The central issue of my life has been how - if God exists - two people as incredibly loving and wonderful as my parents could have been subjected to the horrors they experienced.
Jewish thinkers like Dennis Prager have addressed this point - Prager --- argues that Jews that use the Holocaust as a reason not to believe in God are intellectually dishonest because other similar atrocities have happened throughout history . So what? I don't see that as an explanation - that nonJewish-related evil also existed so the Holocaust is what, nothing special? Hardly an explanation likely to make me embrace an angry anthropomorphic God.
And besides, as my mother told me many times, Jews were not the only victims of the Holocaust - generally free thinkers - homosexuals, communists, gypsies, Catholics - anyone who resisted "the program" were subject to extermination.
Interestingly my father still attributed his survival to his Jewish faith, while my mother completely lost her belief in any human-like higher being or power.
I have struggled with this for decades and have come to the point, like many of my contemporaries, of abandoning organized "religion" entirely.
Recently I have become exposed to a new set of ideas which have led me to the certainty that higher levels of intelligence and Life exist, and that we are subject to these forces.
I believe that technology has given us both the tools to understand, and serves as a metaphor for the existence of such higher forces - as we decode the genome we get a sense of the level of powerful intelligence required for the forces of evolution to work as they have over eons of time.
But how do we reconcile the existence of higher powers of Intelligence and Life with human barbarity? I think the answer may lie in animals as another metaphor.
When I think of the horrific world of the Nazis and the experience of my parents, I am taken by the image of ANTS. When I see nature programs of the ravages of army ants and similar insect populations slaughtering and enslaving others, I cannot see EVIL.
But is the ant barbarism genocide? Perhaps, but I see an automatic (programmed) lower form of life doing what it does.
As a child I watched with horror Disney's Living Desert where a wasp stings a spider, renders it paralyzed, and lets its babies devour the helpless spider alive.
Is this evil? No this is what Life has programmed it to do with incredible levels of intelligence beyond human comprehension.
Man, however, is the animal that can choose, can love or hate, or can revert to an automatic barbaric subhuman level of animalistic inhumanity.
Man is more and more responsible (with the growth of technology) for the environment in which animals and humans coexist.
Man may develop a conscience and act lovingly if he raises his or her level of being and influence life around him to evolve and thrive, or revert and die.
For example, man has allowed certain animals to live in his environment. In their native state, cats and dogs might be tigers or wolves. In a nurturing human environment they respond to the conscious and conscience in humans and act lovingly, manifesting in many ways the higher aspects of human beings.
But in the wild, they simply do what they were programmed to do, survive, unable by their lower nature to be receptacles and purveyors of Life energy or love. That is why killing a cougar that has ventured into "civilization" in order to survive, is appalling to many of us. We recognize that it is doing simply what Life has programmed it to do.
But humans have the ability to go either way. Their nature is determined elsewhere - be it will, conscience, heart, heredity, environment, genetics - the complexity of possibilities is endless.
Experiments in which subjects have applied torture to others simply because they were told to do so by an "expert" or "authority" show that man can either embrace a higher level of being - perhaps it takes a level of discipline or intellect and love - or be an animal - refuse responsibility, deny a conscience, and simply perform automatically - be an ANT.
Nazis learned how to program their people in this way. On a certain level they were responsible for their horrific actions but in their low level of being they were simply insect life forms inhabiting human bodies.
So how do we change ourselves to become higher life forms, incapable of genocide?
The answer to me may be in the concept of evolution. We must use technology as a lesson for how programming can lead to de-evolution (loss of responsiblity or conscience) while at the same time using the connections and immense power of technology to continue to evolve, and share the higher levels of being within us with others of our species.
The survival of our species is by no means guaranteed.
My reading has convinced me that the secret, if there is one, to such evolution is in a recognition of levels of consciousness that literally affect a reality we create through our lives and exchanges of energy with our environment and other beings.
Perhaps our task on earth is to be the intermediary of evolution so that wolf energy becomes dog energy (loving), and similarly cougar energy may evolve into cat energy - metaphorically or literally - alternatively leading to the absence of life - extinction - darkness and lack of light (evil, hate, or whatever human terminology or language may apply).
If you are interested in these ideas I highly recommend Mani Bhaumik's book Code Name God. Dr. Bhaumik is a man who went from the lowest caste in India, met Ghandi, and became a co-inventor of the Lasik laser technology, among other things. Acquiring immense wealth, he realized the shortcomings or a materially based life and investigated eastern thought from the perspective of a brilliant scientific mind. I find his analysis and suggestion that a unified field theory which may have existed at or prior to the beginning of Time (Big Bang) is analogous to the monotheistic concept of One source of Creation, and the scientific evidence that its vibration is still audible and present throughout the universe, quite an impressive synthesis of scientific and religious thought.
Another book that I have found immensely powerful is Jacob Needleman's "Why Can't We Be Good?". Needleman is a subtle proponent of some powerful ancient ideas and in this book he uses a classroom environment and his own impressive scholarship to make them accessible to readers and students.
These books and others have led me to the threshold of reconciling the paradox of a conscious and loving universal law with the reality of human cruelty. The task of man is to mediate between the animal and higher levels by living in harmony with higher levels of being, and not reverting to the programming of his physical and mental components. The higher center in man does exist, but it must be nurtured and fed with the right types of energy, and only in this way can humanity truly become human, and not live according to its insect nature.
The important thing to realize is that these are not metaphorical or figurative concepts - they are actually what is taking place on this planet through us at this moment in Time.