Authors of Evil
“The greatest authors and instigators of evil are ignorance, self-love and tyranny. Each depends on the other two and is supported by them: from ignorance of God comes self-love, and from self-love comes tyranny over one’s own kind. The devil establishes these in us when we misuse our pwn powers, namely our intelligence, our desire and our incentive power.
“By intelligence we should be stimulated to overcome our ignorance and to seek the one and only God by means of spiritual knowledge; through desire – through a passion of self-love which has been purified – we should be drawn in longing to the one God; and with an incentive power divorced from all tyrannical propensity we should struggle to attain God alone. From these three powers of the Soul we should actualize that divine and blessed love on account of which they exist, that love which joins the devout man to God and reveals him to be a god. …
“We should care for ourselves and each other in the way that Christ Himself, who patiently suffered fro us, has already shown us in His own person.
“For the sake of love all the saints resisted sin, not showing any regard for the present life: and they endured many forms of death, in order to be separated from the world and united with themselves and God, joining together in themselves the broken fragments of human nature.” ~The Philokalia
While it may be true that ignorance, self-love (more on this later), and tyranny are the greatest authors of evil, I think we can safely say that the greatest of these is ignorance, specifically ignorance of God and Spiritual Truth. This is because only one who is ignorant of truth can have the other two traits. So if we want to develop our spiritual self, we need to concentrate on ending our ignorance. The rest will follow automatically.
Ignorance of God doesn’t just mean that someone doesn’t believe in God. It also applies to the many millions who have no first-hand knowledge of God, but rely on the written or spoken word of others to inform them of God. Such written or spoken descriptions are never accurate because God is so much more than human language is capable of expressing. We must know God from personal experience by reaching to the higher levels of being and consciousness where God and the Angels are found.
This is a tricky one. We absolutely do need to love ourselves, but only in a certain way. It can’t be in an arrogant, narcissistic way. It can’t be in a way that we put ourselves above others. Rather we must love ourselves as equal to others, not better. I really believe that one reason many people today can’t believe in God is that their narcissism won’t allow them to accept that another being is superior. In truth, you can’t really love others if you have no love for yourself. Having proper self-love doesn’t mean that you accept everything you do and don’t want to change a thing. You can love yourself and still desire to grow and change. So as far as authors of evil go, self-love is not always one of them.
Tyranny is definitely an author of evil. If you have tyranny in you, you cannot love all beings as God requires. You also must still be in ignorance of God to some degree, or your tyrannical ways would end.
Note that practicing tyranny “over one’s own kind” isn’t limited to tyrannical government leaders. It can be a business manager, a school teacher, or even a parent lording over their children. It isn’t the position, but the behavior that determines a tyrant. But a tyrant who wants to can reform. A tyrant who wants to awaken and develop their spiritual Self MUST reform.
The way to do that is the same for most forms of bad behavior. Before you go to sleep at night, review your day mentally. Were you mean to others? Were you too easy to anger? Did you rule over others with tyranny? If the answer to these, and similar questions is “Yes,” you need to think about how you can do better the next time, and vow to make the effort to do so. It also helps to awaken your spiritual faculties so you will know and love God, and all that He created. You cannot be a tyrant with those you love.
The way to defeat all the authors of evil, even ones that were not mentioned in this passage from The Philokalia, is to awaken and develop your spiritual Self. You do that by using the Light of the Spiritual Sun and practicing Spiritual Sun-Gazing. This is not the same as physical sun-gazing, I. e., gazing at the physical sun, though we have to do that as a starting point. Proper sun gazing doesn’t mean staring at the sun. Not only is that concentrating too much on the physical, it can cause serious harm to your eyes. It has to be done in a subtle way that is taught in real spiritual schools such as the school of Cosolargy. When done properly, sun gazing will gradually shift from the physical sun to the Spiritual Sun and a true awakening of the soul will happen. That is the way to defeat the authors of evil.