), also leads certain belief systems to believe bad circumstances in this life are for things that cannot be remembered that our spirits supposedly did in some former existence. Mormonism is guilty of this, especially since people of different skin color were supposedly fence sitters in the war in Heaven. (By the way, does anyone know if this is current Mormon doctrine? I don't remember it being taught in Sunday School, but living in what is sometimes referred to as the "mission field" by arrogant Utah Mormons may mean they had to tone some things down.) But the Buddhists, Hindus and probably a few other groups I don't mention or don't know about do it as well. I remember having an argument online with a Buddhist a long time ago that the reason the people who were hit by Katrina suffered so badly was because of actions in a previous life which they now needed to make up for. Excuse me, but does the weather know or exactly care who gets hit with hurricanes? Who governs these things anyway? I will not continue because my knowledge of Buddhism is not perfect although I believe the sentiment was echoed by the Dalai Lama.

But it's easier to believe someone or something has it out for us or that justice carries into the next life (which of course I hope it does unless it gets applied to me. Justice is one of thos tricky things to ask for, like asking your boss to pay you exactly what you're worth.), but the fact is impersonal forces cause bad things to happen as well as our own actions. Odds are it's not some other entity who has it in for us.


At Tue Jan 02, 09:46:00 PM 2007 , Blogger HiveRadical said...

The Church has rather taught that our position in the present life has relation to our faithfullness in the last life, this is not inherently tied to skin pigmentation. There are individuals of dark skin who've been born into third world countries that have greater blessings and capabilities with regard to the gospel than many caucasian kids born into relatively wealthy families in Utah have. Advantage and disadvantage, and it's correlating causation from the previous life, is not some simply assertainable item that can be derived from the likes of skin color or socio-economic status or the fact of one being born into a Mormon household. Things are far more complex than that. I know too many individuals that were born outside of all stereotypical "mormon" environs yet were more prepared for accepting and living and magnifying the gospel than many of my peers growing up in Utah.

So the Church has and does continue to teach that blessings come from previous action at some point and time. But these blessings are not inherently stemming from the actions of the individual receiving them NOR do material blessings or variations in genetic makeup inherently make one clearly more blessed than another.

Such assumption and extrapolations that many attempt to tie to our faith are erroneous assumptions.

At Wed Jan 03, 12:42:00 PM 2007 , Blogger The Sinister Porpoise said...

Without my own computer I cannot easily show why you're wrong.

Give me time and I'll show you the relevant quotes. I believe Brigham Young is responsible and you need to pay attention to what the church *has* taught, not just what it denies teaching now.


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