Updated as of 2/17/2017….
There is no evil – there is only ignorance.
We are all as innocent as little babies. We are really still just babies, only now we have adult babies. A baby is innocent because they lack complete knowledge. We also lack complete knowledge. If we really think about it, it becomes clear that we are all doing the best we can. Given the entire life experience, we act as we see fit. If our experiences were different, we would be different. But given the culmination of all our education, all of our friends and teachers and family, all of the cultural conditioning we’ve been exposed to, as well as our genetic makeup – it all adds up to bring us to this present moment, exactly as we are. There is nothing evil about it – it just is as it is. We can even look at the life of Hitler and see how he was simply a victim of social circumstances.
What operates through us is nothing personal, but is simply an expression of the whole. Negative energies operated Hitler’s body and mind, just as the energies of Love operated through Mahatma Gandhi. Love is the Reality, and evil is just from ignorance, hence we look upon the legacy of Gandhi and feel inspired, for his example is aligned with the Truth. We look upon the legacy of Hitler and see how dangerous ignorance is, and we accept it as a wakeup call to become more of the Truth and align with the Truth.
When we accept that all human are as ignorant and innocent as little babies, we can have compassion for shortcomings, mistakes, and errors. We can see that we are all honestly doing the best we can, given what we know. When we know better, we do better. So, you can trust that someone like Gandhi was blessed with circumstances that opened him to the Power of Love and Truth, whereas Hitler closed to Love out of fear and ignorance.
True Knowledge is to be know via direct experience and is affirmed by all the great Spiritual Teachers of all traditions. They all speak of the same truth, though they use different words to address the culture of their times. Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Zoroaster, they all taught the same great truth. Love. Truth. Service. Fear is an illusion. Supreme Reality is everywhere present, at all times and in all circumstances. This is the knowledge of the scriptures which can be confirmed by anyone graced with human birth. Seek to verify the Great Truth via direct experience. No need to take anyone’s word for it 🙂
Meanwhile, have compassion for the ignorance and innocence of humanity. The human mind is incapable of discerning truth from falsehood. It just does the best it can given whatever it has been exposed to in the lifetime.
Remember – you shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free!
Be free 🙂
Gloria in Excelsis Deo!
Evil is one of those “mehhhh” words. Sure it exists as a word, but whether or not it exists as a force in the world is another issue. As Shakespeare once said, “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” Just like beauty exists in the eyes of the beholder, so too does evil exists only in the mind of the one who thinks it does. To one who does believes in only good, there is only good. The world reflects back to you whatever you think about it. “Whether you think you can or you can’t, in both case you’re right,” said Henry Ford. It’s all in yooo head 😉
Nonetheless, ignorance! Is ignorance worthy of the title evil? Well, here’s my take. Ignorance is a fact of existence. Oh goodness I’m already starting to sound dogmatic, watch out! Allow me to ammend these words slightly…ignorance seems to be a quality of every human being – no single one of us exists in a consciousness of omnipotence, that is to say – there’s always something we can learn, whether it’s a scientific fact or the definition of lugubrious, there’s room for learning and growth. And – sidenote – Hallelujah that there is room for growth! As David deAngelo once said, “You can never out-evolve yourself.” We can keep on growing and evolving for as long as we live…Hallelujah!
Okay – let’s return to this topic of ignorance. Assuming there’s always something that each one of us could learn for the rest of our lives, then we’ll always exist in some amount of ignorance. Does that mean we’re all evil? I don’t think that’s what Socrates intended. Instead, what I think is a more accurate interpretation of his statement is that the evil is ignorance of your ignorance. Only when we are ignorant of our ignorance and claim a sort of omniscience do these ‘evil’ ways of being and doing manifest in the behavior. Tyrants and dictators exists because they believe in their own omniscience and righteousness.
The peace and freedom, as Socrates would likely share with you, comes when you embrace your ignorance. As he once said, “The one thing I know is that I know nothing!” When we accept our ignorance, we free ourselves from dogma and allow ourselves to open to an abundance of new ideas and opportunities to flow our way. We detach from any unhealthy attachments to beliefs or doctrine, that, regardless of however well they have served us in the past, could eventually be shown to be false, or if not false then at least disempowering.
If the one thing Socrates knows is that he knows nothing, and he said knowledge is the only good, then knowledge of our own ignorance is really what’s it’s all about. Embracing ignorance, we can be truly free. Free to learn, free to love, free to be in our present moment, allowing to be as it is, entertaining at the least the very vague possibility that the present moment is perfect for us, and offering us exactly what we need for our growth and conscious evolution. Ya never know, right?
Know nothing and be free 🙂