Saintly Thoughts

On Lived Complexities

If it were up to me, I would have created a binary world filled not with the complexities and ambiguities of real human existence, but with the simple certainties of Manichean cosmology--absolute good and absolute evil.  The temptation to conceive of our world as some storybook version of these simple literary pretensions is nearly irresistible to us, and likely explains the Gnostic bent of much of our Politics and Religion.  And yet, the existence of complexity does not belie the existence of story, nor does it destroy the possibility of actually existent good and evil.  What it allows for is the complex interplay between these two principles, inexplicably and inescapably bound up with one another in quantities and combinations that do not allow for simple separation.  This frustrates and troubles our complacency; for how may we act "well" when any action partakes of this Byzantine complexity?  This is a hard truth to come to terms with, and most choose to simply ignore the truth and act as though the world can be so simply separated.  Ironically, it is from such actions that new and ineradicable combinations of good and evil occur, and humanity re-weaves itself into the harsh threads of the complex web of original sin.  And so we muddle on, and if we persist in the truth of our observations along with the foolishness of our desires, we may come to curse the gods, the day of our birth, and the day of the world's first creation.  But we may, if granted sufficient grace, learn whereby such foolish longing may be transformed into the desire of true religion, and in turn transform our perception of the tragedy of the world's complexity into the fullness of that love which may compass the world entire while yet suffering the full affect of evil's magnificent violence.