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This universe—with its glory, its lies, its butterflies and its tigers—expects to at least be given the dignity of grateful and honest, curious and (along with a healthy fear) courageous souls, and those who hope to meet her and know her should come to her Table of Knowing with these things in their hearts. Don’t be surprised then that those who treat her with contempt are broken by her. As George MacDonald says, ‘The business of the universe is to make such a fool of that you will know yourself for one and learn to be wise.’*

But there are not many of us who come with this due sense of respect. Instead, thanks to greed, pride and self-centredness, we mostly find ourselves stumbling accidentally to her table after years of enslavement by an hysterical traitor: emotional doubt, which destroys our capacity for thought and reduces us to a state of pathetic need and terrified despair. So, before you embark on this adventure of all adventures: the search for a worldview, decide that this hysterical-traitor-friend will not be getting a ‘seat on your bus’ but instead, that this seat will be occupied by reasonable doubt.

Having gotten this far, you will most likely find that honesty demands the admission that this will not be a truly disinterested investigation, for (apart from the prejudices and weaknesses of the human mind) there is the question of the existence of evil—not just blind accidental evil but personal and vicious evil, which the dictionary defines this way: ‘evil |ˈēvəl| adjective, profoundly immoral and malevolent: his evil deeds | no man is so evil as to be beyond redemption. Of a force or spirit: embodying or associated with the forces of the devil: we have been driven out of the house by this evil spirit.’ It is said that this ‘evil is on both sides of your door’47.

*Mr. Raven in Lilith (George MacDonald)

47Ravi Zacharias

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