Sunday, November 25, 2012

Derivations on a Theme -- The Fruits of Evil

Trey Smith

But briefly, he [Alan Watts in The Supreme Identity] argues for a God that, rather than being absolutely good, is the source of both good and evil (in the finite, relative realm), while transcending both Himself. Towards the end of the chapter he says something like how, from our limited perspective, evil seems absolutely terrible, yet, from the standpoint of the infinite, it is an integral part of the finite duality, and even the most atrocious acts are worth it, for the overall beauty of the whole Creation. He likens it to standing with your face pressed to a painting; stepping back, you suddenly see that those ugly shadows are what give shape, form, balance, and identity to the light and color.
~ from Was It Worth It? by Brandon at Notes From the Outside ~
I've been doing some pondering about the concept of heaven. Supposedly, it is a place of perfection. Depending on one's faith perspective, you may be feted by nymph-like virgins or so much is provided that you no longer have a care in the "world." It is a place in which all who enter are pure of heart and every pure desire is quenched.

How could a place like that genuinely exist? More importantly, who really would want to live there!?

Evil provides necessary definition to our lives, whether physical, emotional or spiritual. Love is a meaningless concept without its antithesis. If evil finally was vanquished, what would we be left with?

Absolute boredom!

Evil serves a necessary function. Without it, life simply wouldn't be worth living. There would be no challenges to overcome and no opportunity to gain wisdom.

Now this is not a backdoor way of arguing for hedonism -- all lives lived to achieve maximum individual pleasure at the expense of others. I am also not suggesting that we should strive to be evil as a way of providing our lives with deeper definition. All I am suggesting is that the love/evil dynamic is just as much a part of existence as the yin/yang dynamic.

Imagine a world filled with sages. Each person lives in tune with their inner nature (Tao). Would that mean that evil had been cast away forever?

Me thinks not. Even people pure of heart who follow their own paths will find that these paths sometimes collide. Colliding paths necessarily will engender conflict and conflict often serves as the root of evil.

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