Thursday, July 10, 2014

Good deeds

Truly, truly, by God, by God, be as sure of this as that God lives: at the least good deed or the least good will or the least good desire, all the saints in heaven and earth and all the angels rejoice with such great joy as all the joys of this world cannot equal. And the higher each saint is the greater his joy, and the higher each angel is the greater his joy, and yet all their joy combined is as small as a lentil compared with the joy that God has at that act. For God makes merry and laughs at good deeds, whereas all other works which are not done to God's glory are like ashes in God's sight.

—Meister Eckhart, Sermon 91

I continue to ponder the question of goodness, as linked to Being.

 To me, goodness is within Being, just as goodness is within God, for Being is within God. There is no Being without God; and there is no God without Being, so the two are inseparable. 

In the same way, the good is inseparable from Being, and being and goodness are consonant.

 I had a particular moment yesterday when I was driving into my driveway, and saw a large stand of nepeta, that is, catnip, growing out of the stone wall in my parking space. These plants put out gorgeous sprays of purple flowers, and there is a wholeness and truth in their existence that expresses itself in a way that can't really be conveyed in words. But I'll try.

In the moment of this impression, there was nothing but goodness — and it spread its tendrils out in every direction, into the goodness of its flowers, the goodness of its color, the goodness of the bees that feed on it, the nectar they collect, and the hives which I tend up on the hill. There was a goodness here; it began with the plants, but it radiated outward, touching everything, including the sunshine, the stone, my car, and my own Being; and in the end, although each of these objects, events, circumstances, and conditions seemed to be separate and individual, each with its own goodness, in fact, there was and is only one goodness, which flowed into me through Being. 

Goodness flows in this way into the entire world of material creation through Being; it manifests itself always and everywhere through Being; and, although this is inexplicable and strange, the worst events — let's take something simple and personal, like the recent death of my father — are filled with goodness. Goodness is inherent and cannot be divided and taken away from what is. Even in badness itself, there is goodness, and it is paradoxes of this kind that are impossible to resolve with anything but the feelings, which have a much greater depth of intuition and understanding than my intellect can have in its perpetual dualities.

Good deeds are thus deeds of Being, in which Being is perceived

Within the context of this Being, bad cannot be done — if a human has a real Being, they become incapable of action that harms. I can measure my Being in direct proportion to the harm I am willing to do: and when feeling is active, when it is ascendant and connected to Being, it is impossible to do harm. 

So I am sure the amount of harm done on earth reflects how rare the ascendant property of feeling actually is within us,  no matter what our opinions on it are.


1 comment:

  1. I mostly agree; however, even with a high level of Being, harm can nevertheless be done through inadvertence. Let's not forget the comet Kondoor and the erroneous calculation of a certain Sacred Individual.


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