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Perfect universe, heartless ideologues

Sep 17, 1997 06:21 AM
by K. Paul Johnson

Hear, hear to Kym's comments about Dennis's effort to hang onto
belief in a perfect universe regardless of the implications.
One of the big revelations to me after spending a month and a
half in India is that the Theosophical claim by HPB and other
writers-- that if people believed in reincarnation and karma
they would behave better-- is flapdoodle bullshit.  I saw more total
indifference to human suffering there in a few weeks than in my
entire life until then.  And all those indifferent people were
sure that suffering was what the sufferers had coming to them.
Maybe Mother Theresa made such a big impact there because she
ran so much against the grain of the cultural assumptions.

However, I would say that there is a grain of truth in the
perfect universe theory if we look at it in terms of the future
rather than the past.  It is absolutely appalling,
unacceptable, to think that Hitler's or Stalin's or Pol Pot's
victims "had it coming."  But perhaps they now "have coming"
some nobility of soul, some commitment to humanity, as a result
of what they experienced.  In short, only final causes can make
this into a perfect universe; i.e. one that at some point will
dry all tears and heal all wounds and bring us all back to our
heavenly source.  It sure as *hell* ain't perfect here and now.

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