Disclaimer: The best treatments of Filianic theodicy of which I am aware are found at the Chapel, which has written before on the symbolism of the Snake in the Creation, the doctrine of original sin (and how we don’t have any in Filianism), demonology, the illusion of Sai Maia, and the principle of werdë (including in direct relationship to the Trinity). I wish to (and can) add nothing to what the Chapel has said on the issue, which goes far beyond what I treat here. In conversation with some friends, however, it seemed to me that there might be use in bringing a portion of this conversation down to a more quotidian level in order to illustrate the significance of the rapidly approaching Nativity (31 December, for those of you following the moveable dates).
It was recently pointed out by an insightful maid that, in Her omnipotence, Dea could fill the ‘gap’ of kear, and the question then arose of why evil should continue to exist at all. I think the point may be even more insightful than its maker realized, because Dea has, in fact, filled the ‘gap’ of kear—the separation between ourselves and Her—at Nativity, giving us Her Daughter to reflect Her Light when we cannot look upon it, so that we might yet ‘find [our] souls before the darkness comes’ (The Light, v. 1). We turned from our Mother and departed from Her ‘in the infirmity of [our] sovereign will’, as the Creed has it, but the Daughter departs from the Mother, stripped of Her Light, in perfect obedience to the Divine Will (Mythos 3:16). To the extent, then, that we open our hearts to Her and let Her ‘live through’ us as She enjoins (The Secret of the World, v. 19), we are ‘God and sinner reconciled; (in the words of the popular Christmas carol) in perfect atonement (a word, incidentally, created by the 15th century biblical translator and publisher William Tyndale from the parts ‘at-one-ment’). As we are told in the clew commonly called Cry Marya!, ‘If thou wouldst find union with our Mother, know that thou hast never left her. If thou wouldst escape the veil of matter, know that there is no matter and no veil’ (vv. 13–14).
And yet certainly we suffer. Even knowing, logically, that evil does not exist, we continue to be affected by it in (quite literally) vicious ways. What we must realize, however, is that this is not on account of a reality beyond ourselves (for in truth there is no Reality at all save She), but on account of our own distorted perception and disordered response. We are as starving maids who have been handed bread and, instead of eating it, continue to complain that we starve. I am reminded of the story of an interfaith conference that was held during the Second World War, in which the topic of discussion turned to the origins of evil. One of the Hindu delegates faced a Roman Catholic priest across the table and informed him that, ‘The war is your fault.’ The priest was naturally taken aback, but the purohit, who it would seem had done his homework and was well-versed in the message of Fátima, told him, ‘Mary came to you—not to us Hindus, not to the Muslims, not even to the Protestants, but to you Catholics—and told you to pray the Rosary every day for the peace of the world. And have you done it?’ The priest, it is said, devoted the rest of his career to promoting devotion to Our Lady of Fátima and, above all, the daily recitation of the Rosary.
Answers like these can often seem trite, especially when we are in the throes of our own sufferings, but we must distinguish two very different phenomena here (as the Buddhists are adept at doing). We all experience misfortunes (although that term is, in a strict etymological sense, a misnomer), for it is in the nature of manifest existence to be, in some measure, separated from God, and the cycles that maintain any material cosmos in being, as well as the conditions that enable us to be realized as (quasi-)independent consciousnesses, inherently involve imperfection. Under such conditions, it is inevitable that rivers will flood, lions will devour lambs, and hearts will be broken.* Such imperfections could cease to be only if all things were perfectly atoned in our Mother, such that the manifest cosmos, characterized inherently by separation and what Sorella Morganna has called the ‘First Heartbreak’, could not be.
As the clew commonly known as Cry Marya! reminds us, however, the condition I have just described is already (insofar as is possible in this life) the condition of the helati—the ‘Awakened’—who ‘seeth not things, but seeth only the Spirit My Mother, for … all things are nothing save She’ (v. 7). These have realized on a level much deeper than mere logic—on the level of the Solar Intellect—that they are not separate from our Mother even now, for the Daughter’s birth, death, and rebirth are all eternally unfolding. One is reminded of the saying of the Stoic Epictetus, who declared that, although he was a slave, philosophy had made him the only man he knew who was truly free. (If one is so inclined, one might also be reminded of a saying of Mr Kanye West.)
Ultimately, then, we suffer not because we experience misfortunes, but because we respond to our misfortunes from an incomplete understanding of the nature of the world and, above all, of our own true natures. The path out of this is the one light that our Mother has given into the world (The Light, v. 16). That light is presented to us without filter or distortion in the person of the Daughter as described in the Clear Recital.
It has rightly been said, of course, that the Recital is at present a ‘niche’ publication known to very few. It is for this reason that our Lady has enjoined us to ‘go … out among maids and teach them the good doctrine’ (v. 17). Yet ours is not an exclusivist religion, and it would be a mistake to think that that this is the only means that our Mother has given for us to behold Her Daughter’s Light. To us in our day She has given the Clear Recital, but to those who came before us She sent messengers bearing the Bible and the Qur’an, the Pali Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita, the Gathas of Zoroaster and the Guru Granth Sahib, and the messages of many countless prophets over all the earth whose names and deeds have not been recorded. Though the message of each has been phrased to best meet its audience, and the amount of teaching as well as the points on which it is given have varied in accord with the needs of different peoples, the essential message regarding the path that leads to our awakening (and hence to our extrication from suffering) has always and everywhere been the same: ‘He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?’ (Micah 6:8) Just as we cannot complain of war when we do not heed our Lady’s words to pray for peace, so likewise, as long as we have not fulfilled this essential commission, we cannot complain of suffering. And when we have fulfilled it, though there may remain misfortunes on the plane of material existence, we will find that suffering has been quite abolished, not by our own hands or merits, but by the hand of She without Whom we can do nothing.
*I call these ‘misfortunes’ here because the technical theodical term for them is ‘natural evils’, which made perfect sense under the broader meaning of ‘evil’ that was current in English some centuries ago, but has since become rather misleading by acquiring a distinctly ‘moral’ valence.