September 06, 2008

The Democracy of Good Deeds and The Communism

Fro m Chapter 3 of my book "The Night of Angels":

Goodliness is the absence of ugliness. It is the idea of the basic goodness of man that the angels want to propagate in order to attain a harmonious co-existence among men in this material world where violence and other forms of evil are ever permeating.

It is often said that to err is human. Indeed man is said to be imperfect that it is almost impossible to see in your mind's eye the perfect goodliness of man. It is in fact upon these premise that I seek to push the idea of a mode of action I shall call now “The Democracy of Good Deeds and the Communism of Bad Deeds”.

It is upon the point of imperfection of man that we should find motivation to improve the spiritual self for indeed to be human is to be imperfect. Let us not tolerate however the idea that “I am human therefore I sin”, but rather “I am human and therefore I err”. It is entirely unwise to pursue a life of sin just because we consider ourselves to be imperfect.

Is it merely to err to steal millions of people’s money? It is merely to err to fornicate without any sense of responsibility? Is it merely to err to sexually abuse your work subordinates? Is it merely to err to kill another human being? Is it human to err so gravely?

It is not that we should demand upon ourselves to evade committing each and every mistake for this would be unrealistic. It is for us to deviate from doing deeds that are gravely wrong. There are deeds committed by men that are so grievously abominable that there is no room for reasoning out that they are merely mistakes or errors of judgments. Certainly, to kill a man just because of his race is a mistake or an error no more. It is purely evil to commit acts or deeds that are intentionally propagated by men to harm or injure others, patently debased of morals and principles.

Just the same as with fornication where men take great pleasures from the indiscriminate lavishing of the flesh, without regards to responsibility and consequences.

Just as so to the very greedy businessman who takes all the wealth for himself disregarding the labor of his workers, to undervalue the fruits of another man’s labor, for a man may have hundreds of acres of land but without workers to help him produce wealth from such land, it is virtually useless to him—he might as well sell it.

Just the same with the government official who routinely steals money from the finances of the government for the act of altering accounting records is not a mere error of judgment anymore.

The idea that I am promoting here is the concept that men should always be conscious and cognizant about every action or words that he make in his everyday life---to be fully aware of its effects to himself as well as to others---for every action has a two-pronged effect, that is, the effect on the self and the effect on others.

If I speak these words, how does it benefit me and how does it affect others? That is the basic question that should be inculcated in each and every one of us, as if to allow such mechanism of thought to be already a second skin to us, a habit that could not be easily broken—to have that perpetual questioning mind and heart, the very spirit of the inner workings of our consciences.

One may argue that this concept of constant awareness to every word or action may curtail the spontaneity of human interactions. Life may not be pleasant if we remain overly conscious of every word we utter and every action we make. We must not be very particular about this disadvantage, for indeed there are many words or actions that we could do without the questioning heart and mind. Whether to drink coffee or tea, whether I would sing or dance, or whether to read or write, these are actions that do not demand proper guidance of the questioning mind and heart so that men could still flow with spontaneity in their daily conduct. But whether or not to appropriate this money knowing fully well that it is not yours is an action that requires proper contemplation just as whether to seduce this woman or not? The same as to the question of whether or not to gossip against another person or not; just the same as to the question of whether or not to help a man with an empty stomach lying on the side streets. These are deeds that demand the guidance of our questioning minds and hearts.

The concept of the democracy of good deeds is easier to illustrate and understand if every one of us treats the self as a smaller body of government. For indeed every government are democratic or communistic, proletarian or authoritarian. “So what is my form of government?” you might ask. What is best suited for me and most beneficial to me? What form of government could enhance my spiritual self?

A purely democratic government, where there is an unhindered flow of freedom, is not ideal for as I mentioned earlier, everything in excess is scoffing by nature. Absolute freedom results to excesses.

A purely communistic government at the same time is not ideal for it would strangle us and prevent us from experiencing the true meaning of life. A suitable government for the self therefore would be a well-balanced government, not purely democratic but not also purely communistic. A government that is situated somewhere in the middle of two extremes. This form of government, if we relate it to the government of the self is what I call “The Democracy of Good Deeds and the Communism of Bad Deeds”. It is a concept of self-government that in its truest form is the propagation of all good deeds and if possible, the curtailment of all bad deeds. If this concept would be attained, we would attain a certain level of goodliness that exacts the very idea of how the Creator had intended man to be---righteous and enlightened---entirely fortified in his resolve to struggle against the piercing menace of evil. For indeed, in the Kingdom of God that the Creator had promised us, no man full of evil mischief would be allowed to enter for he would merely spoil the harmony and peace among brothers and sisters existing therein.

In the democracy of good deeds and the communism of bad deeds, it is ideal that man should propagate good deeds democratically, that is without restrictions in so long as it is possible while on the other hand, bad deeds are curtailed by a government with an iron hand, a communistic attitude towards mischief.

If we say that man is of no perfection as we admitted earlier, then we must recognize the possibility of sin that in this context, man should be about ninety-five percent good in his everyday conduct and five percent bad, this five percent are for those mistakes that are committed unknowingly, a sort of a margin of error, for indeed no man is perfect. Is this concept attainable? That is the million-dollar question. It is a question that every man should ask himself every day and every hour of his life. And the ultimate question of it all is: “ Have I prepared myself to enter the dwelling house of the Father?”

For certain, if one would hold this concept of the democracy of good deeds and the communism of bad deeds as proper and acceptable, one would more or less feel a sentiment of enlightenment and of a spiritual awakening.

But on the one hand we say that nobody has been perfect and every one has for one time or another, has already committed such bad deeds that this concept is not useful anymore. It is too late already as one would say, as one have already done such grievous things in the past and would never in the first place be able to prepare themselves to enter the Kingdom of God.

Do not fret and do not be disheartened. The angels have come with their messages and one of them that they brought here is the reward of repentance and then of forgiveness for man should be redeemed from the life of a blind being led by the blind. Every man would be given the privilege of repentance as long as he or she immediately recognized his past mistakes and ponder upon them and repent and confess. To accept the Creator as the only salvation, the Lord of all Lords, and shall then follow all His edicts and judgments. To go back to the churches, to the faith of the forefathers, to Jesus Christ or to Allah the Most Merciful and the Most Omnipotent, through his messenger Prophet Mohammad (Peace be Upon Him) or to Buddha the Enlightened One or to Abraham, the Father of Judaism or to the righteous commandments of Hinduism.

Repentance alone however is not enough for that would amount to false awakening. We should produce fruits from our repentance. If we have stolen a million pesos, we should recompense for this malefaction by returning the same amount to the one we have stolen from and then by committing to charity to help uplift the condition of the poorest of the poor. If we gossip against another, we should recompense for our sin by asking for the person’s forgiveness and reaching out to him or her, and making her feel loved and cared for instead of despised. The reward of repentance is so great that every one is given the opportunity to mend his or her ways and accept God back to his or her life.

Now, the inevitable question is: Are persons who committed grievous acts like murder and fornication be given the same privileged of repentance? To this question I shall say that for the sake of lasting peace and harmony, even them could be given the privilege with the same requirements of producing fruits from their repentance. To be sure, the heavier the sin, the heavier is the fruit of repentance. Murderers should face their punishment in the hands of the law and at the same time help uplift others specially the family of the victim, whenever possible. Murderers and fornicators even by themselves, should treat themselves as prisoners of God and should act imprisoned and live a life of full devotion to the Creator, limiting their words and actions so much more than others, to the extent of treating their lives as not theirs anymore but to the Creator. Yet, take heed that the repentance given by the Lord is never to be abused for there are those who sinned promiscuously and then anticipating the gift of repentance to be always there. To sin now and repent later---this is foolish for the sinner clearly desire to circumvent the mercy of the Lord by abusing it.

The privilege of repentance is such an incomparable “Gift of God” for He loves humanity so much that He had sent His angels to guide the lost and wandering and redeem it from a world of violence and wickedness. However, this privilege is not for the abusive that would easily take advantage of such reward. The gift of repentance could only be availed and given by Him but once. It is so doubly malicious to carry on with one’s conduct thinking that the reward of repentance is always there anyway and could be availed of anytime. The doubly malicious would think, “I would commit more sins for anyway, there is a reward of repentance waiting for me later on”, this mode of conduct and thinking is completely unacceptable and anyone who would take advantage of this reward would have double punishment, of a punishment that is already painful beyond expectation, what the Bible described as “the vengeance of an eternal fire”, where there would be “wailing and gnashing of teeth” in “a lake of fire”[1].

Let us practice the concept of “The Democracy of Good Deeds and the Communism of Bad Deeds” for this would guide us and help us reach our destination in our own respective voyages to eternal life, for there is no greater objective in the life of a man than to prepare the self to the ultimate existence of enlightenment, of everlasting life of peace and harmony among brothers and sisters where there is no more suffering, sorrow and pain and where there is even be no more death. As the Bible tell us in the Revelation, “blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”[2]

[1] Revelation 20: Verse 14. (King James Version Bible)
[2]Revelation 22: Verse 14. (King James Version Bible)