A controversial rant on good and evil that I posted in response at the Realmagick forum. Enjoy!
This is so interesting I may as well jump in with both feet too heheh. Here are my misc. views/opinions on some of what has been posted this past couple days:
Good/Evil are MORAL judgements made by humans. Obviously, with reality being infinite, not all beings are human and not all events will tend to go according to the way that humans believe that they 'should'. Morality/Ethics are within the category of subjective experience, not objectivity, and should be considered as such. Attempting to pass judgement on an aspect of reality and consider it unnecessary or 'wrong' would be just another attempt at trying to limit one's views while remaining within one's own subjective experience of reality. So with that in mind, I'll consider the topic from both objective and subjective viewpoints in an effect to cover more ground with less human persona/ego distortion.
Objective viewpoint on good/evil:
As good/evil have subjective judgement connotations, I'll refer to their objective counterparts: positivity and negativity. The Qabalah (for example) shows that both are necessary on the 'tree' and that both forces should be addressed and balanced. It's been said that "evil is unbalanced force." "Excess of severity is cruelty and excess of mercy is weakness which would allow evil to exist." To seek to eliminate all negativity from the universe would mean the end of all existence at these lower levels of manifestation, as all things below the supreme unity (by whatever name you know it) are bound up in the interplay between the opposing forces.
Some things to think about regarding negativity:
When you drive a car, you destroy fuel (i.e. change it) to propel the vehicle forward. The fuel itself came from the decomposed/fossilized bodies of prehistoric plants and animals who often died violently. The exhaust from your car (regardless of how kind a person you think you are) has an adverse effect on the environment you live in and assists in the ill health of all living things on this planet. Everyday you make garbage i.e. paper/plastic which will clutter up our planet and make it less habitable for all the nice fuzzy animals of the forest. Every time you take a dump, you create even MORE waste (i.e. paper and toxins) that needs to be neutralized so it doesn't make our planet more uninhabitable. Whenever you walk across the grass outside you are potentially stepping on and killing hundreds of tiny insects that have just as much right to exist as you do. The country you live in was built from the blood and sweat of those who came before you; if you're an American, then that would mean slaves who were forced to work against their will. Let's also not forget all the young men who were drafted (or went voluntarily) into military service, fought, and died so that you could have such a nice cushy home. Every war itself brings technological advancements that can either help or hinder life. It's well known that since Hitler didn't impose too many restrictions on his scientists, those repulsive individuals who performed terrible experiments on their human captives developed new methods of practice that were eventually stolen and are in present use in our modern hospitals (see info on transplants and skin grafting). Whether you want to believe it or not, you are an active participant in the big-assed world of negativity. Does this make it wrong? That would be a subjective judgement and is simply irrelevant in this discussion. The fact is that it exists and cannot be removed, nor should it be. If there were no criminals, we wouldn't require a staff of law enforcement would we? Nor would we have wars. Everyone would be blissful and happy, right? Hmmm…somehow I don't think so. Take away the conflicts of life and existence and all progress stops. Evolution would cease, as there would be no adverse circumstances for any organism to overcome. We would never have grown beyond the single cell stage (if that).
An event is just an event. It is neither good nor evil. The viewpoints and judgements of the observer at the time of the event are what label an event good/evil/right/wrong etc. That person's views are based largely on society and his/her emotional reactions at the time. The trick is to remain objective in viewpoint, so as not to be caught up in the moment. This allows for a moment of pause in which to reflect and (hopefully) see things as they possibly ARE, and not merely as we think that they are. Any time you reflect and make a judgement call on any event, you are automatically limiting yourself to your own subjective, limiting, and emotionally laden views of reality. (see works of Carlos Castaneda for related info)
My Subjective views on Positivity and Negativity:
If positivity and negativity exist in the universe, both in varying degrees of mixed and pure forms, then they must serve some useful purpose. (Nature would not appear to have something in it that did not serve some function.) One cannot exist without the other. Virtually everything in the manifest physical universe can be seen to have both positive and negative aspects. The most simple and pleasurable things like Art can be seen to possess large amounts of negativity (the tragedies of Shakespeare for example). Even love and sex are bound up in the interplay between positivity and negativity. If you've experienced either, then you already know that the pain can often equal the pleasure to be had in such relationships.
Even the most terrible and negative experiences that a person can go through can be educational and beneficial to that person's 'soul/spirit/consciousness' in some way. It all depends on how the individual chooses to react to what he/she went through. This cannot be denied by anyone who would take the time to observe the actions and thoughts of a person before and after some traumatic and terrible experience. How often have you seen people who have become deathly ill and then just barely recover, only to develop a greater appreciation for life and desire to live theirs to the fullest? That's just one possible example. From my observation and personal experience, the largest amount of personal growth often occurs as a result of negative experiences. If nothing 'bad' had ever happened to you throughout your life, then how strong or wise would you be now? Remove all negative experiences from your life, then imagine the person that would have resulted, and I think you'll find a weak piece of cattle just following the herd in a mindless blissful state of contentment. I personally have no desire to have remained in such a state of unawareness.
As far as my own ethics are concerned, I believe that anyone can pretty much do anything they want, so long as it does NOT involve anyone who does not wish to be involved. That rules out rape, torture, etc. Of course, this isn't always possible to maintain, but I think it's a fairly acceptable code of conduct for one to try to follow in our society. I personally don't cheer when I see murder and rape. However, I do try to remain objective and realize that the person committing the act is unbalanced and propelling him/herself into a cycle of learning that will not be enjoyable. The victim going through that negative experience is also going to come out of it a very changed individual; his/her degree of enlightenment/learning will depend on his/her reaction. Such things have a tendency to open the mind to a broader view of reality, whether in this life or the next. THAT is the spiritual viewpoint, NOT the incarnate human/emotional one, by the way. I honestly don't care if anyone agrees with me here, since those who disagree and find the objective view repulsive are usually bound up in their own subjective views of 'morality.' (Such people often go out on crusades to ignorantly attempt to rid the world of all negativity while branding some acts 'good' while others 'evil', and that is often indicative of an externalized personal conflict regarding the unassimilated negative aspects of his/her own psyche. How do I know? I used to be ONE OF THEM! heheheh) If you ever doubt that the most seemingly horrible events are necessary and provide potentially beneficial results in the long run, then talk to anyone who has experienced rape, physical abuse, or the death of a close friend for example, and see what they did and how they now think as a result. In my case, the death of a friend, while terrible at the time, propelled me even deeper into the study of magick and the occult. I am a much more balanced and aware individual as a result of my studies and experiences. If this event had not occurred, I might have been the one who ended up committing suicide in a screwed-up/unbalanced state of mind instead of him.
Some things that some of you might find interesting to check into are the works of Carl Jung, and those related spiritual psychologists who came after him (e.g. Assagioli). There is much related thought in those schools of thought to the traditional Qabalah and other forms of magick regarding the unassimilated portions of the psyche. Almost everyone has the urge to kill or maim another at some point in life. Everyone has aggression and negativity. Since society imposes it's views on acceptable behavior on each of us from an early age, there is instantly much repression of what comes to be viewed as 'wrong' or 'bad' behavior. Such repression tends to make the individual believe that such thoughts are not of him, or just plain 'evil'. The result of this thinking creates whole sections of the psyche (i.e. the 'shadow self' or 'evil persona' or qlippoth etc.) that get severed off and constantly fight for the right to manifest. The solution to this problem is to finally accept those feelings and repressed desires/thoughts as parts of the self and learn to find a better way to channel those energies so that they aren't working in direct unconscious opposition to one's goals. The result is a total psychic reintegration similar to that found in alchemy and in Hermeticism (see info on what's often referred to as 'The Great Work').
I'll say one last thing in conclusion of this long rant. My initial disgust for accepting that positive and negative things must exist and ultimately assist one another came from my previous limited views on reality, formed by the society I grew up in. The tasks and experiences of transcending those views and seeing things more as they really are (in whatever limited way that a human can hope to do so) have been extremely rewarding for me. I really do appreciate all life and the 'dance of existence' far more now than ever before.
A later posting on the same topic from someone else and my response to their post.
"The clearist example i can think of is sex preditors,molesters people who get their kicks from the rape/murder of innocent human beings i would like to hope that this is something that can be equaly seen as "EVIL"(for lack of a better name) and should be stopped? Do you not all think it should?"
At the risk of sounding like a sicko, I have to say that objectively speaking, I really don't think it should be stopped entirely. That would eliminate a huge category of life/learning possibilities. Now just hear me out for a second...I'm NOT a killer or child molester, and I have no personal plans or desires in those areas. But I do see where (speaking from a purely objective viewpoint) a person can and will grow spiritually from having his/her mind opened by experiencing such terrible things. I can speak from experience that having such atrocities done to oneself is traumatic and terrible...but the spiritual challenge in going through such events is to overcome the emotionally and sometimes physically crippling effects of the experiences, and to learn from them. Someone mentioned to me tonight that it would take an incredibly evolved and enlightened person to be able to turn such a terrible experience into a positive and beneficial effect on his/her life. I know most would just crumble under the strain of being half-mutilated, for example, but there are those who would recover fully and go out to make the world a better place for others as a result of seeing life's horrors first-hand. Those that can find within themselves the strength to do so are rare and powerful indeed. Such people are to be admired for their strength and courage in my opinion.
My views are probably very radical for most people, but they weren't always this way. I used to think that anyone proposing such things as this was completely warped and sick, but over time and after much meditation, I've come to understand those aspects of negativity that I once thought were completely cruel, revolting, and unnecessary. All things are possible and each has its place, even the awful or ridiculous. I don't personally wish terrible things on anyone, but if that person chooses to go through such things (which he/she often does unconsciously and prior to incarnation) then who is to say that such a path won't offer some chance for learning? And in the event that an 'innocent' is harmed, I see that as yet another unplanned opportunity for learning and wisdom offered by the universe to that individual. We can choose to dwell on how terrible some event was, or we can choose to see what new challenge the universe has placed before us and how we may use it to better ourselves.
Life is experience. An experience denied is a potential lesson unlearned.
Not sure where that came from within me, but that idea could also have been expressed as "an experience denied could be thought of as a potential lesson unlearned." I suppose it all depends on what sort of lessons an individual chooses to learn while in life.