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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Deus Ex Machina, (Mah-kee-na)

A deus ex machina (play /ˈd.əs ɛks ˈmɑːknə/ or /ˈdəs ɛks ˈmækɨnə/ day-əs eks mah-kee-nə;[1] Latin: "god out of the machine"; plural: dei ex machina) is a plot device whereby a seemingly inextricable problem is suddenly and abruptly solved with the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability, or object.

So today's question is an interesting one. Can a God of your understanding solve your emotional problems?

Very often, in the circles I travel, I hear people say they have turned their will and their lives over to the care of God as they understand him. Ok, I think. Time and time again these people state hence believe, God solves their problems. They simply get out of the way. They refuse to exercise free will and it all works out. That is the claim.

Here is an interesting question. If free will causes problems, can free will also solve problems? Of course it can. In fact, that might indeed- be the whole point of the exercise. Can life resolve itself constructively using free will without invoking God? Yes, I think so.

Deus ex machina refers to the inability of mankind to find a solution to an inextricable problem until something new is introduced to the equation. In fact, this is how all problems are eventually solved. Emotional problems are no different. If you are experiencing emotional problems, you cannot find the solution for "x" until you try something new.

Today, I understand that my God does not solve my problems for me. There would be no struggle, no lessons to be learned, no personal growth nor evolution if God simply did all of those things for me. My God is a facilitator. It is that immense pain, the gift of desperation that caused me to seek a solution. Today, it matters not, whether that was solved or facilitated by God or a deus ex machina, myself, or a combination thereof. What matters is that it works. Flayed and scarred badly enough, we find a solution for x. I am extremely grateful. This is how Nietzsche saw it.

Now, once tragedy had lost the genius of music, tragedy in the strictest sense was dead: for where was that metaphysical consolation now to be found? Hence an earthly resolution for tragic dissonance was sought; the hero, having been adequately tormented by fate, won his well-earned reward in a stately marriage and tokens of divine honour. The hero had become a gladiator, granted freedom once he had been satisfactorily flayed and scarred. Metaphysical consolation had been ousted by the deus ex machina.
—Friedrich Nietzsche

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