Sidewalk Bends

Exploring the soul and it's reaches.

Posts Tagged ‘Punishment

The Nature of Man

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Adam and GodShould a wolf be rewarded for its cunningness? Should a snake be punished for its ability to strike without being seen? Who is above the fray that they should judge whether one is deserving of a reward or punishment? Who is holy enough that they should cast judgment on one’s nature, and one’s ability to please God?

We each live our lives, hopefully by the best of our intentions, but does this make us the maker of kings and the deliverer of justice? We are no better and no worse than our highest ideals and our lowest of lows. Happiness does not come from denying happiness to others. Nor does it come from shunning what we cannot understand. Happiness ultimately will come from not only accepting ourselves, but also from accepting that we cannot control others.

We can become prisoners of our own jealousy and pride, or we can set ourselves free from the seemingly endless critiques and judgments. Perhaps in writing this or even in contemplating this aspect of our nature, we can be hypocritical, but is it not better to accept and move on from one’s faults, rather than claiming none ever existed in the first place?

Written by Sidewalk Bends

October 18, 2012 at 10:26 pm

Escaping Justice

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Casey Anthony verdict What is justice? Is it punishment meted out by courts? Is it being seen as the victor in the eyes of peers? Is it never forgetting the harm and the cruelty inflicted by others? Is it the vindication of perceived and real slights? Is it the recognition of one’s disenchantment and dehumanization? Is it being seen as an equal in the eyes of those who claim no equals? Is it an eye for an eye or a tooth for a tooth? What is justice to you?

Perhaps justice is none of these things. Perhaps like so many other things, it is simply an illusion of temporary fulfillment? And though it does not fulfill the heart, it pleases the mind to know that one’s cause has not been forgotten. However, if one were to truly accept of themselves and to love of themselves, would justice still exist? Would it have a purpose, or would it simply stand as a distraction?

Though the mind may be pleased, true justice comes when the heart can forgive and the mind can accept. Rather than putting a pain away for another day, peace is realized and justice fades away as another form of judgment we place on one another. Justice in the eyes of men and women become empty breaths of despair. Justice is not the mob. It is neither punishment nor retribution. Justice, seen and felt in the soul is love, understanding.

Get the Balance Right

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Yin-YangIt is true that in light of a lot of darkness, the light of love shines bright and we are given understanding. Some people say there must be balance (yin/yang, positive/negative, light/dark, good/bad) in order for there to be true understanding, but what if our understanding of balance was misguided? It is true, each serves their purpose. For this reason we cannot judge? It is also true that within our heart of hearts, we know what “feels” right and what does not? For instance, I don’t need to stick my hand into a fire to know that I will get burned. I know because I know. How I come to know, may be another question. Perhaps God has made it so? Perhaps He guides some in different directions, or perhaps He guides all equally?

What if I said hell and punishment was not a fiery pit like some have come to believe? What if instead it was a state of mind in which we were our own tormentors? What if we were made to relive the pain and suffering that we inflicted on others, but through their eyes and through their lives? Would you call this justice, would you call it punishment, or would you call it neither? Perhaps that too is a lesson in and of itself? Forgiveness is as much for the other person as it is for our self. We do it to ourselves. By loving, we go beyond the ideas of judgment and punishment, because who are we judging and punishing, but our self?

Some may think God to be cruel and unfair. Some may think Him to be all loving and all caring. I am of the latter but that is my belief. God wears many hats, but perhaps the greatest hat of them all is Father and Mother for free-will does not mean a life without consequences. Freewill means a life of choosing, knowing that our actions and our thoughts do not live in vacuums.

Written by Sidewalk Bends

April 19, 2010 at 8:32 pm

There are No Crimes

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When a person commits murder, is it not because he has forgotten what it means to love? When a life is taken, not only are the choices of that life removed from that person or creature, but the whole of creation is robbed of the lessons and the love that this individual provided?

When a person steals, is it not because he has forgotten that there is nothing to own? Is not all that we truly need provided freely? Surely there are those who would deny the less fortunate, but in truth, is it not true that all the things that sustain us are free?

When a person lies, is it not because he has forgotten that there are truly no secrets? When a lie is told, is it not done out of fear? Like children hiding from a punishment, is it not because we forget that we are always loved?

When a person mistreats another person or creature, is it not because he has forgotten who he is? Is not all of life connected? Do we not all affect each other? In truth, are we not all different faces of each other? And so in mistreating others, are we not casting stones at our self?

When we seek guidance away from God, have we not forgotten who has given us life? Have we not forgotten that although we may stray, He has kept a careful watch over us? Although we may choose to ignore His voice, is He not heard in the wind, and seen in the clouds and the heavens? Does He not show Himself among the trees and the abundance of this world? Are His songs not sung by the birds. In the things we see and do not see, is He not everywhere?

There are no crimes in this world. There is only love and whether we choose to accept it or not. There are no punishments, except for the punishments we put on ourselves. There is no anger, except for the anger we cannot let go. There is no hate, except for the hate we have for ourselves. There is love. There is compassion. There is acceptance. There is neither you and there is neither me. There are only us.

Life’s Splendor

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It has been suggested that man has been born unto this world because it is God’s punishment for our disobedience. It is said that we were originally created as spirit to be companions for God, but were placed in this material world and born into flesh until we can find our way back to Him. It is also said that we will repeat this cycle of birth and rebirth until we have overcome our karma. The wicked shall be born into lower life forms and the righteous shall be rewarded with splendor?

To this I say, how can we call this a punishment? We are given companions in all forms of life. We are given the green Earth, the rolling hills, the majestic mountains and the enigmatic clouds. We are given the vast oceans and food in abundance. We are given the music of nature and the songs of thousands of birds and insects. We are given the warmth of the sun, and the changing seasons to remind us of all of the gifts that have been bestowed upon us. All these things we are given, and yet we call this a punishment.

Ungrateful are they who wish their life away. Ungrateful are they who turn their back on others. Ungrateful are they who waste and horde. Ungrateful are they who take advantage of the weak. Ungrateful are they who would enslave their brothers and sisters. Ungrateful are they who would call this a punishment.

Life is only a punishment if we make it a punishment. Life is only uncaring if we choose to be uncaring. Life is only cold if we choose to hate. Life is what we make it. So whether some choose to see this existence as a punishment or a blessing, I choose to see this life as an expression of God’s love for us all. For if God is God, surely He would have better things to do than to punish His own creation.