All morality, all ethics, is about choices.  Consider the ancient teaching from Deuteronomy: “I put before you life and death.  Choose life.”  Life is a choice.  So is death.  We can choose.  What shall it be: Biophilia…or Necrophilia?  

Which path will you choose? Photo by Vladislav Babienko on Unsplash.

We have choices, deep ones, real ones. Yesterday we meditated on the choice that Jesus made—one he made throughout his life frequently—between choosing the ways of the Empire’s kingdom.  Or a divine kingdom.  By choosing how to fashion a parade.  We all participate in such choices on a regular basis like Jesus did.

Sometimes we choose badly.  Traditionally, we call that sin.  Or missing the mark.  When we choose real badly, we call it evil.  

Evil is bigger than sin.  Evil releases necrophilia on a grand scale, one that engulfs many others, often for generations, in trauma and suffering and pain.  Evil ties itself to powers and principalities and thus, evil spirits.

Consider slavery.  Consider colonialism.  Consider genocide.  Consider war. Consider lynchings.  Consider “boarding schools” for indigenous children that cut them off from their families, their religion, their culture, their language and ceremonies. Consider the trauma that follows.  Often passed on from generation to generation.

How Much Longer by Common Hymnal. Originally posted to YouTube by Common Hymnal.

Humans are capable of amazing things—our music and laughter, our bridges and medicines, our science and art, our communities and rituals.  For the very same reason, our powers of creativity and intellect, we are capable of great evil.  Thomas Aquinas says that one human being can do more evil than all the other species put together.  How did he know this 7 centuries before Hitler or Stalin or Pol Pot?  Because he recognized our powerful intellects and imaginations—our creativity—that was both god-like and potentially demonic.

Yes, we have choices.

For example, we can work hard, harnessing all our resources and imagination, to fight against climate change.  OR, we can choose to be in denial about it.  (Something an entire political party has chosen to do for over 30 years even as the world burns.)  Politicians fiddle while the world burns.  A bigger deal by far than Nero who fiddled while Rome burned.

Activists in Digital Fridays for Future send a message to the governments of the world: “We call on our governments to #ActOnScience to save lives in both the COVID-19 crisis and the climate crisis”

Denial is one of the most prevalent sins, or conduits to evil, that humans have.  It is a form of lying.  And without truth, the best in us is out the door. God is out the door.  “Alternative facts” reign.

Denial about Mother Earth’s sufferings at our hands.  Denial about racism in our midst and baked into our social structures.  Denial about women’s rights and the omnipresence of sexism still.  Denial about the abandonment of truth.  

About denial, Thomas Aquinas teaches this: It is a mortal sin (meaning a deadly virus to one’s own self and the community. to choose to be ignorant of something important that one ought to know about.  

Climate change and the rest are important.  Those in denial are spreading death; they are necrophiliacs.

No wonder Meister Eckhart said, “God is the denial of denial.”  And Gandhi and so many others have said, “God is truth.”

See Matthew Fox, Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society, pp.xxiii-xxviii.

Banner Image: Fridays for Future march in Bonn. Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash.

Do you see Denial on the rise?  Why do you think that is so?  What can we do about it?

Responses are welcomed. To add your comment, please click HERE or scroll to the bottom of the page.

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16 thoughts on “Choices, 2021”

  1. Avatar

    Comment on March 29th Daily Meditation
    Denial takes us way back to the Garden of Eden…. it goes as deep as that.

    P. D. Ouspensky, Teacher of the Fourth Way, (how to be in life) and author of
    ‘In Search of the Miraculous’ announces loud and strong that ‘man’ is a lying animal.
    Our first acceptance must be that this is in our nature, although not of our true nature.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Jan, I am well aware of Ouspensky’s teachings but what I think is important in what you said is that whereas we are “lying animals” and that is our nature–our nature is not the result of “Original Sin,” although you say that what our nature is at present is “not of our true nature”–which I would say is “Original Blessing!”

  2. Avatar

    As a fourth generation Irish American, when I read the truth Fox has written, I cringe to think that the generational impact the British genocide on Ireland—the potato famine—has creaked over the generations. Fortunately the Episcopal church and others have services of generational healing processes to help folks overcome the generational impact of evil.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      We can be truly thankful for the work of the Episcopal church, and all the others, that are helping to overcome the generational impact of evil.

  3. Avatar
    Jeanette Metler

    People choose denial because they are afraid to take responsibility and to stand accountable for themselves and their own choices. In general they are fearful of the losses, the suffering if they speak truth to injustices in an attempt to take responsibility and stand accountable for that which has been denied. And rightly so, because the vast majority of the time, the truth-teller is accussed, criticized, judged, rejected, condemned, and crucified. And yet, when one is brave, courageous and trusting in choosing to do so, Divine Love is resurrected, somehow awakening us all.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Jeanette, I am sure that you have probably heard the saying, “Don’t shoot the messenger”? Well, that is what sometimes happens to “truth-tellers.” And yet I am pleased that you ended your comments with this: “when one is brave, courageous and trusting in choosing to do so, Divine Love is resurrected, somehow awakening us all.”

  4. Avatar

    Thank you thank you for that inclusion of the song “How much Longer?” It was new to me and so powerful. I will be sharing today’s meditation widely. God bless you.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      We’re glad you liked the song, Ellen. And thanks for sharing our meditations with others !!!

  5. Avatar

    What can we do about denial being on the rise? I think, first of all, is question ourselves and see where WE are in denial. It is very clear to see the abundance of denial in politicians, corporations, in the churches, in business dealers, in short, everywhere! But it is not always as evident in our own dealings with ourselves, and with others. Once we become aware of our own shortcomings and strive to look at ourselves and others with the “loving eyes of God,” as one author put it, we can more easily learn to forgive ourselves, the people we deal with, and even the “evil” ones. After all, isn’t that what Jesus did from the cross? “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Vivian, You ask the question: “What can we do about denial being on the rise?” Then you answer yourself in part in saying that first we must “see where WE are in denial.” But I am glad that you end in saying that when we become aware of our shortcomings we begin to look at other with the “loving eyes of God” and we learn to forgive…

  6. Avatar

    Evil is a way of living that seeks the good for the few in self importance, power and wealth. We who seek the good for all need not fall into the trap of evil by condemning it. In doing so we gain self importance for ourselves and a few followers and power and wealth. We must ignore evil as non existent as its followers including us, have been unconditionally forgiven. We must follow and taste the sweet fruit of the Life in the spirit that continuously and unconditionally serves all living things. Life doesn’t need our service. The Way to follow and imitate Life as humans is to love, care and nurture all living things, as best we can. We do this using our individual and collective Life given gifts. The fullness and abundance of Life is our evolving, predetermined and predestination goal. The fire of this love is beginning to take place everywhere in movements of youth, female and male and the old, like me, whose child has been awakened. Lets get excited lets follow and trust Life. It is also the resurrection and the Life, for all. Deacon’82 Environment and Global Interdependence.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Peter, you say that rather than condemning evil we should ignore it. I have found that this works well with young children, as when I am dealing with my grandson. However, I feel that when it comes to injustice on a large scale, we must speak prophetically; we must be “truth-tellers.” I do believe that life does need our service but I also know that, “The Way to follow and imitate Life as humans is to love, care and nurture all living things, as best we can.”

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Because necrophilia simply means the “love of death” and we are in the business of “loving life” or “biophilia.”

  7. Avatar

    I think denial comes from fear of change, which is really fear of loss of control of power–whether it is personal or political. I agree that we must look inside ourselves and see where we are in denial because I think that some of my reaction to denial and lying is possibly a projection of my own tendencies. But we know that power corrupts, and those in power will do anything to keep it, including the big lies of tyranny that still continue to draw in too many people. Palm Sunday has always reminded me of the fickleness of the mob. It seems that more people are drawn into groups by hatred and negativity than by love and forgiveness, and we must learn to counteract that hatred and negativity by being spiritual warriors, who are God- and love-soaked, at every opportunity, privately and publicly.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Sue, you say, “It seems that more people are drawn into groups by hatred and negativity than by love and forgiveness”–in this “seems” is the operative word. Because there are far more good spiritual/religious people in the world than there are not. I think the media is responsible to a great degree for holding up what is bad before us.

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