In traditional angelology of most spiritual beliefs, we come to view angels as obedient subjects and workers of God. Angels generally posses a higher level of intellect, sensitivity, love and knowledge than other creatures, but they lack having an independent will. God's will is their will. They cannot have a will of their own.
What's more, we generally find some hierarchy of angelic beings, starting from the Archangels at the very top, reporting directly to God, and overseeing the work of the ordinary angels and through them, the lesser angels.
Yet all of them work for the same system - the system of creation - in a very coherent and organized manner. They all know their place, lack ambition and have no desire of their own, except to serve the system and fulfill the will of God.
We also generally hear accounts of the fallen Archangel and his cohorts, the fallen angels - usually referred to as "the adversary". The adversary was the one who had the audacity to disobey the will of God, and allowed his own will and desires dictate to him - for whatever reason or justification.
Beneath the Angels, we find the lesser beings, with little intellect and knowledge, living a primitive existence, with not much sensitivity towards love and intuition - and generally having no idea of the will of God. Yet this pitiful creature is given the power of having an independent will. This creature has the right to choose - to go along with God and work in unison with the host of heavenly inhabitants, or to oppose the will of God, and align itself with the adversary. And generally this creature is held responsible for its choices - either in this life or in the next.
I was contemplating these ideas when suddenly I saw an image of the corporate structure. We have the Board of Directors and Shareholders holding their representative, the CEO, as the Supreme Power dictating the will of the Corporation. Then we have the employees, in their various Arch-managerial, middle management or functional levels.
And we get the case of the employee whose ideas are overlooked, who then goes and builds a corporation of his own, only to compete with the corporation he was originally working for. He becomes "the adversary" or "the competitor".
And of course we have the disgruntled and underutilized/underpaid employees who defect to the "adversary's" corporation - the fallen angels if you will.
But what is the role of man in this scenario? And that is when it hit me.
Man is this pitiful creature called the "independent contractor" who is just as likely and as free to work for "the Corporation" as he is to work for "the Competitor". And no grudge is held against him. Of course, he will have to face the consequences, either on this contract or the next. The consequences of being paid well or not, having job satisfaction, having continuity, building a worthy resume etc.
The point of this contemplation was not to bring Creation to the level of Free Enterprise Economy. The purpose of this comparison was to give us a better perspective of our relationship to God. To recognize the amount of freedom we have been given in this life, and the opportunities - as well as adversities - that lie along our path as we move through this contract called life.
And it gives us a recognition that our contract is temporary, and the payoff and prospect of further contractual opportunities are also directly related to our performance now. And that the opportunities are just as great as the responsibilities that we are willing to take on.
All because we are God's Contractors on earth.
© Shahriar Shahriari
Los Angeles, CA
June 5, 2001
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