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“There can be no existence of evil as a force to the healthy-minded individual.”- William James
Throughout recorded history there have always been people who have done evil and horrendous things to others. Senseless acts of violence, cruelty and mayhem have been perpetuated from one millennium to the next; most often targeted are good, innocent and usually defenseless people. The terrorist’s attacks on September 11th of last year make this point very clear. Not only do we see the same thing happening daily around the world but in our own communities as well. When it happens in our own backyard the reality of it cuts even more deeply. It seems more real. With great pain in our hearts and confusion in our minds we all search for answers. Why...how could this happen?
There are many who rush to blame these acts of senseless violence on history’s greatest scapegoat, “the devil,” believing (fearing) that there is some evil power at work. Evil is not a power--it is an action. While I am the first to agree that there are many people in the world doing evil things, I do not believe there is an evil power, a "prince of darkness" or any other evil entity. This would mean duality (two powers opposing each other) and that‘s an absolute impossibility. If there were duality, the entire universe would be in conflict and it is not. Only humankind intentionally harms one another. There is no evil power, only evil people who misuse the power they posses in evil ways.
So, what is the spiritual resolution for this problem called evil? The great author, Eric Butterworth writes: “Evil, and evil spirits, devils and devil possession, are the outgrowth of man's inadequate consciousness of God. We must avoid thinking of evil as a thing in itself--a force that works against man.” I am impressed by Dr. Butterworth’s description of evil as ”an inadequate consciousness of God.” How then, would holding an “adequate” consciousness of God, dispel evil? To hold an adequate consciousness of God means we are living in a moment-to-moment, conscious awareness of Gods presence, knowing there is but One Power operating in us, through us and as us. In this consciousness there is no room for the darkness of duality thinking—and, there is an awareness that in a unity of One, to harm another is really harming oneself too.It’s interesting to note that the word EVIL is LIVE spelled backwards. Evil finds its point of origin in the mind of a person who is unable to live in the Light of God’s Presence. Evil is born in the mind of one whose vision of life is blurred through the lens of darkness, self-loathing and hatred, which is then projected onto the world stage and acted upon. Evil finds fertile breeding ground in a mind where jealousy prevails and where there is often a fear of inferiority, which manifests as feelings and actions of superiority. And finally, evil “breeds” in the dark corners of a mind that fears it is separate, alone and apart from life and Light. On the other hand, a healthy-minded individual is one whose focus is just the opposite. He knows he shares a connectedness and unity with all life and all people. He views life clearly through the crystalline lens of love, knowing the point of origin for his Light is at the center of his own being, where he first finds God residing. He then extends this Light to the world, knowing in the presence of that Light, darkness has no power and no reality. He LIVES in the presence of God.
MINDFULNESS PRACTICE FOR TODAY: Remember, evil is not a power unto itself; evil is an action driven by fear and spiritual ignorance. Don’t try to deny that evil exists because doing so just gives more power to the illusion. Likewise, as the great Teacher Jesus admonished us, “Resist not evil.” Don’t try to combat the appearance of evil - just shine the Light on it. How? Make a decision to LIVE life today, from the inside out, by holding the consciousness of God: As within—so without. Make no mistake about it, the Light which radiates from within you makes a difference in a world where there “appears” to be much darkness.
(Thought of the Day ~ April 5, 2002)
Dennis Merritt Jones is the pastor and director of the
Simi Valley Religious Science Center For Positive Living.
You can visit their site at www.onespirit.org
~~If you've taken a few minutes to read this, you may notice that the music has stopped. At first I thought I'd made a mistake in coding it (I set it up to loop), but then I realized that half of the midi is silent. I don't know if this was the intention of the composer, but it seems perfect. The title of the piece is "God Grant Us Peace", and it is in the silence that we find our personal peace and our connnection to God, or Spirit, or whatever you choose to call the infinite Presence.