Thursday, 2 October 2014

For Esdras

Q. What about those poor folk whose life is so limited that they cannot possibly benefit from it?

A1. You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.
A2. Processes sometimes have unavoidable waste- or side-products.
A3. God’s justice will certainly prevail; even if we can’t see how at present.
A4. Perhaps some souls are reincarnated.
A5. Perhaps some homo-sapiens are not full human beings, but only un-inspirited shells.

Esdras asked the angel: “Why does God allow such waste?
It seems to me that there are many birthed – or die before they’re born
who have no joy of life and insufficient chance to learn
what’s good and bad. I mean the congenitally insane,
the destitute who starve, those formed without a brain;
those subject to atrocities which scarred their soul,
unable to entertain hope and never to be whole.”

The angel replied to Esdras: “This is a mystery, I know;
but here are certain clues. First: in this world of base matter,
the begetting of a diamond is part of a much greater scope
which, though it yields barren clinker.
is necessary if that best bright crystal and celestial star
is to be made, as sacrament of sure terrestrial hope.

Second: as God is good the Heavens must grant
to every sentient being the fullest chance of grace
(afforded well by overflowing might exuberant)
sufficient to come safe home by their final pace;
for else a cruel tyrant God would surely be,
and that is not the aspect of those Persons Three
who are Creator and Redeemer of this place.
This means that every soul that’s blessed with consciousness
must have a life that’s apt and adequate for its full education.
Hence if a person’s lotted span and quality of days
does not fulfil this goal, they must be giv’n a supplementary term.
The fact that when they’re reborn they have no recall
of their past life, tells clearly that it was of no account at all.

There is a final possibility: that some who tread the boards
of this narrow and fragile stage are not quite what they seem to be;
but only bit parts in the play. Their outward form affords
a disguise of behaviour; but being mere androids, they
aren’t proper men who know and understand and see.
So many folk seem fake: paper people, folded origami.
Perhaps this seeming is reality and each is a mere zombie:
undead rather than living – souls without a spark.
Such cyphers have no need for any lasting fame;
but can, without complaint, pass on into the dark.
Being devoid of a conscious flame;
their only purpose is to be the context and the frame
for those fair spirit gems which are God’s final aim.

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