Bewildering Beliefs

Sometimes, out of the blue, comes a lump, a painful lump. It is somewhere between my throat and my chest – sometimes higher, sometimes lower.

A sadness, a sense of mourning. I am not always sure what that sadness is over. There are lots of things that go on in this world that grieve me. But I also know that our future is incredibly bright, and will include healing on a scale hard to comprehend.

Landscape, Fantasy, Night, Darling, Star, Lake

Someone said something to me recently which shocked me. This person is someone I am very fond of and admire. They were expressing their beliefs, and I respect people have beliefs, and they may be very sincerely cherished beliefs, but I was shocked.

I am not going to repeat every word of our conversation but they referred to their beliefs including karma, reincarnation, past lives, pre-destination. I expressed my belief in free will and that we can choose to listen to the wise guidance of our Creator or to ignore it, but we are accountable for our choices, our choices have consequences. We can learn from our mistakes and change our course. I said that I feel as if our Creator is like a loving father who deeply cares about us as we grow, and yearns for us to make wise choices. He takes no pleasure in seeing his creatures suffer, and is deeply hurt when his intelligent creatures choose willfully to do what is wrong.

But what the other person went on to say shocked me. I cannot comprehend it still. Maybe they said it without thinking. Maybe they did not realize the impact of their words towards me.

Basically, they said that the only explanation for horrendous crimes towards innocent women and children – like rape and abuse – must be what they have done in their “past lives”. My jaw dropped. I was so deeply appalled.

It was about a month ago….but it’s been on my mind ever since. Beliefs can steer a person’s life, but they can also shape their outlook on the rest of the world, on what they see on the news or read in the newspapers. Indeed beliefs can have a profound influence on how we act and how we react to injustice, to the suffering of ourselves or others, to the disturbing events in this world.