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This-essay is a7612131.htm which is available at the web-site See more notes at the bottom. Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay By-Months By-Years By-Words Webs of Like-&-Un-Like ESSAYS <==> Like-&-UN-Like This-One ========================================================== %GOD'S PLEASURE 761213 What gives God pleasure? The behavior of religious leaders gives us one possible answer. Their scriptures tell us that God made the whole universe and upon completing it called it all good. Ever since it seems that religious leaders have been telling us that life is full of evil pleasures which we, for our own long-term good, must not enjoy. Yet the original story would indicate that those pleasures were ordained by God and called good by God! Either God or the religious leaders are confused and inconsistent---or perhaps God takes delight in frustrating his creatures---by creating desires for pleasures and then issuing commandments that they not be enjoyed. Why is it that religious leaders never lead in giving thanks for the capacity for sensuous pleasure, and regularly lead prayers of confession and pleas for forgiveness for fulfilling our God-given desires for pleasure? Why is it that religious leaders are always saying "no", "no"; and never leading the way to the fulfillment of sensuous pleasures? Is it because they believe that it is God's pleasure that His creatures be frustrated in the fulfillment of a set of technical rules and regulations? Is it because they cannot stand to see others enjoy pleasure while they themselves are suffering the frustrations of denying themselves those pleasures? Is envy their motivating drive? Are they too up-tight to be jealous? Are they all mixed up with definitions of "good" and "evil" in what they perceive to be a universe which is essentially dualistic? Have they eaten the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? An image of a dualistic universe undermines personal integrity, and therefore promotes I-It relationships rather than I-Thou relationships. The introjection of dualism into people makes it impossible for them to relate to each other as whole beings with integrity. This undermines the possible fulfillment of their God-given capacity for pleasure and promotes estrangement. This is tragic and ironic---for religious leaders preach that it is God's pleasure to promote reconciliation, rather than estrangement. Yet religious leaders often promote the image of a dualistic universe in which by their stories one gets the impression that the Devil, as the supreme agent of evil has the upper hand. It would appear that religious leaders fear it will take a full arsenal of negativistic rules, regulations, and moral injunctions to defeat the Devil. They seem not to understand the power of love, including sexual love, to bring people together in cooperative relationships which are pleasurable for all involved in them. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in Search for Integrity and Honesty (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================
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This-essay is a7612131.htm which is available at the web-site These 5 lines echo top lines. Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay By-Months By-Years By-Words Webs of Like-&-Un-Like ESSAYS <==> Like-&-UN-Like This-One