Shards of Consciousness

When Bad Things Happen

When bad things happen to good people... Catchy phrase? Not! Been there. Done that. When bad things happen... Better.

What is a "bad" thing? Pain has been described as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience. The definition has a dry, academic feel that does no justice to the actual experience, but I think most people would agree that a bad thing is something which would cause pain in most people.

"I pray," you say. "I affirm what what I want as present in my life." "I put out good thoughts." "I express gratitude."

So why did I break my arm? Why do I live in a world with war? Why was I born black? Why was I born white? Why was I born poor? Why was I born rich? Why am I fat? Why am I skinny? Why do I have schizophrenia? Why am I manic-depressive? Why was I born disabled? Why do I experience pain?

So why do bad things happen? We've talked about the problem of evil for millenia. (Why don't we talk about the problem of good?)

Any explanation of pain comes down to one or more of five things

  1. A god caused it.
  2. A devil caused it.
  3. It's an accident.
  4. It's a mystery. (Also know as That's just the way it is.)
  5. I caused it.

Three out of five of these take major incidents in life out of our hands. One requires a belief in reincarnation.

Just something to think about.

1 Pingback to When Bad Things Happen

  • [...] At Shards of Consciousness, Rick Cockrum says, “We’ve talked about the problem of evil for millennia” in his post When Bad Things Happen. Whether it’s evil or fear that cause bad things, they both will result in pain. Pain has been described as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience. The definition has a dry, academic feel that does no justice to the actual experience, but I think most people would agree that a bad thing is something which would cause pain in most people. –Rick Cockrum [...]

5 Responses to When Bad Things Happen

  • Rick,

    Off topic, but have you checked your feed on your reader lately? The text on your posts are all lump into one large paragraph. Almost impossible to read.

  • Unfortunately, yes I have, Renee. As best I can tell it started after I changed to Wordpress 2.1. I've been trying to find out how to fix it without going back to Wordpress 2.0.5, but with no luck so far. The paragraph marks seem to be stripped out of the html in the transfer to the feed.

  • I take back what I said. All the HTML seems to be being stripped.

  • Like many others, I want to know "why" something bad has happened to me. I can obsess about all the reasons, none of which really matters in the long run. But what does matter is how we respond when something bad happens. That's really all we can control, and it can make a huge difference in our livess, depending on how we "choose" to respond. I'm still learning . . .

  • As I am learning, Deb. You are so right. How we respond is the most important thing, and it is the way we make a difference in our lives and the lives of those around us.

    Obsessing about the cause of any specific incident isn't helpful, but most of us have a general belief in this area which conditions our response, as well as our basic view of ourselves and others.

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