Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Illusion of Evil

A Facebook Friend put up a status questioning Evil in a universe, presumably "created " out ofLove. He did not expect a definitive answer, and received many interesting ideas regarding the subject. I don't expect that my view is either superior or a "better " answer, but simply a view from experience.

Love unfolding brings into potential an unknowable number of possibilities. The perfection we "live " every day, becomes "distorted ", "perverted ", and "potentially evil " when seen as having a "personal center "; you! Only clear seeing will give you a clear view of Love in action.

As a photographer, I like to use optical illustrations; "optical illusions " in this case. Early spear fishermen learned thousands of years ago to adjust for the water's little "trick " of distorting the target (fish), and making it appear a few inches from where it really was. In modern camera lenses, all manner of adjustments have been made over the last decades to eliminate distortion and other "optical aberrations ". Aberrations is a perfect word here, as this is what happens in other areas of life as well.

Evil is an aberration. An aberration of Love. When Love is taken as "personal "; something I need, something I want, and I can dispense, love becomes distorted through it's expression (you, me, whatever), into selfishness; I need, I want, I can dispense. How far from selfish to evil is really only a matter of degree. Just as in the complicated workings of light inside and outside camera lenses, phenomenon have endless possibilities, even more subtle in the "spiritual " or psychological worlds than in the "physical " world.

Pure Love, projected or held as a "possession " is like Superman hugging a ball of Kryptonite. Love, like in a perpetual game of Hot Potato, needs to be continually shared. As a boy I had a huge marble collection. My Grandmother had made me a huge marble bag, and I set about filling it. Of course, I need to explain that I did not play marbles, just collected them. I couldn't take a chance that someone might win some of my marbles, so I simply bought more and more. I had a huge collection. It was meaningless.

Without sharing my marble collection; basically using it for that which it was intended, I was losing the whole point of marbles, of life. Life calls us to make an investment. Be it marbles or an investment in courage and earnestness. Love calls us to play the game, all the while recognizing it as a game, but playing our little lives out with all our hearts. This means simply sharing Love. Evil sneaks in when we fail to examine even the tiniest of "aberrations"

Everything we see and experience is perfect. This is one of the non-dual communities "mantras". The unfolding of Love is so complicated that it is conceded that it is not explainable. Mother Nature may cleanse herself with drought or fire, but the persons experiencing this may have a less benevolent explanation. We know not what comes. All we can do is share what is given. To experience evil, to participate in evil, to look in the mirror and see the face of evil, is one of life's truly terrifying moments. But we know that this is it's home; this mirror creature, this ego.

Only a complete irradication of the ego will allow you to see this "evil " that lives in "you ". Once the "you" is gone; recognized for what it is, the "evil " in "others " becomes seen for what it is, a distortion of Love. The Friend who wrote the status mentioned that this came up after reading of the young Orthodox Jewish boy from Brooklyn who was murdered, dismembered and thrown into a dumpster, his feet preserved in the refrigerator. Pretty awful. Pretty evil.

The torture of the perpetrator, the "story " that got him there, the "story " he now faces, I feel these here too. The sadness of the boy, his family and neighborhood, are matched by the twisted life of the perpetrator, his family and neighborhood. It all unfolds before us, and we shout, grieve, and ask why? why? But the answer is withheld. We must live with the Love that comes our way, and live beside,sometimes within, these distortions that we label "evil ". We must live for Love alone. Not a "personal" love, but one that is shared constantly without fear.

Fred Rogers of "Mr. Rogers Neighborhood" told the story of his mother advising him in times of emergency or terrible events, to "look for the helpers "; those who emerge in the midst of the events like agents for good. Sure, there is evil in the world of the dualistic mind, but it is always surrounded by Love. We are swimming in Love. Enjoy the swim or drown, it makes no difference!


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