Lecture 184 – The Meaning of Evil and its Transcendence | Abbreviated Version

P1             All suffering really comes exclusively from one’s own destructiveness. The great difficulty you are up against is that you are trying to solve this problem within the system of duality. The moment you become involved in duality you are unable to solve the problem. You begin to negate, deny, evade, repress whatever is destructive in you. Consequently, you are partly unaware of your destructiveness and totally incapable of seeing how it manifests. In other words, you are forced to act out the destructiveness indirectly.

Thus your guilt compounds because the evil you hoped to eliminate only increases when it is repressed and acted out indirectly. In this dualistic approach you become split within yourself, for you reject a whole part of yourself that is the source of essential, potent creative energy without which you can never be a full human being. Meditation is most important, for without the greater mind, the little mind is unable to bring change. But it is also necessary to have clear concepts and outlines. Your mental concepts must be more accurate, aligned with truth, otherwise false ideas, or even vagueness, will create a block.

P2             The dualistic approach reinforces your fear and guilt of yourself. Fear and guilt are used to force yourself to be good. The blindness, compulsion, and the artificial concept of life that accompany this forcing create self-perpetuating patterns, with many negative ramifications. The postulate that evil is an illusion is true in the sense that there is innately only one great creative power. There is union, for all is one in the consciousness of those who have transcended duality.

The denial of evil as a reality leads to wishful thinking, further blindness, and the denial of the self; it decreases rather than increases awareness. To deny evil on humanity’s present plane of consciousness is as unrealistic as to believe that two separate forces exist: one good and one evil. You have all experienced how threatened, anxious, and uncomfortable you feel when you are confronted with some of your undesirable attitudes, traits, and characteristics.

The meaning of such fearful, uncomfortable, anxious reaction is plainly an expression that says, “Such and such should not exist in me.” If you then translate this anxiety into clear-cut words, thus verbalizing your inner thought that certain attitudes or feelings “should not exist in me,” you can then confront your attitude toward evil in a much better way.

P3             Only when acceptance occurs in the right way can evil be incorporated and re-formed. You can then transform a force that has gone awry. You may grope in confusion until you find a way to accept your destructive impulses and desires without condoning them; to understand them without identifying with them.

You must learn to evaluate such impulses and desires realistically, without falling into the trap of projection, self-justification, self-righteous exoneration while blaming others on the one hand, or of self-indulgence, denial, repression and evasion. Such understanding requires continual inspiration from the higher forces within and deliberate requests for help in awakening and maintaining awareness of these destructive aspects and of the proper method to handle them.

The first step must be applying the theory that destructiveness, evil, is not a final separate force. You must think about this not merely in general, philosophical terms. No matter how ugly some of those manifestations are—whether it be cruelty, spite, arrogance, contempt, selfishness, indifference, greed, cheating, or something else—you can bring yourself to realize that every one of these traits is an energy current, originally good and beautiful and life-affirming.

P4             You will come to understand and experience how this or that specific hostile impulse was originally a good force. Articulate clearly the insight that these ugly traits are a power that can be used any way you wish. The same energy that may now manifest as hostility, envy, hatred, rage, bitterness, self-pity, or blame—can become a creative power to build happiness, pleasure, love, expansion, for yourself and others.

You have to learn to acknowledge that the way the power manifests is undesirable, but the energy current behind this manifestation is desirable in itself, for it is made of the life-stuff itself. It contains every possibility to manifest and express life, to create new life. So, too, the best of life that has revealed itself to you contains the possibility of the very worst. For by denying it, you inactivate an essential part of your energies and creative forces, so they stagnate.

From stagnation, putrefaction follows. Matter putrefies when it stagnates, when it can no longer move. The same is true of consciousness: it putrefies when it stagnates. Life is a continuously flowing process. When it stands still, death temporarily manifests. Since life is eternal, then death can be only temporary. Matter is always a condensation and manifestation of consciousness and energy. The way the energy flows—or does not flow—and the form it takes when it condenses depends on the attitude of consciousness “behind,” or, rather, intrinsic to a particular aspect of creation.

By the same token, destructiveness is another erroneous form of consciousness. This is why some supposedly negative emotions are actually desirable, eg anger can further life and be directed against the negation of life. Denial of anger turns into hostility, cruelty, spite, self-hate, guilt, confusion between blame of others and blame of self, and is thus a destructive energy current.

P5             Thus evil is no longer rejected in its essence but assimilated. All your striving and goodwill is beautiful. Even your pangs of conscience, notwithstanding the misplaced guilt, spring from the most beautiful manifestations of consciousness. The essential key to totally integrating evil is understanding its original nature and the indwelling possibility that it may manifest again in its original form.

If your expectation is to destroy or magically whisk away a vital part of yourself and not to accept the intrinsic desirability of all the creative energy contained in even your most destructive aspects you cannot become whole. Acceptance does not mean condoning, excusing, or rationalizing your undesirable aspects. It means fully acknowledging them, giving honest expression to them, without finding excuses or blaming others, but not feeling hopeless and self-rejecting about them either. By keeping both your beauty and your ugliness in mind at all times, you will also see both sides in others.

P6             How can pride, self-will or fear be more destructive than, say, hate? The overtly destructive attitudes are never the real evil. If you truly acknowledge them, you remain in the flow. Hate will turn into love, cruelty into healthy aggression and self-assertion, stagnation into joy and pleasure. Pride, self-will, and fear are all forms of denial and are therefore more dangerous than the evils they deny.

Self-will is too bent upon its own insistence that it is unwilling to accept present reality. It wishes to be already in a higher state of consciousness; it wants to be better than it is now. Selfwill creates rigidity. It says, “I do not accept reality as it is now; it must be my way, and I insist that it is.” Pride says, “I do not want to have such ugly traits in me.” Truth, however, requires both flexibility and humility. It also requires courage. Fear assumes that acceptance and acknowledgement of the ugliness will make this ugliness overwhelming. So fear also denies the justified faith in the benign order of Creation.

P7             It is never a destructive impulse itself that presents the real damage and harm, but always the attitude toward it. QaA Once you see that behind the compulsion to overspend and be irresponsible is a legitimate yearning for pleasure, expansion and new experience, this predicament will cease to exist. In other words, you must incorporate the essence of this wish without acting out the destructiveness of it.

P8             “There are many beautiful means of self-expression. I can realize them and bring them into my life if I can find another, not self-destructive way to express them.” The very need for self-responsibility and self-discipline in their most profound sense will make increasing joy and self-expression possible. “Without these traits, I must remain deprived and in conflict.” The discipline will be much easier to acquire, the willingness to do so will grow, when you know that you have a perfect right to use it for the purpose of increasing pleasure and self-expression. To those of you here who are discouraged and feel hopeless about yourselves, I can say only, you are in illusion and error when you feel that way.

—The Pathwork® Guide