Understanding Good & Evil
Question: I was thinking about the law all day today and I came to a few realizations. That the laws change as people evolve and that the laws help people to get together and learn about working as an union. If we didn’t have laws, people would be doing their own thing where chaos and ego play. Is this correct?
Laws governing morality in particular change as we evolve. It was just a few yeas ago that there were laws against common sexual practices and adultery. As mankind has evolved he has come to the conclusion that such laws are not necessary, but that we as individuals can govern ourselves in these matters. Adultery is still a harmful act, but we have reached a state where we do not need a written law to tell us it is wrong or what the punishment should be.
Just a short time ago people were put to death for criticizing authorities, but now we realize that this has no place in an enlightened society.
Even so, what we consider as bad laws had their place for a certain level of consciousness of humanity and also many of our current laws will be seen as backward in a future age.
Eventually our laws will reach relative perfection where little or no change will be necessary.
Someone mentioned the Alice A. Bailey teaching that good is that which takes us toward evolution and evil is that which takes us away from it. I’ve always liked this idea, but let me present the principle in a little different light than I have in the past.
Good and evil exist because creation exists, or we could say BECOMING exists.
To put it in everyday terms we could say that if you are sitting around doing nothing then you are not creating and you are producing no good or evil. Now let us say you are tired of doing nothing and decide to build a house. The vision of the finished house is the dominating good that creates a magnetic pull on your energies causing you to work toward the finished house.
As you proceed with the work of building, the division of good and evil becomes obvious. All that transpires which aids you in the goal of finishing the house is good and all that hampers you is evil.
If your neighbor comes and lends you a hand for a few hours that is good.
If the neighbor steals a tool – that is evil.
If the bank makes you a loan for materials that is good.
If you get a batch of bad lumber that is evil.
If you get more done in a week than you expected that is good.
But if an emergency comes up and you have to miss a day’s work that is evil.
Granted that this may not be good and evil in the way some of the present day look at it, but good and evil the way the literal religionist look at it is illusion. In the grand scheme of things good and evil has a very practical application.
Where the life of God is there is Decision – Will – Creation. That which assists in furthering the creation of God is good and that which works against the creative purpose is evil.
Therefore, good intentions are not enough to be on the side of good.
If your neighbor wants to help you build your house but goes to the wrong address then he is not really any help at all. Even so, if we want to be on the side of good we must discover the Will and Purpose of God and work in harmony with it.
“Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
“In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
“Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
“It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.”
Invictus by William Ernest Henly
A reader defines evil as follows: “Evil is anything that converts life to death – No more, no less.”
While it would take a book to paint a full picture of the principle of good and evil that statement does give a good view of the principle.
I will expand on this idea in a way that perhaps has not occurred to most. The apostle Paul gives us an interesting scripture in this regard
“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Eph 6:11-12
Let me give you a more accurate translation from the Concordant Bible:
“Put on the panoply of God to enable you to stand up to the stratagems of the Adversary, for it is not ours to wrestle with blood and flesh, but with the sovereignties, with the authorities, with the world-mights of this darkness, with the spiritual forces of wickedness among the celestials.”
There is a basic four square of evil here with which the disciples of light must deal.
(1) Principalities or sovereignties.
(2) Powers or authorities
(3) Rulers of the darkness of this world
(4) Spiritual wickedness in high (celestial) places.”
Who are these four categories of evil? Why are they evil and what can we do to overcome them?
What could be the evil in the celestial realms?
A cantankerous reader complained of a lack of love from his neighbors here.
Jesus gave a great example of what a neighbor is in the parable of the Good Samaritan. Let me quote:
Luke 10:25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
Luke 10:26-27 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
Luke 10:28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
Luke 10:29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
Luke 10:30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 10:31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
Luke 10:32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
Luke 10:33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
Luke 10:34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own Beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
Luke 10:35-36 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
Luke 10:37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
Because Jesus was teaching love in the context His question could have been worded: “Which now of these three, thinkest thou, showed love unto him that fell among the thieves?”
Three people here had an opportunity to show love to the wounded man. The first two were a Priest and a Levite, both were religious leaders among the Jews at that period. I’m sure these two leaders taught their people about love and compassion. As they taught their students in the synagogues perhaps they used this same L word over and over. Perhaps they preached again and again about loving God and your neighbor as was given them in their scriptures.
Then the time came to demonstrate this love in the real world and they closed their eyes to the opportunity. They were probably in a hurry to get home to their flock to preach about love or repentance.
Then came the third guy, the most unlikely of the three to help because he was a Samaritan. The Samaritans were looked upon by the Jews as half breeds and heretics and not worthy of sharing in the pure religion. Some Jews viewed them as mortal enemies. Nevertheless, this half breed saw this man (who would probably spit on him if he were conscious) and saved his life and spent his own money to insure he was nourished back to health. The love manifested when the injured Jew realized who had saved his life is a thing one cannot manufacture by teaching or writing. It can only happen by doing.
Notice that the Samaritan never mentioned the word love. When love is truly demonstrated, it does not have to be mentioned. All of us may not have soul contact, but all of us know what love is when we feel it and when we feel it we do not need anyone to explain to us what it is.
I’ll take as my companions one like the Samaritan who can show love in action over a thousand who merely proclaim the words.
We may be half breed Samaritans and enemies in the eyes of some, but even if this is true Jesus tells us that we are still your neighbors and that we should show and demonstrate love toward one another.
I know I speak for many here when I extend to you the hand of fellowship and the gift of love to all, but how can the disgruntled recognize this if they will not receive it and see us as brethren?
What if the Jew who was assisted by the good Samaritan spit in his face when he awoke because he saw himself as being in the hands of an enemy? Would that destroy the love demonstrated by the Samaritan?
Verily, no. But it would choke out the love struggling to manifest within his own heart.
So, who is your neighbor?
According to Jesus I am. All members here are neighbors. Instead of biting the hands that are attempting to feed you the pure love of Christ (which does not include anger at your brothers and sisters) cease the biting and snapping and see what there is here to receive. Give us the marginal kindness that the average guy in the street would offer to a stranger and you will receive a hundred fold in return.
I witness to you that this principle of loving all people as our neighbors has worked in my life and the rewards I have received are more than I have capacity to receive.
I will send love even to the disgruntled as my neighbors. As I write here in an attempt to clarify I realize that it may be seen as unloving by some, but such is not the case. I am doing all in my power to open a thread of loving interplay but if some resist then I must move on to others who can bear fruit.
Even so, the door will always be open to all who wish to open it.
Dec 11, 2000
Copyright by J J Dewey
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