Sunday is a busy day here, as its the only day we all get to spend together as a family. So in this weekly spot I’ll dig out some interesting bits of religious literature and will post them without much comment.
So what is the purpose of life, how should we act and what should we expect?
And we know that all things do work together for good, to those who love God and are called according to His purpose;
— Romans 8:28
Hat-tip to Sabio on this. I’d always assumed this was one of those passages that would be nice if it were true. Now I’m not so sure.
God’s purpose in creating the universe was to feel happiness when He saw the purpose of goodness fulfilled in the Heavenly Kingdom, which the whole creation, including man, could have established.
— Unification Church. Divine Principle I.1.3.1
This seems to be a common thread, flowing out of Judaism, as far as I can tell, that everything exists and occurs for the pleasure of God. Most religions would nuance this by saying that actions arising out of human corruption do not give God pleasure. But then what about natural disasters? And so on. It just returns us back to the problem of evil again.
But he who performs his prescribed duty only because it ought to be done, and renounces all attachment to the fruit–his renunciation is of the nature of goodness
— Bhagavad Gita 18:9
This is the anti-Romans. Not that everything will work out well no matter what you do. But regardless of what happens, you are only responsible for your actions. The ‘Gita has much to say on this topic.
And then there’s Qohelet, and one of the most famous poems in world scripture:
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
— Ecclesiastes 3:1-8