Friday, May 08, 2009

Rain, Rain Go Away

Rain is a bad thing if you are having a parade or a picnic; it’s a good thing if you are a farmer. Reality is that rain is just rain; intrinsically neutral. The “good” and “bad” are value judgements that we apply to rain, and we apply those labels based on how rain affects us. The value, then, is on how the rain touches our self interest, not on the rain itself.

When I can look at life without looking through the lens of self interest then I am freed of the need to judge things as being good or bad.

Getting out of myself is central to what this journey is all about. Turning outward from self, toward others and toward a larger world. Being able to see things as being neither more nor less than life happening.

Discarding the need for judgement is a tangible and very real freedom. It simplifies my life. It leads me to see things differently. It helps me to accept things and to integrate those things into my life. It helps me to integrate my life into the greater sphere of life as a whole. Everything is life happening and that includes me; all part of life, all flowing in the same direction.

I am not going to try to convince you that the severe emphysema which I experience today is a good thing, nor the heart problem, nor the Parkinson’s Disease. These things are just “things,” though, they are life happening. They are not happening “to me.” They are happening globally and I am experiencing them; as are many other people. I am not alone.

The degree to which these things are “good” or “bad” is in part the degree to which they affect me and that, in significant measure, is something which is within my power to determine. To the degree which I can make that determination I will do so. As to those things which I cannot change, I will bear and be strengthened by them, because I can choose to do that.

In a larger sense the degree to which these things are “good” or “bad” is the degree to which they touch upon my self interest and when my vision is not clouded by the lens of self interest, then the terms simply have no meaning and I am freed from the need to even make that judgement.

And that, dear friends, is a truly liberating experience.


  1. When my very dear friend lost her second child to a stillbirth, many people wanted to to put "good" and "bad" labels on the situation. She wouldn't let them; she also believes that stuff just is/is neutral. The good or bad is all about what we call it and how we let it impact us. Always a good thing to remember and way to view life.

  2. bruce1:04 AM

    same here.. When my fist wife was dealing with terminal cancer, I just wished her peace at heart and faith that all would be taken care of one way or another. She needed it far more than I did. Good or bad is how you deal with life.