Saturday 27 November 2021

Good and Evil

 Very few people believe they are bad people. In fact, it is probably only the saints who think of themselves like that. This is because the saints have the greatest idea of spiritual good and so see how far they fall short. But most people don't think of good and evil in spiritual terms. They think in  terms of what may increase happiness or suffering for themselves and others in this world with no understanding of the relevance that might have to the next. We are probably more deeply into that misunderstanding now than at any time in history. You would have to go a long way back to reach  a moment when people were more spiritually ignorant than today which is why it is fair to say we are the most evil generation in in a long while. Not evil in terms of violence - harm avoidance is one of our greatest concerns, see the last 21 months - but evil in terms of our rejection of spiritual reality. Spiritual reality is truth. To reject truth is to reject the good and is therefore evil. Looking at the matter in terms of harm, one could say we are causing great harm to the soul. That is evil.

Imagine a cross with the vertical arm signifying spirit and the horizontal one matter.

Then imagine that everything above the horizontal line is spiritual good with everything below spiritual evil. In the same way, everything to the right of the vertical line is material good with everything to the left material evil. You might think that today we are firmly established in the lower right section but I would say that is only where we hope to be. In reality because the material is part of the spiritual we are actually moving into the lower left section if we are not already there. For the truth is that if we seek material good without encompassing the spiritual in that we will not even have material good after a certain while.

Good and evil have their counterparts on the material level but they are actually spiritual concepts and if we fail to see that we will inevitably lapse into evil which is what has happened to us. To deny spiritual reality is to be evil. This may seem a hard saying to those who wish to lead a good life in this world and even help others in their society to do the same but we are spiritual beings who happen to be in material bodies for a spiritual purpose. To ignore or reject that truth is to put yourself firmly in the camp of evil however good you may appear in worldly terms.

What is good on the material plane can coincide with spiritual good but it does not by any means inevitably do so. Equally, material evil can lead to spiritual evil though it does not necessarily do so. Suffering is a part of spiritual life as the ego must be stripped of its egotism. When Jesus said it was harder for a rich man to get to heaven than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle he was drawing attention to this difference between good conceived spiritually and materially. The only true good is what leads to the elevation of the soul.


Petrus said...

In the current cultural trance, which favors the senses and their bondage to the material, it is for many more than sufficient to possess the “facts” — and yet because Truth and the Good are synonimous, how many do not attempt to ascertain how much of truth they actually possess? For many it is a matter of having enough facts, or the right facts, since facts themselves should preempt the necessity for having to think much at all. And yet, even a single fact does not possess any meaning, at least not until it is contextualized — and context itself seems everything, in how much of the current spiritual war is being fought: who can take the facts and offer the most effective and incontrovertible explanatory power for them, so that any contradictions appear treacherous?

For many of us, the search for true meaning has always arisen alongside a deep desire for the highest, most benevolent context through which to view our circumstances, external (material) as well as internal (spiritual) ones. Unfortunately, external circumstances more easily trip us up, simply because the immediacy of the sensual demands consensus about the obvious level of the world on display, while de-contextualizing what is not visible (the spiritual).

I like your diagrammatic cross, since it highlights something of the dilemma the soul confronts in relation to the above issues. You’ve been able to provide, in a simple and clear manner, a context for understanding several positions at once from which to determine something about our spiritual orientation, although it probably does a good amount of shifting around as we proceed.

Your final sentence offers an indication of our best way forward, that of reclaiming as much of a vertical orientation as possible, while maintaining an effective balance, across our shoulders, of the horizontal suffrage of facts, contexts and worldly circumstances.

While you didn’t mention them, your diagram naturally contains hints of the Ahrimanic and Luciferian forces, and their often unconscious impulses. Accordingly, the words of Jesus remind that we become more aware of, and thereby diminish, any influences from the “demons in our basement” (the subconscious) that we might allow, and in consequential hope, we would turn more attention to the “angels in our attic” — which are always reaching down to us with assistance and inspiration.

But angels aside, it’s our work in the end. As one mystic said, our success lies in “becoming more relevant to God,” rather than having expectations as to the other way around.

William Wildblood said...

Thanks for your comment. The idea behind this post was that we cannot know what good and evil are unless we know what we are and what we should be. And now we don't know that. This makes us easy prey for those forces that would lure us towards a false good which is in fact evil.

Petrus said...

I hadn’t quite formulated everything clearly, and would have pressed a delete button had there been one. I was trying to think through what was transpiring after being inspired by your post. I know it’s a bit dissheveled and apologize for any poor sense-making. Thanks for being gracious.

William Wildblood said...

No need to apologise. I appreciated the fact that the post had prompted a response.