Recently, Carol and I have been coming face to face with the machinations of manipulative, amoral people — different people for each of us. No, they’re not church people. No, I’m not going to go into details — there’s no need, anyway, because no doubt you’ve had your own experiences with such people, and you know what goes along with those experiences: frustration, sense of betrayal, hurt, sometimes even despair. Suffice it to say that it can be discouraging.
It’s times like these when I’m glad I’m a Universalist. People are the way they are, a mixture of good and evil. But in the end, the most powerful force in the universe is Love. Some of the old Universalists used to say that God is love; which sounds like a theistic formulation, though if you’re a humanist you can also take it to mean something like “what we used to call ‘God’ is now better understood as ‘love’.” Whatever works for you; metaphysical speculations don’t particularly interest me. The point is that manipulative, amoral people can fight against the power of love for a time (sometimes for their whole lives), but it takes lots of energy, and it diminishes their lives. And the point is that I don’t need to exhaust myself wishing for revenge upon them in the form of sending them to some eternal torment; for in wishing such a thing, I would be as manipulative and as amoral as are they.
Nope, it’s good being a Universalist, because I have the ultimate comfort of knowing that even if manipulative amoral people happen to be causing harm in my life, their influence can only be transient — because the permanent truth of the universe is love.
As always, your mileage may vary….