Suzanne Bayliss | October 21, 2017
“Hope springs eternal in the human breast,” penned English poet Alexander Pope in the 18th Century. In approximately 1733 Pope included in his articles, Essay on Man, his philosophy about hope, and that man is not the central figure in creation. Rather, although man exists somewhere between angels and beasts, we are unable to judge God’s intentions because God alone remains central to all creation. Therefore, mankind is to accept all experiences as being right and good because they originate from God. Creationists believe this confirms God’s ultimate existence and supremacy.
Three hundred years later, a modernist philosophy to the phenomenon that has spanned all ages is applied–we believe in the hope of scientific advancement and technology. That is to say, science and technology are now crucial to life from the cradle to the grave.
Pope’s thesis is, although the universe abounds with evil, imperfections, and instability, harmony is found in nature. Therefore, everyone is a part of God’s intention for nature throughout the universe.
However, we are also threads in His fabric of natural and social evolution, the ongoing business of creation.
In this modern era we dare to hope that we can live in harmony with nature through methods of conservation management and sustainability. It is hope that allows our innermost sense of spirituality to become faith in ourselves, and the world around us.
Hope and faith are concepts, not tangible objects admired by sight. We aren’t able to feel the elements of hope and faith by physical touch.
Many people do believe that hope, faith, and optimism allow our existence in the best of all possible circumstances. This occurs regardless of worldly evil, corruption, and natural disasters–referred to as extremely powerful acts of God.
If we accept whatever happens in our lifetime as God’s will, are all events and our relationships right and proper or do we hope for wisdom, better understanding, and reconciliation with God and with each other?
We know there is an ending of physical life. However, this can’t mean we’re all morally corrupt or intellectually limited in our present time.
Creationists claim to understand the laws of nature within the universe. Does this philosophy render them able or unable to truly grasp the concept of the cycle of life? If they live in hope that we all may one day achieve that for which we now hope–that would be true faith.
Many people do experience their end of life stage with the fullness of hope and faith in the cycle of life. For these people mortality promises not simply an ending but a fullness of nature’s embrace, and hope fulfilled.
Throughout eons of time, mankind has left behind hints from which we decipher the hopes and dreams of those who have passed through the cycle of life before us. All cultures, ethnicity, periods of history, ancient and modern express the phenomenon of hope.
Although Pope offers glimpses of ageless philosophy and intrigue about humanity, the current era’s practice of conservation and sustainability may be what leads us to ponder our relationships with each other, and our belief systems about a harmonious existence within nature and the universe.
Encouraged by wisdom throughout the ages we may well question our existence and our place between angels and beasts, and God’s gifts to mankind and our response.
People are offered comfort, hope for peace, or something better for themselves or their loved ones following catastrophic events of some kind. This happens when heads of state, politicians, and prominent religious figureheads make public announcements saying, “Our thoughts and prayers are with …”
Parliaments, meetings and many other events in global societies, are opened with prayer. Wars are fought in the name of God. Dictatorships are overthrown to abolish evil, imperfections, and instability in countries and geographical regions.
All Christians believe in the life, death and resurrection, of Jesus the Son of God. Either the doctrine and rituals associated with Christianity are true or Jesus and his followers have succeeded in creating the greatest form of deceit in entire history.
This leaves us with food for thought about our future. That is, what happens to our soul when physical life ends?
With hope we can contemplate the words of Alexander Pope,
All are but parts of one stupendous whole,
Whose body nature is, and God the soul.
Does hope spring eternal in the human breast? Are all religions nothing more than a lot of big little lies, or is the philosophy of hope, our place in nature–responsibility for it, and belief in Divinity truly vindicated?