12. Oct, 2014

WHAT CAUSES DISSATISFACTION?

'The natural human inclination to act, is according to reason, that is according to virtue" (St.Thomas Aquinas). But as Aquinas knew well, our commitment to that inbuilt force, is often blunted by overly strong egoes that misdirect our life journeys. 'An act's goodness consists in its fulness of being; its badness in its deficiency of being.' Being as a term refers here to its potential and its actuality of both good and bad. When we look at decisions made by either ourselves or by politicians or others, it immediately gives clarity: a framework for analysing, reflecting and changing, sometimes even our way of life. So although an addict cannot easily make those initial steps, others can, by building on an image of an expanding, opening flower, can counsel this person to slowly appreciate the riches of a different path. Equally political decisions can be confronted on a similar basis, provided that as we confront politicians or company executives with the consequences of their actions, we ourselves need to be aware of not falling into the trap of hatred or loss of balanced reason. Aquinas' use of the terms, "good" and "bad" refers to the rise upwards to an ordered vision of the world, in the case of the former, and a descent to black chaos in the case of the latter.'Harmony is the fittingness of order,so that each relates to each as  is proper,both in words,actions and love (caritas).' He paints a picture of a world order, master minded by the Creator, whereby the answers to our dissatisfactions lie within our grasp, yet as we have free will, a gift in itself, we have the option to ignore the responsibilities of order and march to our own drum. Sadly, as we know, so often that leads us into the desert so often described by Kierkegaard and other existentialist philosophers. Meister Eckhart (1260-1329) said,'Whatever God does, the first outburst is always compassion'. We may be struggling to find order in our world, but the Creator is always at hand to assist. By our careful reflection and His help, we can slowly move towards a more ordered, ethical, loving connection to our world. Thank you. Tom Baxter