“God’s Plan”

July 13, 2013

I wrote a comment to Charles Blow’s column on the Zimmerman trial, in which I questioned the apparently selective way people attribute this or that that happens in this world to “God’s Plan.”  It comes up especially when people are justifying their own behavior or trying to make sense of damaging events.  They are often not open to something else that they don’t particularly like being “part of God’s Plan.”

I don’t think there is a “God” who has “a Plan.”  But I do think there is a force driving all this, only not micromanaging it with intentionality — I think many of the forces that shape action and reaction are far more impersonal in operation.  I think at higher levels of understanding, it’s just information that is relevant.  Accident, random confluence, intentional action — those sorts of considerations and distinctions fall away.

In terms of a human need for personal comfort from forces beyond ourselves, I think there are intermediate layers of beings, like angels and guides, who can help in some ways;  I think mainly, however, we are nudged to try to dissipate what produces the desire for comfort in ourselves, and resolving the need that way — by infusing ourselves with higher and cleaner energy.

It frustrates me to hear people apparently claiming that what they did should be accepted as “part of God’s Plan,” but consequences from it they don’t like, or other people’s particular reactions to what they did, could not possibly be “part of God’s Plan,” too.  It’s one thing to say that we don’t understand how what goes on in this world looks from the bleachers, how it looks at some remove and with a bird’s-eye view, it’s quite another to ascribe direction and purpose to those things going on, in which we participate and which most of us only view from that vantage point.

The “God’s Plan” notion is so often used as a rationalization to soothe the ego, rather than as a statement of humility.


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