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Meditations

Good and Evil Aren't Opposites
By Martin LeFevre:
Jul 16, 2019, 1:51pm

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Seven bands of corrugated clouds, stretching to the horizon, shimmer with salmon-colored light at sunset. I stand next to the car, unable to take my eyes off the spectacle. A large number of vehicles go by, but no one else seems to notice.

Then what looks like an aurora borealis appears: draperies of the richest color hanging just above the horizon. As I look over the open field, the sky is set ablaze in the most brilliant magentas and pinks filling clouds of fantastic shape and size.

Now cars are actually slowing down. One, containing a couple also awestruck by the grandeur, pulls over in front of me. The greatest painter who ever lived could not begin to convey the depth and magnitude of that extraordinary sunset.

As the world descends into chaos, even unreflective people are inclined to think on the human condition. On the other hand, whether we live in the North or South, West or East, it is increasingly rare for people to take the larger and longer view, and go beyond personal concerns.

It's estimated that cognitively modern humans have walked on earth for less than 100,000 years. The evolutionary breakthrough of Homo sapiens, which began in Africa in a tiny population of anatomically modern humans, has grown to a planetary mass of humanity of nearly eight billion people.

In terms of adaptation to different environments, humankind is a success story without equal. And yet, even as our domination of nature seems complete, man can hardly be considered a success. The earth and human spirit are endangered as never before in history. Though there are innumerable humans, there are far too few human beings.

We live at a critical time. Things are coming to a head, ecologically, spiritually and politically, and yet things are rolling along as if they will go on like this forever. One cannot help but wonder, is there an intelligence within consciousness working to adequately respond to human crisis?

The antithesis of truth and goodness is the reality of darkness and evil. Good and evil are not opposing forces however, but distinct and unrelated streams. Goodness is not man-made, but the basic actuality of life, whereas evil is man-made, and has become the dominant reality in the United States.

Understanding of the nature and purposes of evil is important, but only self-knowing inoculates one against it. Except for entertainment purposes however, there is no place in America for a rational, non-theological philosophy of evil.

In the family, incest and abuse are breeding grounds for evil's entry. If one happens to be born into such a home, it requires great self-knowing to cleanse the heart of the hurt and anger.

But no matter how bad one's family or how saturated with darkness one's culture, no one has the right to willfully or negligently be hurtful and do harm. Each of us is responsible for our own characters and souls. No person or group lives in a separate universe. As we think in our hearts, so we are. That's why it's so important to be self-knowing, and acknowledge racism and hatred within oneself. Especially when the leader of the country extols racism and hatred, while denying he's a hateful racist.

It's important to realize, without fear, that the weaknesses in us are being targeted, and intentionally exploited by willfully ignorant conduits of collective darkness in positions of power.

Human consciousness is a single, interconnected thing. That's' why the evil that happens in one place may spiritually deaden people in another land more than where the evil occurred. For example, the eruption of unvarnished evil during the genocide in Rwanda spiritually deadened more people in the West than it has in that country.

Self-centeredness is the source of darkness, and evil is the collective self, possessing intentionality that then flows through witting or unwitting conduits. The devil is a total narcissist. (That's not to say Trump is the devil, though he certainly channels it.) In one sense collective darkness is like water, spreading over an area and finding its own level, but evil is not just some impersonal force of nature.
It possesses intentionality and will, operating most destructively through hollow conduits like Trump.

The goal of man-made evil (and there is no evil in nature) is not to kill bodies, but to deaden hearts. It has succeeded in America, and not just with Republicans. But in the end, even man's devil serves God's (that is, the intelligence that imbues the universe) purposes, one way or another.

******

Martin LeFevre is a contemplative, and non-academic religious and political philosopher. He welcomes dialogue. lefevremartin77@gmail.com


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