A disturber of habit from “The Adventures of the Teen Jesus”
The discussion of freedom and evil frustrated Jesus. How could Abba avoid responsibility for at least some of the evil in the world. The discussion did not happen all at once.
Abba was adamant. Human beings were free to choose. Out of these choices came good or evil. The disposition of the human heart. The aim of life was to arrive freely at truth-beauty, the inseparable elements that made the highest love possible.
“No harm comes from the way things are?” Jesus demanded. “A lame, pained person chooses to be so?”
“Of course not,” Abba said. “The world is filled with pain and suffering that does not come from choice. Plagues aplenty. Wars. Only a handful choose to die, for that matter. Everyone else else rails against death.”
“Then how is evil the result of human choices?”
“Things that are not the result of choice are unmotivated. They happen. They are reality like all else. Death happens. Things that harm us happen. They are part of the reality we belong to. But the difference between us and these happenings is huge. We have freedom and choice. The bulk of existence is us deciding from moment to moment what we will do. History is acting according to values we hold dear.”
“Evil from a rock rolling down a hill and burying us is not evil.”
“Of course it is, from the standpoint of the victim and his loved ones. But we have a great habit of turning such happenings into all-embracing truth. The all embracing truth is that the bulk of life is us living by habits or choices that rise from our being disturbed enough to consider changing habits.”
“Good heavens,” Jesus exclaimed, “how did we get from evil to habits?”
“I am simply telling you how things are. All this will help you when you encounter life in its fullness.”
Jesus was confused again. He was on the verge of believing Abba when he said most of what happens comes from human choice. But now Abba was saying something that made freedom seem elusive again. Most people live without thinking, choosing to live by habits. Only when they are disturbed do they think of changing.
A little light went on in Jesus’ mind.
What if his real job was to be a disturber of habit?
A second light went on.
Abba was speaking as if he was human — using “us” all the time.
Jesus ran part of the way home.
Stephen C. Rose is the propounder of Triadic Philosophy and the author of numerous works supporting his thought. He writes daily on Medium and his books are available on Kindle . Twitter is the center of his activities online.