When you’ve been raised in a religious belief system, you may have a world view that is defined by the principle that negative actions will be punished by a higher being (or “god”). For positive actions, you will be awarded in the present, future or in the so called after-life. During my life, for me, this thinking shifted. Looking at the world, you see “bad” things happening to “good” people all the time and the other way around. So I started wondering if there’s a better explanation.
First, how one defines good or bad is just a matter of perspective and personal context. A bad thing for one person can be a good thing for another and vice versa. Also, anything that may be defined as a “good” experience can shift in a subjective “bad” experiences in no time. And when the smoke clears, many “bad” things that happened to you may turn out to be not so bad after all, but were rather just steps on your journey of growth actually resulting in something better than before. Considering this, do you still think there’s a higher being actively trying to punish or praise us for things we think or do? Or is there something else going on?
Let’s throw some logic at this. If I’m driving a car and adjusting to the speed of the traffic around me, would there be a bigger or smaller chance of me getting hit by other cars around me compared to when I’m driving at a much higher (or lower) speed than the other cars? It is a controllable decision to drive much faster or much slower than the other cars. In this case, logically, I conclude that the chances of getting into an accident (a thing most of us would define as “bad”) are higher – even if I’m an excellent driver -, simply because of the fact that there are other cars and drivers on the road. If you hit another car in this case, nobody in his right mind would argue that this is all the work of a higher being and you’re being punished. Free will had a major role in it.
Now, on a more subtle level. Could it be that everything that happens to you is based on this same principle? But that most of us are just not capable or “awakened” enough (yet) to see what caused a certain effect in our lives? I’m not stating that you’re directly responsible for everything that happens to you. In life, there are many other drivers on our roads as well and free will plays a big part in this. In addition, causes may be introduced by “energies” that are beyond your control and there may be very good reasons for them. In life you’re not always in control, but you can learn to view “accidents” that happen to you as necessary for personal growth or as being part of your path in life to become more conscious of who you are and why you’re here in the first place.
If you try to see everything that happens to you more as a neutral experience than a “good” or “bad” thing, this may help you to see things more for what they are and what they bring you. In addition to this we can assume that nothing ever happens without a cause, even if we don’t always know what the cause is. Life is always teaching us things. Just because we haven’t progressed enough as humans to capture everything in rules of physics, doesn’t mean that a higher being is punishing us for “bad” deeds or appraising us for “good” deeds.
Consider a possibility that we are all doing it to ourselves, playing this game of cause and effect. Instead of blaming a god, try considering that your self may be much more expansive than you ever thought it was (beyond your thinking mind) and has only one single goal: helping you to experience things that you should experience for becoming more You.