One of the “loopholes” in my philosophical belief system when I was younger (and at this point in my life, that means “almost middle-aged”! ) was whether or not there was an evil force in the universe equal to God who served as man’s adversary. He was the original “bad guy,” and the human race seemed to be caught between these two invisible forces – one of good and one of evil. People, as the pawns in this universal power play, followed either Jesus or Satan.
I was surprised, when I started really studying the Bible instead of just reading it, to discover that Satan existed, according to the Jewish tradition, for thousands of years before Jesus of Nazareth was born. He’s always been a key player in the six-thousand year history of the Judeo/Christian religions, and he makes his first appearance early on in Genesis when he tempts Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. If we choose to, we can look at the Jewish/Christian histories as the ultimate example of good vs. evil – like Star Wars, without the spaceships.
My inner truth says that there is no power in the universe equal to God, but my outer experience has confirmed – time and time again – that there is a dark side to life that is anything but God-like. The Christian perception that we are caught in the midst of a major power struggle between two equal forces – helpless victims of invisible forces fighting each other for our souls, and having one isolated lifetime in which to choose which force to follow – is one that I simply can’t accept. If God is the Creative Source – if God is the beginning and the end of it all, and everything that exists is a part of God himself – then it must have been God who created evil. Seemed logical to me.
As I walked a little farther down my personal path to spiritual understanding, I came to realize something else: God doesn’t really “create” anything in definitive form. He creates potential, and that potential is “made real” in one of two ways: either through a natural growth cycle (as in flowers and trees) that takes it’s own course according to the natural order of the universe as governed by Universal Law, or through conscious manifestation into something specific as defined by the life form who is manifesting it. This whole concept gets really confusing, and when “The Seth Material” was first published back in the 1960’s, one of the concepts that made it so controversial was the idea that nothing really “is” except God. Everything physical is false; we’ve created it by putting enough energy and emotion behind our thoughts to make it real. This is the concept that “creating our own reality” is based on: we have an idea, we believe in that idea, we feed emotional energy into that idea that gives it substance, and it becomes reality.
So – back to my original question! – where does “evil” fit into the picture? All we have to do is look around, and we have instant confirmation that it is there, and it has been made real to any definition. “Evil” has as much – or even more – power in our lives than “good.” Those light-hearted souls who contend that evil does not exist – who proclaim that “bad deeds are only the result of bad choices” – are failing to recognize the power behind this idea made real. Everything in God’s universe has a counterpart, and it is this duality that offers us – as spiritual beings in physical form with the option to choose what kind of person we want to be and what kind of life we want to live – the opportunity to exert our free will at all. Why would God give us the option to choose without giving us, at the same time, options to choose from?
Did God create evil so that we could choose between it and good? That’s not the way God works, especially if He only creates potential, and it’s up to us to become “co-creators with God” by manifesting that potential into something real. If everything is of God, and everything is raw potential, then my logical conclusion would be that God creates energy – neutral energy – that we, in turn, manifest into “light” or “darkness.” It isn’t that evil is a force separate from God; it’s that evil is a human choice to use God’s creative energy for less than spiritual purposes.
Every world religion uses the phrase “the light” to refer to the state of being that comes from working in a position of spiritual awareness and an open connection to God; every world religion uses the phrase “the darkness” to refer to the shadow life that comes from closing off our connection to God so we can’t see the people and events in our life from the light of God’s love. Each belief system has it’s own names for the good guys and the bad guys, and each has a long history of the battle between these two forces for the souls of men. The problem today is that we fail to see ourselves as co-creators of this powerful energy, and we fail to see that the solution is as easy as making a conscious choice NOT to co-create with others who are manifesting darkness.
How many times a day are we presented with the opportunity to respond from darkness to what is happening in our lives? Too many: every time someone is rude to us, we have a natural tendency to be rude back. When someone else wants to argue, our ego wants the instant gratification of having the last painful word. Our greatest challenge in choosing between the light and the darkness is the difficulty of turning the other cheek and walking away from the opportunity for conflict and confrontation. We’re much too human to stop, in that intensely emotional present moment, and choose the light. We’ve learned our survival skills well, and don’t always realize that emotional survival (that is, giving in to the emotional need to create chaos in our lives) is a giant step into the darkness and sometimes the forerunner to spiritual death in this lifetime. We can’t work from the light if we are responding from the darkness; we can’t say one thing and do another.
If everything that God creates is neutral, so that we can make it into whatever we want it to be (aha! adds a whole new dimension to “Ask and you shall be given,” doesn’t it?) then there can’t be any “gray” areas. We have a tendency to justify our actions by saying that – even though what we’re doing is obviously “of the darkness” because it is against God’s laws of love and mutual respect – we are “of the light” because we see, from our own distorted perspective, a higher purpose to what we’re doing, and we’re foolish enough to think that God will applaud our darkness if it’s used to further His objectives, as we understand them. This is the conviction of seemingly endless groups throughout history who have persecuted, tortured and killed in the name of religion. This is not God’s work; this is not of His Light. This is of the darkness, and those who advocate working from the darkness in the name of light are the “false prophets” that every religion warns us about.
When I was a child, I learned a big word in Sunday school: omnipresent. God is omnipresent, and – if we really want to reach a point in our lives where we can apply our spiritual understanding to our daily lives – we have to understand what that means. It means that nothing exists in God’s universe that is not of God, that was not created from the energy of God Himself, and that includes “darkness” or “evil.” We need to move past the antiquated idea that God forces anything on us, and make an active choice to respond to the people, and the events, and the circumstances in our lives from the Light instead of from the Darkness.
It’s only when we accept personal responsibility for being the co-creators that we are that we can begin to see the many ways in which we create our own dark reality, and step out of the darkness that has consumed us (and our lives and our relationships) and move into the Light, where we can become a reflection of God’s love at work.