Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Book of Nature

• By Tony Harriman

Seems like the Book of Nature is designed to give us illustrations, not only of a good spirit, but also of a bad one.  There's a lot of beauty, but also a lot of ugly.  We see benevolence, but also a large amount of malevolence. 

For the longest time I have believed that Nature is an illustration of its Creator ... and ONLY of its Creator.  But I have never been able to account for all the apparent cruelty and injustice that we witness from one end of the planet to the other.  What in the world would all the horrors be telling us about nature's Creator?

I feel myself settling into another, broader picture of what stories the Book of Nature might be telling us.

Perhaps the broader view is that everything we have a sense to behold is a physical illustration of a much broader, sometimes darker, spiritual reality.  A bit like Newton's apple demonstrating the unseen reality of gravity — gravity which keeps our feet on the planet, but gravity which also breaks us to pieces if we abuse it.  In the case of visible nastiness, we see a manifestation of a nasty unseen reality -- evil.  Surely nastiness is not a manifestation of some aspect of a good Creator, right?  Clearly there is no holy intent or righteous lesson bound up in the nastiness that abounds on the planet. 

There are different views we can take of the creation we live in.  The very, very small and the very, very large present to us unerring mathematics.  There appear to be no variations on the way things work in the sub-atomic world or on the galactic plane.

It's the world we live in, the random one, in between the very big and the very small, where things are seemingly out of single control.  We have helpful people, and we have leeches.  We have creatures who exist without taking a life to sustain their own, and creatures who have to slay in order to stay alive.  And still some other creatures who often kill or maim simply because they have a nasty disposition.  We share the world with parasites that often take the life of their hosts.  The evolutionist would describe this latter behavior as an evidence that we live in a world where only the fittest survive.  

A word describing a behavior that mystifies evolutionists is that of altruism — behaving in a manner that benefits another and gaining no apparent benefit for the giver.  Where does altruism fit in a world where only the fittest survive?  Altruism reveals a spirit of benevolence, alien to the notion of a dog-eat-dog supremacy.  Altruism suggests the mathematical input of a being who cares.  Altruism does not develop in a mindless society where only the big dogs win.

Right now I am parked on the notion that when in nature we witness beauty that takes nothing from its fellows in order to be beautiful, that is clearly an illustration placed there for us to learn something about nature's Creator.  When we witness an action that is harmful to another sentient being, then that is an illustration telling us something about nature's enemy -- that old evil spirit we call the devil.

Nature appears to be a physical tapestry singing songs about the world we cannot see with our eyes.  That world must be seen with the mind and imagination.

And that's just my take on it ....

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