Wednesday, March 11, 2009

March 11: Gain Gleaned From Suffering (Vol. 5, pp. 85-92)

Ralph Waldo Emerson was ordained as a Unitarian minister on this day in 1829, which is why today's reading indulges in the hoary myth that one pays for happiness now through suffering later and suffering now is rewarded by happiness later.

This, of course, assumes a perfectly functioning and moral world where rewards and punishments are meted out in a logical and moral way. Unfortunately, we live in a world where every act of goodness is not rewarded and every wrong is not redressed and righted. The world is absurd and illogical and it does not have a celestial referee calling penalties.

But, since the editors of this series are Christians, they'd rather present Emerson's sugarcoated view of humanity.

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