The law of mercy, or love, if you will, looks on matters in a different way.  It unconditionally loves and is concerned about every part of life; it sees only the good in everything and seeks to avoid the law of severity wherever possible.  The law of Love, in fact sees more virtue in a person/situation that is actually there.  It inserts virtue into situations, regardless of actual merit. 

In the US we celebrate Thanksgiving, in commemoration of the Pilgrims thanks to God for their having survived the elements, disease, and hardships during their first few years in their American settlement in the 1600’s.  In Europe since pagan times this was called the Harvest Celebration.  I have a few thoughts on the concept of thanksgiving:

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In my limited understanding of the Kabbalah, or the Tree of Life, it has two main pillars: that of severity and that of mercy. 

I am of the belief that the Universe and the One who create it favors the side of mercy.  It occurs to me that this is not a very “metaphysical-intellectual” concept; it just does not make sense in a dry rational manner, anyone who hurts another part of life must necessarily receive it in equal measure.  That is the law of karma, or severity, if you will. 

The law of mercy, or love, if you will, looks on matters in a different way.  It unconditionally loves and is concerned about every part of life; it sees only the good in everything and seeks to avoid the law of severity wherever possible.  The law of Love, in fact sees more virtue in a person/situation that is actually there.  It inserts virtue into situations, regardless of actual merit. 

When we get down to it karma, misfortune, and the vicissitudes of life are an illusion; a temporary shuffling of energy and matter; they are like bad dreams in the long run meaning nothing.  What is real is that we are fragments of eternity, thrust down into forms with a vague semblance of unique identity, and returning to universality of consciousness soon enough. 

These episodic scenes of life, full of the ups and downs of mundane living are like vapors on a glass; which in the long, eternal, timeless scheme of things fade into their native nothingness.  This does not mean of course that we can do anything we want to because in the end it doesn’t matter, because there is the law of karma that will take care of that. 

In the main however we strive to do only good because we are of God ourselves.  The stinging lash we feel of life’s misfortunes; agony, pain, sufferings, losses, etc only affect the outermost, most superficial parts of ourselves and have the effect of liberating us from attachment to those lesser, false, illusory aspects of personality and identity (the ego). 

What lives between the two worlds of materiality and spirit however is the soul, that fragile, yet resilient bubble of selfhood that is like a God in embryo, destined for greatness, but still a work in progress.  This little soul navigates the rocks and shoals on life’s journey, but it must remain a self-directed entity and freely determine its path.  It is upon this delicate soul that the mercy of the universe is at its greatest, seemingly like an indulgent parent but does not shield it from necessary learning experiences. 

I think the universe uses the law of mercy ten times more than the law of severity; in the end though when all mercy is used up and the soul refuses to accept responsibility for its actions, severity comes into play and the hammer of karma falls.  Just remember this the next time you stub your toe or cut your finger, lose your job or your marriage falls apart.  How much of your misfortune has been mitigated and your receiving only a tenth of what your merited? 

Giving thanks to God for deliverance is acknowledgment that the mercy of God is great.  Jesus in the Bible exhorted us to act in a likewise manner and forgive our enemies seventy times seven times.  Paying back our debts to life (our karma) is really a mechanical thing, what is more important is that we view our experiences as liberating from human smallness of mind, to not resent the various deliverers of our karma, and to emulate the very love itself of the Lord of the Universe.  It would seem to be that we should be grateful to those who deliver our chastening experiences. 

You cannot deny that there has been greater force directing your course and providing for your material needs in a way that you nor any human could perform.  How many times have you had food to eat and a place to sleep? I think you’ll find that it happened more times than not, and that if it didn’t happen you are not worse for the wear because of it. 

For those fleeing oppression in the Sudan, children having to prostitute their bodies in South America, or the thousands of men, women, and children shattered by war; we can see though that some are more fortunate than others.  It is not ours to reason why that happens, but to respond in like manner as the universe has to us.  You can say that the shattering of the body is one thing, but the hardening of our hearts in the western world to their plights is another.  Who indeed is worse off? 

In the US here we celebrate Thanksgiving by getting together with family and friends and stuffing ourselves to gills even more than usual, and glowing in the semi-blissful agony of indigestion afterwards, maybe having some semi-restful sleep; but to be contented in the bounty of our land that lets us indulge ourselves so.  The universe and its resources are abundant; Thanksgiving can be a daily occurrence.  Seeing the good in your life sometime requires and expansion of perspective; but grace, love, and abundance surrounds you!

CB

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