As you may have noticed recently, the title of several of my blog articles make reference to the term evil. (Is Credit Creation a Public Good or a Private Evil? and If the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, is REPARATIONS in kind for this evil the answer?) What I have failed to do however, was to explain the context in which that term was used. If you have been an ardent follower of my writings, you would have surmised that I do not see the physical and spiritual world as separate realms, but that I see them as UNITED in the sense of being two perspectives or two representations of the same UNIFIED whole. I have discovered that the life-supporting and empowering networks of this world at all levels of organisation represents God’s unconditional love for us and is the physical manifestation of Divine Grace, which is always available to us should we choose to pay attention to it, study and follow. (On Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Grace)
Many of us may have been distracted during our life journey to not see that physical infrastructure that perfuses and “guides” the world and whose processes are the foundations of all life and have missed the immeasurable uniqueness and interconnectedness of all things. Absent this spiritual insight, many of us became rudderless and were blindsided by fear and misunderstanding of it all, and in its absence manufactured a worldview of ideas and theories that we now know is antagonistic to the sustainability of all life, be it at the cellular, organ, individual, family, community and planetary level. It is at these levels we more likely than not engaged in activities, be they in thought, word or deed, that ended up hurting ourselves, each other and the planet that supported us. It is this veil of ignorance coupled with fear of the unknown that has undermined the life-supporting and empowering networks in our midst, and our modern political and economic theories have evolved to the point in which we put individual pleasures above collective wellbeing, and the directive of profit-maximisation over and above everything else. It is when our individual and collective activities celebrate and resonate with these life-enabling activities that we become an instrument of all that is good in this world. The flip side of this statement is that when our man-made rules conflict with the rules of nature and do not synchronise with them, then we in effect become instruments of all that is evil in this world.
I no longer see God as a distant entity out there that arbitrarily intervenes when it is spiritually expedient. I now accept as testament His ever-present nature in the life-supported workings of the universe which is the bedrock of all that is good. In the same light, I do not believe in an evil force out there that compels us to hurt ourselves, each other and the earth. I now accept that it is ignorance, in the sense of lack of knowledge of this life-supporting and operating system of the universe, that is the foundation of all that is evil.
When good things happen, it is because our actions are tuned in to this fundamental vibration of the universe, and when bad things happen, it is because we are out of tune with the harmonies and beautiful symphonies that this vibration creates. It is precisely in that respect that evil arises, it is precisely in that respect that when our credit creation system is not used for the public good, it becomes corrupted and becomes an instrument of private evil. It is also in that respect when the love of money leads to the destruction of the lives of individuals, communities and planet that it now becomes the root of all kinds of evil.
It is as if we have downgraded the operating system of our planet to one based on man-made rules, human constructs if you may, that creatively destroys that which is good in its wake. It is in that precise sense of regression that when bad things happen, this cannot be attributed to divine punishment, for which there is none, but to human consequences of this ignorance, of which there is plenty. It is when we become separated and out of sync with the life force of the universe, we sin, and it is when we reconnect and harmonise our mind, heart, soul and spirit with this life force, that we repent of our maladaptive ways and become saved from future transgressions. We are no longer guided by ignorance but by verifiable knowledge of the true magnanimous potential and wisdom of forgiveness and reconciliation. When we acknowledge we have erred and become disconnected and fragmented from ourselves, each other and the planet, and want to become whole again, and endeavour NOT to repeat the errors of our ignorant ways, will we be saved from repeating those same transgressions over and over again. That is the power of Amazing Grace!!!
Interestingly, I saw an interview by Sir David Frost with Archbishop Desmond Tutu yesterday that served as the inspiration for this article. Like him, in many ways I feel “God-pressed” to write and speak out on the saving graces of healthier living, be it physical, mental, social, spiritual, political and economics. He was the spiritual leader behind the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. What I had sensed before but which I now know is amazingly true, is that his struggle and that of his people was against “separateness” which is the meaning of the word “apartheid.” His people were separated from each other, and their political and economic system was separated from the life-supporting and enabling principles that propels our universe forward. His struggle and that of his people should now be the rallying cry in the wilderness of ignorance for better understanding and more productive, healthier ways of reconnecting with ourselves, each other and the planet. His modus operandi of preaching the wisdom of Truth and Reconciliation should be now globalised and be able to touch now the heart, minds, souls and spirits, not only of the least among us, but above all, those at the top of our economic and political ladders, who have it in their power to change course and get their bearings straight, as they realign their policies and rules of engagement as we ask for forgiveness, and repair our relationships with ourselves, each other and the planet, as we help forge a path forward now, now confident that these same rules of engagement are coherent and now no longer in conflict with that of the universe.
What should inspire us on now is what has inspired Archbishop Desmond Tutu then, and still continues to do so now. When asked, he said:
“What is it that inspires me? Well, it is the knowledge that there is a God who actually does care, and strangely, this God who is omnipotent is also impotent. This God has extraordinarily said, “Look, I have created you, and I have created you to be a person, a person who is someone who is a moral agent who can choose between good and bad.” God cannot intervene to stop us from making the bad choices. So how does evil end? Evil is going to end when there are those among God’s creatures who want to collaborate with God and the forces of good to end the evil. Actually the God I have come to believe in is a God who invests more in the saving of sinners than in the celebration of the good.”
He answered magnanimously when asked, “When you heard someone talking about what evil they had done, did you find it difficult not to hate those people?”:
“No. One of the things we kept having to remember, was, you know that saying, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” You see, you couldn’t be hoity-toity. You didn’t know, if you had been exposed to the same circumstances, the pressures and the influences that that particular person had had, do you know that you wouldn’t have turned out as they had turned out? Many of them, I think not all of them, most of them, were genuine when they turned and asked for forgiveness from their victims. They were not required to do that. So it was an incredible privilege to have been part of this, to be – wounded healers, wounded healers. All of us, and we are realising it now more and more, during this period, that we are a wounded people.”
Source: (242) The Frost Interview – Desmond Tutu: Not going quietly – YouTube
One thought on “What is good and what is evil?”
All that is in harmony with the bible is good. All that is contrary to the bible is evil. The bible is the word of God and its the only source that perfectly let us know what is good and what is evil.
“‘But he answered, “It is written,
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”” – Matthew 4:4 English Standard Version (ESV)
Also Psalm 119.