The Good And The Bad

Whatever can be recognized is recognizable only because there is a distinction between what is it and what is not it.

In order for there to be the holy, there must be the profane. So in order to be able to recognize the holy, we have to be able to distinguish it from what is not holy, the profane. And the very recognition of what is holy, what is closest to God, what is closest to unity, depends on the existence of its opposite. Recognition depends on multiplicity. And so we have the paradox that for unity to be recognizable, there must be multiplicity. And this multiplicity is what gives rise to that which has the appearance of good and bad.

When we recognize that a bad thing happens to us and at the same time remember that everything that happens to us is from the hand of God who only gives Divine goodness, we are put in a situation to make a unification. For in the common frame of reference, the happening is bad. But if this, which has the appearance of bad in the profane frame of reference, comes from God, then it really is good and just, in the holy frame of reference.

And from where do we come to know that everything that comes from God is good: perfect and just? Moses tells the children of Israel:

Give greatness to our God.
He is our rock.
His work is perfect.
For all His ways are justice:
A God of truth and without iniquity.
Just and right is He.
(Deuteronomy 32:4)

This being so, our holy service consists of finding a higher level reference frame from which we can recognize the happening as good, receive the happening as holy. Thus by our change of attitude we receive the Divine goodness and we change and grow. And by what we then do as a result of this reinterpretation in our higher level frame of reference, we reveal the goodness which was hidden in the bad. We meet the challenge of the suffering of the bad by manifesting a higher level virtue, a virtue that we could not bring into being in any other circumstance but the one we are given. We completely receive that which is given to us and by completely receiving, we return it to its source.

But, if we do not completely receive what happens to us, it stays and lingers inside of us causing emotions of hurt and anger. Instead of eating the nutritious meal, we leave the food on the plate. After a time, the food spoils. And its putrification then begins to putrify all that is in contact with it. The anger and suffering then begins to eat us up from the inside, destroying us from the inside out. This results in us getting stuck. Our body gets sick and our mind gets sick and we are stuck in enslavement.

Set before us is life and death.

See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; in that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments and His statutes and his judgments: then thou shalt live and multiply. And the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land into which thou goest to possess it. (Deuteronomy 30:15-16)

We are commanded to choose life. We are commanded to chose the holy, to so love God that we receive all that God gives us. To so love God that we keep all His commandments. We are commanded to rise to a higher level and see the holiness within the profane. We are commanded to make a unification and hold within us the unity of the multiplicity. We are commanded to see the good. Then the Lord our God will bless us in the land of milk and honey.