“When you resist evil you lock up good. You lock up the force of good which holds the evil inert. This serves no useful purpose, unless you have a superabundance of good which shall tand upon the platform thus formed and leap up from it to greater heights. Therefore it is not enough to meet hate with love, evil with good. … You must hate the hate and, having rendered evil inert by opposition, the love can take its stand upon the firm platform and use it as a thrust-block. Therefore you only oppose evil when you wish to do constructive work—when you wish to make something new. You never oppose evil when you wish to destroy.” ~Dion Fortune

angelo e diavoloIn other words, there is a right way and a wrong way to oppose evil. What Ms. Fortune is saying is that attempting to destroy evil is ineffective because by becoming a destroyer you become a tool of evil, an agent of evil. This was the lesson of the scene in Star Wars were the evil emperor tries to convince Luke Skywalker to kill Darth Vader, his father. Luke knew that Darth had become totally evil (according to the traditional definition of evil which we will get to later) but he was wise enough to know that if he did kill his father, he would become the new agent of evil. He would not truly be destroying evil, he would be spreading it like a contagious disease. So the solution is to spread good until there is no room for evil, no place for it in our hearts and minds. Instead of seeking ways to destroy evil, seek ways to overcome it, to replace the destruction with construction, stagnancy with creativity.

There is another problem with the idea of trying to destroy evil and that is knowing evil when we see it. For most of us, it is easy to say that murder is evil, rape is evil, yet in different places and among different people, the definition of what is a murder and what is rape varies. We have the Christians who consider Muslims evil, and Muslims who feel the same about Christians. We see terrorists killing hundreds of innocent people, but they say it isn’t murder because they are evil people. What the Muslim terrorists and the Christian “hate the fags” crowd don’t get is that their behavior is doing a very good job of spreading atheism. The point is, if we all set out to destroy what we consider evil, we will all destroy each other.

Actually, most spiritual teacher will tell you there is really one one evil and that is ignorance of God. That is evil, because if you don’t know God, you can’t truly know right from wrong, you can only know somebody’s opinion of what is right and what is wrong. On the other hand, those who truly know God, not just somebody’s concept of God, know truth as well. It cannot be otherwise, because the only way you can truly know God completely is by becoming one with Him, even if it only lasts a few seconds. When you become one with God, you know all things. Not all opinions, all facts, all truths. This knowing is the true Gnosis and one who has achieved it can honestly be called good meaning he is one with God.

The Jews, or rather the Sadducees and the Pharisees expected a Messiah who would come with a flaming sword to smite their enemies so they rejected Jesus who came instead as a teacher rather than a warrior, as one who converted the opponents of God and truth rather than seeking to kill them. Buddha, Gandhi and St. Francis also understood this. The real alchemists did not sick to change one metal to another, but to change dull materialistic men into shiny spiritual ones. They did not try to destroy evil, but to change it to something good. A lesson many seem to have forgotten.

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