A discussion with a close friend brought to mind the question of what is Good and what is Evil?
If everything in Creation is necessary, than what is unnecessary? If Creation is perfect, then what is imperfect? If material Creation is split, i.e. expressed as a dichtomy, black/white, him/her, us/them, right/left, then what is good and what is bad? And, when we define good and bad, is it a tacit approval of relative expressions of some abstract moral code, or does it refer to some higher code or law past the level of human agency?
Is the law of society the law of Heaven? Does our karma (result of our actions), as the Hindu and Buddhists hold, depend upon our dharma (moral duty)? Even Jesus said, “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” with the implication being that there was an expression of Divinity within the formation of the State and the trappings – and execution – of earthly power. And so, with that in mind, is the state executioner guilty of murder every time he pulls the lever in the death chamber? Or is he absolved of responsibility since he serves as the instrument of a “Higher Power”, in this case, the State? Does that mean that the depradations of WWII in Hitler’s Germany against the Jews fall under this same law? The Hutus and Tutsis, in their back and forth genocides of the mid-90s? The Serbs against the Bosnians, also in the mid-90s or the Muslims against the Christians in the Sudan of today? Do all state-sponsored deaths (war, criminality, genocide) leave the individuals who participate in them free of moral culpability, if and only if their actions are carried out in fulfillment of their state-sponsored roles, and not as an expression of some personal drive toward emotional satisfaction achieved during the act of murder?
What about religions? Islam? Christianity? Judaism? Hinduism? Do they hold and express the highest truths? Islam’s Jihads and the savage dominance of Africa, the Arabian peninsula and South Asia during it’s first 500 years; Christianity’s unrelenting holy wars against unbelievers, purges and imperial/colonial power mongering; Judaism’s G-d sanctioned wars against heathens and unbelievers in the Old Testament and the Zionism of the 20th and 21st century; Hinduism’s strict social hierarchy expressed by the racism and classism of the Caste System, with the Aryan Brahmins at the top and the Dalit Untouchables at the bottom: all of these systems have spiritual cores which touch upon the eternal truthes that course through the marrow of the world, invigorating the astral lives of countless groups and individuals, but does this make them the truest expressions of Divinity in the world? Imbue them with the capacity to be the ultimate purveyors of Truth, of Right and Wrong?
Or, is individual initative and free will more important? Since the body/mind/soul complex is the Temple, does that make us each Priests, able to determine right and wrong for ourselves? And if that is true, what is to separate the Christian who believes such from the Luciferians and Satanist, whose credo, “Do what thou wilst shall be the whole of the law” (Crowley) states, generally, the same thing? Certainly, the Christians utilize the bible as their instrument of Higher Law, but the bible has been used to murder many millions over the time of its creation, and to marginalize and enslave countless millions more, as well.
So who has the moral high ground? Is it the State? Is it the Religion? Or is it the Individual? Do the mores of the New Age movement, which emphasizes the individual and personal connection with Divinity make each of us a Law unto ourselves, as long as we ‘connect’ and ‘represent’ Divine Law to the best of our ability? To the best of our ability? Our very human, and limited abilities?
Or is something more required? Is it possible to move past these very human, limited abilities? To encloak ourselves in Divinity, really and truly, past our material and egoic limitations that keep us bound to the known and finite world of our 5 senses? And, if it is possible to move past them, then how do we continue to interact in the world of individuals who have not moved past them? Like the Cathars in Middle Ages France, or the Witches of Salemin the Enlightenment-era Americas, those who represent a spiritual viewpoint that is markedly different from that of the majority population find themselves martyred on the cross of social condemnation and the ultimate repression. Is this the preordained fate of every Seeker after Truth? To be crucified by the bloodthirsty and G-dless masses?
The Judeo-Christian ethic was born in Egypt but probably stems directly from the lineage of the oldest monotheistic culture in the world, that of the Batwa, or Pygmies. Considering the universal nature of spiritual precepts that undergird virtually all of the world’s major religions, the Western, secular viewpoint expressed by such fields as psychology and physics stumble in their materialist tracks when such luminaries as Karl Gustav Jung and Stephen Hawking, two men who bridge the gap between the material and the spiritual, confound pure materialists and spiritualists alike. For most who argue the importance of moral relativity and human initiative as the be-all end-all of material creation, recognizing that – beyond opinion and bordering the trackless wasteland between hypothesis and fact – the greatest Western scientific minds find an all-encompassing consciousness existing outside of the purview of individuated consciousness not only possible but probable, should be an enlightening realization.
So where does this leave us on the questions of Good and Evil? Perhaps, with the realization that in a multiverse where darkness and light are necessary, good and evil are necessary as well. That, as long as material conditions require life to be expressed through dichotomies, we will always have dichotomies. There will always be a day to follow the night. A right to offset left. An up to challenge down. The conditions that we take for granted; the opposites, the disagreements, the challenges and the conflicts that are so necessary in life, all of them, are required for the condition of existence itself. While we rail against evil, we must recognize its existence on a par with good. Like the Yin and Yang symbols of Eastern spiritual and philosophic thought, dark and light exist within the circumference of the All (circle), but the All is whole, indivisible. Each, the dark and the light, possesses a seed of its opposition, existing in harmonic resonance, one with the other.
Our choice is free. We are the Deciders that determine the path that we take during a lifetime and we waste time and effort when we regret, when we dwell, and when we look outside of ourselves for answers to our own deepest questions about who we are, where we are going and what we should be doing. The pathes that we choose should be the most direct expression of our deepest desires and needs. Because we are individual souls representative of spirits outside of the boundaries of space and time, our lifetimes are not concurrent and we progress in the past, future and present equally and simultaneously, some past lives representing higher degrees of consciousness than our present lives, in some cases. A life as a buddhist monk five hundred years ago does not necessarily mean that the life that you’re living right now is as highly or ethically evolved. Time does not constrain the soul’s evolution, since the material world is confined to the three dimensions of space and time, the fourth dimension. Our choices remain a condition of the lives we are living right now as well as our past lives, but, in each moment, we have the choice to transcend all of that to make a different kind of decision. And this is where personal spiritual or ethical evolution lies.
In the end, it seems that good and evil are really not the point. Movement is. Progress, evolution over time and through space as the solar systems, universes and overall multiversal expression of Creation continue to become, the infinite variations of life and consciousness adding their experiences to the collective whole, evolving toward some undefineable and unexpressible condition of existence that must be reflective of the holistic qualities that we represent in microcosm during our finite, yet infinitely satisfying, journeys in the flesh.