Is There Good And Evil?

This entry is part 44 of 57 in the series Mysteries

Question Forty-Five

Is There Good And Evil?

The average person in the West will look at this question and answer, “Well, duh… Yes, of course there is. That’s a silly question.”

The reason this question is included is that many of the people of the world believe there is no such thing as good and evil. They get this idea from numerous teachings of eastern religions, and those who have rejected Christianity and Islam have increasingly accepted the idea.

Many who accept the idea that there is no good or evil do so as an automatic rejection of standard religion they feel was crammed down their throat as a kid. Those who feel this way often accept alternative new age and eastern thought without first sifting it through the mind, applying good judgment.

Here is the essence of the teaching, which is often credited to Taoism.

All things are created from duality, which manifests as the yin and yang, light and dark, good and evil, positive and negative, male and female, hot and cold, up and down, etc. But in between the two extremes of duality, such as manifest in the wavelength, there is a point that is neither up nor down. This point existed before the universe was even manifest. It then exists during manifestation and is still there when creation disappears.

The reasoning then goes like this. Because all creation we see about us is a temporary manifestation of the Great Invisible Tao then it is all illusion. This means that all things manifested from duality do not really exist. To find the real you must find the space between the two extremes and go there in your consciousness.

Then advocates take this a step further and claim that good and evil are “two sides of the same coin” and there really isn’t any difference between the two.

This thinking can create a real problem to anyone possessed with common sense. If one believes there is no good or evil then the manifestation of that which society sees as evil is likely to cause little concern. If a new Hitler were to arise such a believer may rationalize that the guy is not evil because evil is an illusion making him no worse than a Winston Churchill. Many who incorrectly digest this philosophy therefore do not struggle for the good and fight against evil and would allow tyranny to flourish, if given the chance.

We must be open-minded here and ask – is there any truth behind this teaching? Yes, of course, there is truth behind all the teachings of the world. The key, as always, is to use good judgment and take those ingredients, which are true and put them together in a way that makes sense.

Let us look at what is true. The universe is indeed created on the principle of duality. Without the existence of positive protons and negative electrons, light and dark, heat and cold the universe indeed would not exist.

But does the universe really come from a point of nothingness? If so, how can that nothingness be acted upon to create the duality of existence? Even if the universe came from a point of nothingness you still have a duality. You have the point and then you have that force which acted upon the point causing it to vibrate into existence. That is still two things, or duality.

Let us use a guitar string to illustrate further. The string is one thing representing the foundation Tao. If we pluck it we create the illusion of three strings. If you look at the vibrating guitar string there appears to be three strings. There is one in the middle, one to the left and another to the right.

We realize that there is only one string but there is only the illusion of three strings. Now this apparent illusion of three strings from the guitar as well as the singer’s vocal chords creates some great music.

Does this mean that all music we hear is an illusion and does not really exist? Does the idea that a string is not really three, but one, mean that duality does not really exist and there is no good and evil in the universe?

Let us examine further. Yes, the guitar string is one item, but is it a line or point with no existence? No. You can touch it, pluck it or even tie up a package with it. Let us say we make the string smaller and smaller so it is thinner than a human hair. Is it still something? Yes. Now, suppose it shrinks to nothingness. Is here anything left to vibrate? No there is nothing, neither can anything act upon it. Therefore, nothing acting upon nothing does not create one string let alone the illusion of three as many believe.

Conclusion: even though the foundation of duality seems to be nothing in a state of vibration, logic tells us this cannot be the case. There is still duality. You have the invisible something as a beginning string and another something causing the string to vibrate. Our Source is not nothing, but something acting upon something.

There is some illusion within duality, but duality itself is eternal and always in play. There is that mysterious source of all substance and then the force that acts upon it. That is two things, not one.

Since duality is real then existence is real. Even when we dream we have a real experience and if life could be defined as a dream we are still having a real experience based upon a real foundation of duality.

This means that good and evil is not pure illusion but is based in reality. However, in order to correctly judge good and evil we must first understand what it is. We will cover this next.

 

Copyright 2014 by J J Dewey

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