On this day, one week before the start of a new semester at the local university, I’d like to address something that all college students will be faced with throughout the coming year . . . the ongoing battle of good versus evil.
It’s so pervasive, and long lived, that the terms we have to speak of it are myriad – yet probably none approach the universal use and recognition of “black and white”. Black – the color that represents the equal presence of all colors; white – the color that represents the absence of all colors. Those terms have nearly eternally been recognized as the short-hand reference to the battle between good and evil. Yet, I have a simple observation to point out that doesn’t get near the attention that it merits.
Good cannot exist in the absence of evil, and evil cannot exist in the absence of good.
Consider the typical, fully charged, battery. You pick it up, hold it in your hand, and know that it has the power to potentially do wonderful things. But it will do NOTHING until it is plugged into a circuit. Electricity is just a potential until it has somewhere to go. The same is true with an idea. Thus, it does not matter what your idea of a better universe is (and I guarantee that someone out there considers it to be evil), it NEEDS the presence of an oppositional idea to have somewhere to go, something to do.
Good and evil need each other to serve any purpose for those of us who invest time in thinking about them. Thus, it is an eternal waste of effort to invest yourself in the eradication of whatever idea is opposed to yours. I guarantee two things. If you succeed, it will be the death of your goal, because your goal will no longer serve a purpose. And , even if you consider that to be a fair trade, there are others out there who feel the same about beating your idea.
This apples universally – most especially to religion and politics. Thus, we need to all take a step back, a deep breath, and consider from a point of genuine sanity that what we honestly need is not a victory, but the ability to embrace in tolerance the ideas we most hate.
For those who enjoy reading anything that is not required for a course, or for work, there is one book I will recommend you read before this calendar year (2018) is completed:
GNOSTICISM: New Light on the Ancient Tradition of Inner Knowing – by Stephan A. Hoeller