Good and Bad

This post is an afterthought to my previous post about animal cloning. It took me a while to dig out the excerpt below from an online forum  I participated a few years back. To my surprise the forum is still online but no longer active and my posts are still intact ! I’m disappointed I could no longer recall the article where I took the excerpt from hence I am unable to make reference to the author. The PC I used to browse many years ago at this forum is now a dinosaur sitting is in my garage – hard disk erased, waiting to be disposed.

 

quote

“Creative response to challenges is good; evil is stagnation. Unlimited power or unlimited knowledge is not good. If perfection were obtained, it would be boring. Only where there are limitations and challenges is there a game. Things that seem evil, such as dark ages and barbarism, often clear the way for a greater good. What appears to be progress, such as technological growth and natural science, often destroy things more valuable than itself. Good and evil are real enough from one point of view, but from a higher point of view, it takes both together to produce growth. Good may be bad if it leads to stagnation. Destruction can be as creative as construction. Graceful acceptance or retreat is often more creative than strength, initiative and bravery. Forgetting can be as useful as learning. Life is beautiful, in its evil and terrifying aspects as well as its good and gentle. Indeed, one requires the other to complete it. Stagnation is the only ultimate evil, and because of the devil in mankind, stagnation is always temporary. ”

unquote

People would not hesitate to speculate that the above article must come from a pure materialist’s point of view for they will ask the question  – “where is God in  this ? ”. Whereupon someone will likely answer “ God made the world this way in the first place “.

The quote “change is inevitable; growth is a choice “rings aloud when I read the above excerpt because permanency seems to be an illusion, that whether we like it or not, things will have to change.  We resist change because we dread the loss of our comfort, our loved ones, our wealth. We insulate our children from the world for fear that they will be harmed , totally ignorant of the truth that they need to see and experience the faces of good and evil, of success and failure to be able to be enlightened , grow and survive in this enigmatic world of ours. The irony is that the most painful changes we go through in life are the ones that make us stronger, like a resilient and fearless battle tested warrior wading through the dangerous battlefield of life with confidence and indefatigable drive.

The seemingly chaotic and random behavior of natural events and processes in this world affirms that nothing can be permanent.  Change can also manifest itself in self-destruction or eventual decay,  which is an intrinsic attribute of every life form in this planet.  The inevitability of the destruction of the human body is real and our fear of such eventuality is paramount. Like shipwrecked bodies floating in wooden rafts  being tossed around by the giant waves  we plead to God to spare us from drowning but we know we ultimately will.

The inevitability of our mortality is real but it doesn’t mean that life is a terrifying journey. It won’t be unless you want to make it one. As one saying goes , “the problem isn’t adding years to your life but life to your years.”  As paradoxical as life is, there is beauty and happiness waiting to be experienced. At some point in time we give up trying to understand why we are here. We even talk of eternity and infinity when we can’t really comprehend them.  But that’s alright because as they say, knowledge requires proof, faith doesn’t.  A certain level of spirituality, not necessarily religiosity, is essential to achieve that much needed sense of enlightenment and the acceptance that we must be here for a reason and even if we aren’t, we would want to make our journey a pleasant one.

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23 Responses

  1. very insightful post on embracing change, whether good or bad. i myself have a tentative attitude towards change–the kind that’s relative to the effect that I perceive it will bring about. the good thing about being tentative towards change is being fluid: we only go with the flow we want, in the manner we want, for the period we want.

  2. Failure is the main reason why people are afraid of change but there are changes that happen that are bad today but they turn out to be good later. For this we say they are Blessing In Disguise 🙂

  3. wow! ewan pero yun talaga nasabi ko after reading this 🙂

  4. “Good and evil are real enough from one point of view, but from a higher point of view, it takes both together to produce growth.” – So true, many of the things that we now use and take for granted were originally conceived for military use. Think microwave and the internet…

  5. This may sound off tangent but my observation is that people are afraid of change because they live in the past and look for the future. These living in the past and looking for the future are but based on conditioned thoughts embedded in our minds since the time we learn to store and process information (and what have you) in our brain cells.

    Thus, we have forgotten what is NOW. We become anxious, we fear, we worry a lot because all throughout our existence we are living a life the unconscious way or the unaware state on a conditioned mind.

    If we learn to be aware (enlightened as some belief calls it) we can live our lives in the PRESENT. No matter what happens or what comes next, we are ready to face them because we have the complete understanding of why we exist, why people live and die and why there is a word CHANGE.

  6. Barry – thanks. For those changes within our control, I agree – we have to do it within our desired timeframe and as they say, within our tempo. I have been guilty of rush decisions in the past when I could have waited.

  7. Ryan_b – there are definitely those blessing in disguise events in our life but I think we need to confront challenges to the best of our abilities every time 🙂

  8. Tin – many thanks. That’s all I could say after reading your comment – haha 🙂

  9. Sngl – there are military inventions that were considered a danger to the public and that’s why they have been kept as secrets and the microwave oven is one example. There is no denying that there are technologies within the military today that are still off limits to civilian use !

  10. MyePinoy – what you said is very much within the context of my post bro 🙂

    It is very important to have some sort of enlightenment of who we are and why we are here so we can be empowered to live life without fear. The worst thing a man can do is imprison himself for fear that he might be run over by a truck – just an example but there are many people who live with unfounded fears and it is quite unfortunate 😦

  11. they say that change is pain. very true, indeed, but the pangs will always be in the ‘first trimester’ only, then after that, one learns that it could be beneficial or not, depending on the results. however, how we deal with change matter very much, for it is what defines us and what surrounds us.

  12. that’s a very thought provoking response. very nicely said. change is indeed inevitable. life is a cycle. nothing is permanent as they say.

    have a great weekend!

  13. I always wish some things remain as nice as they are. Like in a relationship, you will never know if it will last.

  14. “We insulate our children from the world for fear that they will be harmed , totally ignorant of the truth that they need to see and experience the faces of good and evil, of success and failure to be able to be enlightened , grow and survive in this enigmatic world of ours.”

    The above is so true and this is a mistake that a lot of parents, especially those who made a success of themselves, make. Such parents fail to realize that it was those hardships and challenges in life that developed and strengthened their character. There are many ways of skinning the cat so to say and the same is true with parenting. Our kids don’t have to go through the exact same hardships we went through. However, there are a lot of other ways available to us to still impart such valuable lessons to them.

    I love this post because it is through adversity and the lessons gained from it that make us better individuals. Thanks for such a great post, bro!

  15. Bing – it appears that our primary task in this world is managing change – those that we control and those we don’t and can’t. It is so ironic when you think of it but in the end, you are supposed to make sure it doesn’t overwhelm you 😯

  16. Ipanema – thanks. Life is indeed an enigma. Hope you have a wonderful weekend too 🙂

  17. Irrealis – how we wish they would last and what we can only do is make the most out of it . There’s also a choice being happy with someone albeit for a short time than to live a hellish life with someone for the rest of your life 😯

  18. Panaderos – thanks. As they say, the only bad mistake we make are those we don’t learn anything from.

    Believe me I’ve seen parents who can’t seem to leave their grown up kids to live their own lives. My post about the March of the Penguins – An Introspection Into the Rules of Life which I didn’t turn the comments on was inspired by this as I see parents, most of whom are my friends, totally turn their children into very unproductive people.

  19. Change is good , in fact it is inevitable. However, we must know our boundaries. I have never been a fan of science (ironic ‘coz i graduated from a science highschool) but if cloning can cure lots of diseases then i COULD go for it. In the end, cloning should save life – not duplicate it.

  20. Lawstude – experiments in cloning we know are a success but when you duplicate or clone something the motive must be so compelling. So far, other than pure experiments, there had been no published massive cloning initiatives for profit, esp with animals. I agree with you that the reason must be for the benefit of mankind and not for business.

  21. i agree that stagnation is evil. it tends to tell us that change will bring us nowhere. that with change we trigger more challenges and danger.

    change for the better is very essential. because true character is discovered thru adversity.

    “Good may be bad if it leads to stagnation. Destruction can be as creative as construction.” – i definitely agree. people need to learn to see that destruction (like death, failures etc) often leads to maturity. and this is what we need.

    nice post.

  22. Dong – thanks. Talking about destruction, I have worked in a company that amassed more than 100 branches in North America and spent a fortune to network them together. After 4 years of helping to build the network I left and a year later, the company sold all the branches to different buyers and I asked myself – what the heck did I work there for ? 😦

  23. […] makes one heck a difference, psychologically speaking. When thinking of 2009, I am reminded of a previous post which highlighted this short snippet – from a materialist’s point of view :   […]

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