A Hidden Secret of the Ancient Mystery Schools
Does evil know it is evil? This is an interesting question which is relevant to some of the broader conversations and topics which take place here on Philosophy of Metrics. Sitting around this weekend Marianne and I had this conversation. We both determined that the answer is no. Evil does not know it is evil. For the most part that is.
But before getting into why we came to that conclusion let’s attempt to create a common understanding, or definition, of what evil is. This isn’t as easy as one would think. Everyone has their own pre-conceived definition of evil and those who commit evil acts. Very few of us would consider ourselves to be evil, but yet are quick to point out that someone else, or the actions of someone else, are indeed evil.
It is also worth considering the level of evil which is committed. An evil scale should be developed which humanity can use to measure evil. An argument can be made that the creation of law throughout human history is in fact such a scale used to measure evil. But we find through simple observation in the modern world that the application of that law, and its punishments, against those who we consider to have reasonably committed some evil act or another, is not as balanced or effective as we would like.
Most moral people would consider the murder of another human being to be an act of evil. It is interesting today that we have mental health systems which are supported by the legal systems to create justifications for murder.
As an example, here in Canada we had a gruesome murder on a Greyhound bus back in 2008. The attacker got out of his seat during a night time trip from one province to another. The man pulled put a large hunting knife and picked what appeared to be a random passenger. Pulling the smaller man out of his seat the killer stabbed him repeatedly before beheading, dismembering and eating the heart of the victim.
Other passengers on the bus were in a state of shock as the large murderer carried the head of the victim back in forth on the bus while taunting police who stood outside watching with horror. The man pleaded insanity and is now out walking the streets unrestricted. When his release was confirmed in early 2017, just 9 years after the evil act, one of the police officers who was on the scene committed suicide.
Was it something which the officer saw in the eyes of the killer that forced him to end his own life 9 years after the actual event? We can only speculate on such things but most of us would agree that the Greyhound bus murder was a true act of evil. But did the killer consider himself to be an evil being? The fact is he did not.
Would we consider the murder of a small animal on a highway to be murder? Most such situations are an accident of course, with a majority of people doing everything they can to avoid hitting an animal on the road. But I have also saw other drivers intentionally swerve in attempts to hit animals. Is this evil? I guarantee those drivers do not think they are evil. But would you?
How about giving someone bad street drugs that you know could potentially kill them? Once again here in Canada we are having an epidemic of common street drugs being laced with the powerful opioid fentanyl. The death toll is increasing across the nation as unsuspecting casual weekend drug users, along with those on the streets, are dying every week from fentanyl. Are these drug dealers evil?
Is going to a strip club and watching and supporting the degradation of young women, who for the most part are runaways or have been sexually abused at home, an act of evil?
Could we consider the negative and hurtful gossip about others to be an act of evil? Sure, it isn’t the same as murder, but it does cause hurt and pain.
Does spreading false religious dogma and dragging confused and searching human beings into a negative and detrimental belief system contribute to the growth and development of evil in this world? The difference between a cult and a large worldwide religion is one of member quantity as opposed to content. Religions are the cults which made it.
So a definition of evil which can be agreed upon by all would be extremely difficult, as most of us will not consider that some of our actions may indeed be evil. Think of the sliding evil scale, on one end is the simple act of being a verbal bully or telling a small lie to someone else for your own benefit. On the other extreme end we would find murder. Are you anywhere on this scale?
In order to make that determination, at least in the context of this conversation, let’s consider that the common definition of evil which we all can work from is as follows:
Evil is the act of interfering, slowing, or halting the spiritual evolution of oneself or another.
Sounds simple, but most of us are not self-educated on spiritual evolution and the consequences of interfering, slowing, and halting the spiritual evolution of ourselves or others.
The process of spiritual evolution requires a purposeful inner journey which is focused on the objective of self-realization. Everything in this world, from religion to consumerism, and the markets which feed all human vice, are designed to interfere, slow, and halt this spiritual evolution. Our participation in these things means we are participating in the act of evil to varying degrees upon the sliding scale.
Does this make you feel uncomfortable?
It should. Because such understanding requires us to look inward upon on our own actions instead of externalizing and pointing fingers at others.
Lets consider I wrote here that the my words are truth and if you want enlightenment and spiritual evolution you most follow the path which I have created for you. Based on our common working definition this would be an act of evil on my part. Truth is an personal inward journey, so anything I do which may interfere, slow, or halt that journey on your part would be considered an act of evil. It is not murder of course, but it is evil nonetheless.
Recently we also discussed the benefit and need for adversity in this world. It is accepted that we only learn when faced with adversity. Adversity creates the required environment which forces self-reflection and promotes the inward journey towards spiritual improvement and evolution. There is no need for a religion or a dogma to exist between you and the adversarial experience.
The promoted definition of evil as the great adversary, such as the Satan persona, is a slight-of-hand as it externalizes evil and projects it onto some manufactured characteristic and label. It is a half-truth. All the theological writing about Satan and its variations, which externalize this “force” into a separate being, fits our common working definition of evil. It interferes, slows, and halts the spiritual evolution which can only be completed by the inward journey towards truth.
For those who base their life upon the scriptures and the words of Jesus, it is worth mentioning that Jesus referred to himself as the truth and the light. This is the spiritual evolution which we have mentioned. The opposite is ignorance and darkness, which is personified in the failure of learning from the adversity which we are faced with in this world.
The esoteric mystery schools taught that Jesus and Lucifer were the same force. Christ represented the completion of the spiritual evolution, the end of the quest, while Lucifer represented the teachings or lessens which took place upon the path. Think on it. Lucifer is defined as “the light bearer”. A bearer is someone who carries or holds something. As such, Lucifer can be defined as the container which holds the Christ light. Both together represent the force which creates the direction for our spiritual evolution.
The Adversary, or the adversity which we have to face in this material existence, challenges us to spiritually evolve. We are rewarded when we learn the lessens but are punished further when we do not. It always seemed funny to me that we are told in Sunday school that the Devil tempts us to do bad things in rejection of God, but then punishes us for eternity in hell for doing what he wanted us to do.
So let me get this right. You want me to do bad things and disobey God. But than you are going to punish me in a pit of fire forever for listening to you. No thanks.
Seems fantastical until you filter these allegorical stories through the definitions and understandings we reviewed above. If we don’t learn the lessens which adversity teaches, we will be required to handle even more adversity until we do learn and evolve spiritually. Do more bad things and you will be punished further as it proves that you aren’t learning your lessens accordingly.
These same definitions and understandings on spiritual evolution can be applied to all beginnings and origins of all religions and ancient philosophies, as they represent the great truth which is discovered within each of us as individual fragments seeking awareness and reunification.
Evil could also be the acceptance and continuation of fragmentation. Even our political parties are fragmented into a left and right so each side can externalize evil and bad deeds onto the other. The externalization of evil is epidemic it would seem.
So does evil know it is evil? The answer is no, for the simple reason that we are conditioned to see and experience evil as something separate and external from ourselves. Sure, there may be the odd person here and there who see it for what it is and simply don’t care. These psychopaths exist and walk among us at all cultural and socioeconomic levels. But the simple truth is that most, whether its a person cheating on a test, or the elite banker who determines the fate of whole nations, do not consider themselves to be evil.
The actions of us all are evil to varying degrees on the sliding evil scale. How can I state this? Simple. Because we are all still here. We are in a state of spiritual learning and have not yet completed the lessens and graduated.
It is even probable that we are required to not just suffer adversity but to also create adversity for others to suffer. The more we learn and evolve the more capable we are at re-balancing the scale and progressing along the path to inner truth and enlightenment. You see, Jesus was correct, the only way to heaven is through him. The difference with what we are reviewing here is that Jesus is the truth which already exists inside of you. You simply need to realize this and travel forth towards it.
This journey cannot be completed by committing continuous acts of progressive evil, nor can it be completed by sitting in a church every Sunday. It can only be completed by recognizing evil for what it is and applying that spiritual understanding to our everyday lives and interactions with the material world and those who are in it.
Long after stone and wood have crumbled and bone has turned to dust, the evolution of spirit will forever move in the direction away from evil. - JC
JC Collins can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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