Wednesday, November 08, 2006
I’ve been wrestling some more with the idea of the shadow of God and I remembered this wonderful analysis by Marie Louise von Franz:
The ethical difficulties that arise when one meets one's shadow are well described in the 18th Book of the Koran. In this tale Moses meets Khidr ("the Green One" or "first angel of God") in the desert. They wander along together, and Khidr expresses his fear that Moses will not be able to witness his deeds without indignation. If Moses cannot bear with him and trust him, Khidr will have to leave.
Presently Khidr scuttles the fishing boat of some poor villagers. Then, before Moses' eyes, he kills a handsome young man, and finally he restores the fallen wall of a city of unbelievers. Moses cannot help expressing his indignation, and so Khidr has to leave him. Before his departure, however, he explains his reasons for his actions: By scuttling the boat he actually saved it for its owners because pirates were on their way to steal it. As it is, the fishermen can salvage it. The handsome young man was on his way to commit a crime, and by killing him, Khidr saved his pious parents from infamy. By restoring the wall, two pious young men were saved from ruin because their treasure was buried under it. Moses, who had been so morally indignant, saw now (too late) that his judgment had been too hasty. Khidr's doings had seemed to be totally evil, hut in fact they were not.
Looking at this story naïvely, one might assume that Khidr is the lawless, capricious, evil shadow of pious, law-abiding Moses. But this is not the case. Khidr is much more the personification of some secret creative actions of the Godhead.
So death and destruction, pain and suffering, plague and famine are secret creative actions of the Godhead that we witness with indignation because we do not understand the greater good that will ultimately result.
Everything is a blessing.