GOOD & EVIL …in the Mind of the Beholder

by Ernie Padilla

Metaphysical dualism asserts that the facts of the universe are best explained in terms of mutually irreducible elements. These are often considered to be mind and matter, or as by Descartes, thought and extension. Mind is usually conceived as conscious experience, matter as occupying space and being in motion. They are thus two qualitatively different orders of reality.

In The Oxford Companion to The English Language dual is defined as pairing (16c: from Latin dualis, translation Greek duikos, of two.) A term for the middle part of a three-part system of number in various languages, including classical Greek: singular, dual, plural. It marks nouns, adjectives and pronouns for two as opposed to one or many. Old English had a dual in its system of personal pronouns: wit (we two), git (you two). In modern European languages, however the dual has largely been subsumed into the plural. In English, dual meaning may conveyed by two and by such phrases as a couple (of), a pair (of). The term has been used in four other areas:

(1) Where both, either, neither refer to two, in contrast with all, several, none, which when plural refer to three or more.

(2) Prescriptively, in advocating ‘between two’ and ‘among three or more’. However, between is widely used for three or more: Flying between New York, Los Angeles, and Sydney.

(3) With regard to personal nouns of either sex (foreigner, parent, teacher) in contrast to gender-specific nouns like daughter, schoolmaster.

(4) For summation plurals such as scissors, binoculars, trousers, jeans, pyjamas/pajamas, which refer to a tool, instrument, or article of clothing consisting of two parts. Here, number contrast is conveyed by pair of jeans, two pairs of jeans.

These definitions illustrate how a pair or duality is an extension of the whole. Greg Braden in his book Walking between the Worlds – The Science of Compassion says – “To experience light in your life, allow for the possibility of darkness as well as light”.

The darkness is as much a part of the whole as the light, and provides what is necessary to learn and grow.

With all this in mind let's explore the essence of duality from the soul's perspective using what has just been presented and putting it all together.

Universal Laws are an extension of the Creator. There are many Universal Laws working in conjunction with The Universal Law of Duality. Because all these Laws are an extension of the Creator we will inevitably have to talk a little about them also. Universal Laws are God in action, and therefore apply to anyone, anytime and anywhere. The Laws are like the Father. They are whole and complete, sound, and good. God is unchanging and eternal, God is everywhere and yet nowhere. Since the Laws are an extension of him we can say the Laws are eternal, unchangeable and are therefore the root of Truth.

Bad is that which is sinful, a mistake. That which causes or constitutes misfortune, suffering, difficulty or the like. This occurs because we as offspring of the Creator have made mistakes and are still making mistakes – sins. We suffer because we think we are only here for physicality's sake, thinking all there is the physical and not realizing it is our intention of thought that is the cause of the physical and how we act or react. It is very difficult to understand why good or bad things happen to the individual when viewed only from a physical perspective. This creates thoughts of separation, blame, pity and a host of other reactions. It is the individual'sintentions that create harmony or disharmony with the Universal Laws.

The forces of positive and negative or aggressive and receptive of duality are forces that cause motion to occur internally and externally. This is why many people perceive the opposite of good as evil. It is one dimensional thinking in the physical only. For many people good is something that feels pleasurable and bad is something that feels painful. This perception of good and bad keeps the individual separated from really understanding good and evil. Sometimes good things like accomplishing a goal but never moving past that goal is misuse of what someone might call good which then becomes stagnation for that person. A painful experience can many times be rewarding and help the individual to grow giving the individual a different type of stimulus.

In the Chinese culture evil is described as an extreme of anything. This extreme creates an out of balance within Self because too much identification of the self is rooted in intellectualizing, emotions or the physical instead of understanding how the union of mind and matter is used for learning and understanding creation.

This takes us to the metaphysical definition of duality which is the connection between mind and matter. Instead of looking at things as good or bad lets explore a different perception of evil by looking at the physical root word of evil stemming from ev: evil, Eve, evening and in this case where I am going with all this is the word even.  Even is defined in the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language as having a horizontal surface.

In my study of metaphysics there are two manifestations of time, one being horizontal and the other being vertical. Horizontal time or even time takes place in the four dimensions of nature: length, width, depth and time. This creates the physical universe around us. Horizontal time is a function of the conscious mind and the physical, one part of the duality.

Vertical time as stated by Dr. Daniel Condron in his book Permanent Healing is “instantaneous creation, and the ability to cause rapid change, acceleration of learning and enlightenment.” This is how the subconscious mind works. Ever wonder how coincidences happen, instant manifestations, healing or intuitive happenings?  It is the subconscious mind where distance and time do not exist. The physical is our school room to learn about ourselves, each other and our responsibility to know Self as creator and our compatibility with God through service.

Thus these two separate realities – mind and matter – which co-exist at the same time (duality can be seen as neither yet both) give us a way to experience God and apply ourselves so that we may align our own will with Universal Law. Harmonizing with Universal Law, aligning the conscious and subconscious mind leading to  I and the Father are one in Christianity, non-resistance in Taoism or the Way of the Tao (Tao is Truth in Chinese literature) we come to know Self using mind and matter as a whole instead of separation. Meditation which is one of the practices of Buddhism is how the conscious and subconscious minds are harmonized to align with the Superconscious mind.

Many of us have heard the saying in the Bible “God is love”. I think we all can agree that love is a mental concern which is good and love is the means by which we come to know Truth and Truth is an extension of the unceasing Universal Laws of God. Bad or evil is not really the opposite of good as far as the Universal Law of Duality is concerned.

The intention of the individual determines whether the thoughts are in alignment with Universal Law and God. It is the intention and the activity in the physical which indicates whether there is balance or inharmony between the inner mind and the outer mind, the physical. Separation or duality exists when we identify only with the physical. Union of the dual forces occurs when the two separate realities are unified through concentration, meditation, dream interpretation and service.

Bad can be misinterpreted easily when we look at our existence from the physical perspective only, one of pain or pleasure, instead of one of learning regardless of pain and pleasure, regardless of outward appearance. Good can also be elevated to understanding the whole as opposed to sense pleasure or comfort.

Duality is like the pair of scissors, or pair of pants talked about earlier. The pair is really an extension of the whole. The whole is dual in nature, an extension of God, being the receptive and aggressive principles of mind which is the movement of energy from one form to another. When we identify with only the physical all we see is the physical and we lose sight of our own consciousness as offspring of God. When we identify only with the physical we see things as the same (like the pant legs) from a one dimensional point of view or as opposites in a conflicting perspective (one against another). Mind and matter are a part of each other like two halves of a whole.

The Yin Yang from the Chinese Taoist and Confucian culture illustrate beautifully the workings of the law of duality in nature which reflect the inner workings of mind.

"When the sun goes, the moon comes; when the moon goes, the sun comes. Sun and moon alternate; thus light comes into existence. When cold goes, heat comes; when heat goes, cold comes. Cold and heat alternate, and thus the year completes itself. The past contracts. The future expands. Contraction and expansion act upon each other; hereby arises that which furthers.

"The measuring worm draws itself together when it wants to stretch out. Dragons and snakes hibernate in order to preserve life. Thus the penetration of germinal thought into the mind promotes the workings of the mind. When this working furthers and brings peace to life, it elevates a man’s nature." –from Confucianism. I Ching, Great Commentary 2.5.2-3

The Chinese view everything as a whole, connected and flowing from one form to another. Light and darkness are forces to be used to understand creation and the Self’s purpose for existence.

©2002 SOM, v. 6/04

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