Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Divine Justice

Justice is a primal drive. It finds many forms of expression – the desire to see good conduct rewarded and bad conduct punished, the reluctance to benefit from undeserved reward, and also the desire for revenge, to see people hoist on their own petard, and even, perhaps, schadenfreude.
Like any primal drive it can lead us to right action or to wrong action. What is just is not simple, nor possible to know in all circumstances. Indeed, even our basic urge to justice does not reliably lead to just outcomes, for while it is that drive that pushes us to vengeance, vengeance is rarely just.
Yet it also drives us to protect those who suffer unjustly, to stand against persecution and scapegoating. It causes us to wish to see credit given where it is due, and it drives us to let others know that we appreciate their work, their actions, indeed that we appreciate them as people.
We must cultivate a sense of justice that goes beyond the primal drive, that allows us to take in the whole of the circumstances of any matter. We must see justice as many-faceted, and many-layered. We must temper it with wisdom, and uphold it only with love. Yet we must also allow it to show us where love has taken us too far, and recognise the times when what is wise is not necessarily what is just.
Justice is one of the goals of the Divine, a quality it drives us to bring into the world, but it is not the only such goal. We must treasure justice and see through the easy answers to the harder ones, the ones that are more right. We must let the Divine teach us the true ways of justice. There is more to divine correctness than justice, but without justice nothing can be correct in the ways of the Divine.
Written July 2018
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