Why is there a Pickle rather than not a Pickle?

Posted: June 15, 2020 in Uncategorized

picklesIt’s the first of the most elementary questions considered by any freshman philosophy major: “Why is there something rather than nothing?” Why indeed? I asked the same thing of pickles.

Why is there a pickle rather than not a pickle?

First of all, we have to backtrack to the source. Why is there a cucumber rather than not? And why vegetables rather than none? And why plants rather than none?

So many pickles start their lives as cucumbers (but not all because you can pickle anything). You might wonder about the intervening steps that moved identity from one to the other. Of course, many cucumbers remain as they are, unaltered. I ate one just yesterday in my salad.

But neither cucumbers nor pickles voluntarily give themselves to my cause. We have not asked for their permission or consent. The cucumber was grown to eat and was eaten. If the meaning of its existence exceeds more than my need for eating it, I cannot say a word about what that might be.  We now see through a darkened glass.

The pickle, whether dill or sweet, is another matter. It comes as the direct result of the natural order of things being altered by human freedom and creativity. The cucumber is changed by adding other natural substances – dill seeds, cloves, garlic, mustard seed, celery seed, black peppercorn, and other spices of one’s choice to a vinegar and water brine. Over time it transforms a cucumber into the lovely pickle on your hamburger. Human creativity combines a variety of natural elements to make something novel – a pickle.

I had one for lunch just today.

Was my delicious, sour, crunchy pickle from God? Well, yes, by every element that came together in its creation.

But how do you explain the role of the humans who did the mixing – mortal or divine? Yes. Both. The pickle is a co-creation of God and humanity. And since human consciousness, especially the capacity of creation, exists as a part of the collective, universal consciousness, that’s divine, too.

So God made pickles. And we steward them.

And why is there a pickle rather than not a pickle?

When you tell me why there is something rather than nothing, then I’ll fess up.

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