Part 2: "Divine Providence"
Chapter 8: "The Details of Divine Providence"
It's important to realize that not only does G-d interact with our physical
circumstances as we've been detailing, He also interacts with our spiritual
circumstances. And that touches upon our ability to reason and know, our
relationship to G-d, and our spiritual status.
Ramchal then goes on to explain the importance of our spiritual status, and
in the course of that he presents us with a layout of a perfect world rich
in spiritual and intellectual content, and contrasts it with the world we
now know. Since the two depictions he presents are so well put, thorough,
and enlightening we thought we'd offer them both in nearly word-for-word
"The truly best situation for the world to be in would be for people to
cling onto wisdom and serve their Creator." That's best because as a
consequence of it, "the truth would be forthright and clear-cut, the
wrongful would be pursued and overcome, and deception would be undone." All
that would be so rampant and so self-evident that "no one would serve
anyone or anything but G-d" -- since it would only make sense to do that.
We'd then find that "only good qualities would exist", which is to say,
that we'd be the people we're all capable of being, "while wrongful ones
would be rejected and despised."
What will result from all that? "Tranquility and quietude will prevail, and
there'll no longer be tribulation, pain, or harm. G-d will openly display
His Glory to the world, and He'll rejoice in His handiwork as His handiwork
rejoices in Him."
That's clearly not the state of the world now, which seems the very
antithesis of all that. For indeed as Ramchal presents it, we find
ourselves "awash in desires"; the great majority of us "despise wisdom and
are far removed from it"; "very, very few if any" of us "tend to serve
G-d"; "truth has been dashed to the ground, wrongdoing is reinforced and
succeeds, and there's more and more deception and misjudgment". "Foreign
practices prevail" here, and "good qualities are eclipsed by wrongful ones"
as we all know only too well.
That explains why "there's hardly any quietude, and no tranquility" in our
times, as well as why "a lot of tribulation and harm" prevails instead. For
indeed as we all sense for ourselves, "G-d is hiding His Glory from the
world" now, "and everything seems to go about as if by chance, and
entrusted to the laws of nature" alone. "G-d doesn't rejoice in His
handiwork, mankind doesn't rejoice in Him, and no one even recognizes or
knows what it means for all of creation to rejoice before its Creator." And
as one would expect in such a world, indeed "the wrongful are powerful
while the good are subordinate."
The point to recall is that everything physical and spiritual that's
relevant to our lives, whether depicted here or not, is influenced by G-d.
This series is dedicated to the memory of Yitzchak Hehrsh ben Daniel,
and Sarah Rivka bas Yaakov Dovid.
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