Sunday, June 1, 2014

Warning! Good news

It may seem parsimonious or nihilist or some other form of crabby, but "good news" is worth a look, I think.

By way of inspiration or encouragement, good news moves the spiritual ball along. Virgins with grapes, angels with harps, pools of ineffable serenity, endless understanding, utter relief ... who wouldn't be willing to put a little energy into it?

But as a long-term matter, a matter of unending credulity and sweat, "good news" has a way of barring the door to any honest good news. Why? Because "good news" relies on and asserts by definition the "bad news" it hopes to elude or reshape or revise. If this is true, "good news" is imbued with a constant uncertainty and doubt ... and doubt is not precisely what anyone would call "good news."

For starters, "good news" is fine. But further down the road, I think it can best serve as a warning: If "good news" is the only good news that spiritual endeavor might provide, would it really be worth the effort? Does the doubt that inspires a spiritual effort in the first place really hope to reach a time and place and understanding that is riven by still more doubt?

Is there any good news in spiritual adventure? I think there is, but I also think that "good news" serves more as a warning than a worthwhile destination.

1 comment:

  1. For most folks, good news is a distraction from things that require their attention. A fireman saves a kitten, good people still exist, feel hopeful, no warnings required, everything is under control, etc. I'm crusty enough to be suspicious when the kids are too quiet. We live in an imperfect world, good news should never supplant an awareness of Murphy's law.