Wednesday, September 07, 2005

A Tale of Two Daddies

In a city there was a neighborhood, and in the neighborhood there was a complex, and there were two families that lived next door to each other. The fathers of the families each had a slightly different way of looking at the world. One father incredibly loved his children, and his philosophy on raising them was that the very first time that they cried out to him, he would bail them out of their problem, for he was a loving father and could not stand to see his children simmer in any kind of agony. So when his first child was a few days old and cried out from the crib, he immediately grabbed it in his hands and rocked it to sleep. Eventually, this became a process for the father, who treated his child with grace and love. The father made a promise to his child that it would never have to worry about being harmed by the world if it only allowed him to be at his side throughout the entirety of the day.

As the child grew older, the father did not waiver in his dedication to his child; every time the child scraped its knee, he applied the bandage, every time it argued with someone, he was there to comfort it, and every time it failed at something, he was there to offer emotional support. In short, this process continued on for the child's entire life, and when it grew up and was an adult, its reliance on the father was unwavering as well. The father promised his child that it would never have to worry about being harmed if it only allowed him to be at his side throughout the entirety of the day, and the child lovingly agreed, and whenever it would cry, he rushed in immediately.

When the child was an adult, the father would take care of its errands, tasks, and problems, for his love for his child was so great that he did not want his child to be exposed to any of the bitter elements of the world. He removed his child from the discomforts of that world by seating it in his presence, and in doing so, saved the child from these horrible things. Now that the child could comprehend, the father told it that one day it would enter the real world, and on that day, if it did not believe that the father was at its side to take care of all its problems, then he would truly leave his child alone forever in that world. And the father loved his child unconditionally.

The next door neighbor had a different philosophy of raising his children. When his child was just a few days old and cried from the crib, the father ran over and rocked the child in his arms until he fell asleep. But during the next few weeks, the father would gradually rock his child to sleep less and less often, sometimes allowing it to cry for a while before comforting it. Eventually, the child grew comfortable with its father's presence and learned to cry less and was able to fall asleep peacefully on its own. All the while, the father made sure child could see him plainly through the bars of the crib, which comforted the child.

And later, when the father removed himself from his child's line of sight, the child knew that he was in the house. The father would watch his child on the baby monitor all day long, and kept his eye and ear bent towards the child the entire time. When the child's crying became pained, the father rushed in immediately.

As the child grew older, it too experienced the travails of growing up. When the child would scrape its knee, the father handed the child a bandage and taught it how to apply it. When the child had an argument with someone, the father let the child fend for itself, and then only later did he inform the child how to deal with such people. When the child failed, the father would tell it that either it needed to try harder, or to rethink its goals.

By now, it had a level of confidence that would help it get through the day, yet nevertheless, it would visit the father, or at least call him periodically throughout the day to ask for advice, or just to spill its guts. Every once in a while, when the child, who was now an adult, experienced something especially traumatic, it would visit the father sometime during the day and cry on his shoulder. After some recuperation and graceful downtime, the father would send the child back on its way, and by now, the child was accustomed to the father's loving and gentle, yet forceful character traits, and it faced the world with a renewed confidence.

As a result, the child grew to be strong and independent, yet still reliant on the father for love and advice. The father would send his child to complete his errands and tasks and explained it how to take care of its problems, for he could only remove the discomforts from the child's life if it was responsible in its duties. One day, he explained, the child would enter the real world, and if it did not learn how to deal with its problems here, then it would have to face them there. Nevertheless, even in the event that such a thing occurred, the father would make sure that the child was treated fairly. Once the toughest times were over, the child would be allowed to retire.

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This story is a parable about Judaism and Christianity. The first father is the "Christian G-d," that upon realizing the vast array of insurmountable obstacles (sin) in the world bailed them out of those problems so that they would not have to face them. In this tradition, G-d decided that the world was too overwhelming for His children (the world that He brought them into) and that they were not able of fighting sin, so as an act of amazing grace, He bailed them out (never mind how).

The "real world" is an analogy for the World to Come, or the Afterlife, which in the case that the child (a human) did not agree to have the father cover all of its problems for it (atonement through Jesus), it would be forced to live its life out away from the father forever (Hell).

*Just a thought. In the parable, if G-d is the father and humanity is the child, who would Jesus be? If Jesus had an analagous character in this parable, it would have to be a character other than a son, for the child (humanity) filled that role. Furthermore, the son figure would have to be a separate figure than the father, even though Christianity holds that the son (Jesus) was the Father (G-d). If we look at this relationship through a parable, we see that the father and son are clearly two different beings that cannot be viewed as being one singular being. Even if they were one singular being (by some oxymoronic miracle), they are represented by two separate and distinct consciouses, and how can one singular being have two (or three) separate consciouses and still be one singular being?

If one plus one plus one plus one equals one, then why do we need to stop at three? Could Christianity only come up with three essential forms of G-d? G-d is a Father, Mother, Creator, Husband, Landlord, Instructor, Presence, Gaurdian, Warrior, King, Redeemer, Savior, Rock, Friend, Sender of the Meshiach, Giver of life,Killer, and Ressurector of the dead; an eighteen-part G-d. There are many other attributes of G-d that I do not have the qualifications to list.


The second father is the "Jewish G-d," that does not save them from their sin, but gives them the knowledge that will make them learn how to avoid sin, and in the process of learning, they become more and more confident in G-d's instruction (the Torah) and in themselves. As they become more confident, they fear traveling out into the world less, and make use of G-d's instruction. As a result, they witness many great things, but many horrible things as well, and at these points in time, they turn back to Him for help.

The "real world" is also an analogy for the World to Come, but we notice that the person's experience in this place determines its experience in that place, which is never beyond its ability to tolerate. Once the process of Judgment is complete, the individual enters the World to Come.

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