Rita, beginning on the question of good and evil

Tuesday February 3, 2015
F: 5:15 a.m. Good morning, Rita. I’m looking forward to today’s question and response, as it is a subject on which I have pretty strong opinions and I don’t actually know what yours are, despite our having lived in the same house, if on different floors, for so many years. (Only about four and a half years, come to think of it. Seemed more.) Here’s the question.

[From James Austin: “I’m submitting another request for information, on a subject that has long interested me yet one that’s ‘soft-pedaled’ by other sources.

[“I’d appreciate hearing what Rita has to say about ‘bad’ guys, both here and in her non-physical environment. ‘Bad’ is my generic term covering the range from `I don’t like what he/she/it does/thinks’ through those who hurt and abuse others, to ‘pure evil.’ Rita made strong statements about ‘as above so below’; since we have ‘bad’ people in the physical, that principle would imply there are ‘bad’ non-physical beings.

[“Again, if specific questions are needed:
– are there ‘bad’ Larger Selves?
– if so, do they create ?bad’ people in 3D?
– can ‘bad’ people be a part of ‘good’ Larger Selves . and vice versa?
– is this sort of discussion confused by differences in what ‘bad’ means in 3D versus the non-physical?”]

F: And your reaction is? –

R: I agree with you, this is an excellent question, because it shows that he is thinking about the material, not merely accepting or rejecting it. “If A be assumed to be true, wouldn’t B logically follow, and if so, what about C and D?” This is the only way to make this material or any new material truly yours. You have to wrestle with it.

F: Like Jacob wrestling with the angel until dawn.

R: I don’t know about that, but it is important to wrestle with it. Only when you try to apply any new idea or set of ideas do you truly come to grips with it, or them.

This particular question won’t get a “yes but no.” In saying that evil and good, existing in the physical, must exist in the nonphysical, he is correct. However, as usual, for this statement to be meaningful, it must be explained.

F: That’s what we’re here for.

R: Indeed it is. And that fact might well be kept in mind. That’s what we’re here for. More on that another time, perhaps.

Very well. Good and evil. The first thing to be said is that language does indeed use the same words to describe very different things. The second, that everything is about viewpoints and choices. And if more time remains today we will go beyond this, and if not, we will address it later.

So, language as a problem. As James Austin accurately says, three categories of values are lumped together. But this is another of those situations where, to understand A, you need to understand B, but to understand B you need to understand A. We can’t make the short, simple statements that would clarify the subject not because the subject is particularly complicated but because we have to describe one variable in terms of another variable, and the description gets tangled easily. Only when you function outside of 3D will you realize the difficulties inherent in attempting such descriptions in sequential form (language within time), given to people experiencing reality one moment at a time – a reality that includes, in a way, their own consciousness! Thus, for you it is a juggling act merely to keep your attention on one thing as you move through time. It isn’t like ADD so much as attention-diversion-disorder, and it is inherent in life in 3D. But, to explain rather than complain –

F: A joke, Rita?

R: A joke. You’ll get used to it. Tell them of your insight into the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

F: All right. My friend Jim Marion, author of Putting on the Mind of Christ and The Death of the Mythic God, was in town visiting, one day, and I told him I’d had a sudden insight and wondered what he thought of it. (Jim is a trained theologian, a former Catholic priest, a scholar, and a trained psychologist, a student of Ken Wilbur, from which viewpoint he wrote his books. They are not books of theology but of psychology.)

I said it had struck me, maybe the story in Genesis about The Tree Of The Knowledge Of Good And Evil was actually meaning The Tree Of The Perception Of (things as) Good And Evil, which would change the meaning of the story considerably. In other words, rather than saying they opened their eyes, it would say they fell into a condition of judgment based in duality. Jim thought a moment and said – I can still quote him, so many years alter – “Hebrew has very few abstract words. That is a very permissible translation.”

R: In other words, you see, my answer is that many things that are called evil or good are in themselves merely a matter of taste, arising from one’s own values. This is the first layer of this particular onion, a matter of taste. If one person’s value system is headed by Truth and another’s by Kindness – to fashion a simple example – they will take very different views of a white lie. If one chiefly values strength and valor and another chiefly values harmonization and mutual accommodation, the one will think the other weak, the second will think the other unfeeling. You understand. The most superficial layer of this question of good and evil may be said to be a matter of tastes.

Such tastes are rooted in values, which themselves are rooted in the general composition of elements that make up the individual soul. Thus to some extent it could be said that one purpose of fashioning souls of many elements is to provide spokespeople for every possible nuance of feeling. If you have 3D strands coexisting within you, and your life is the process of coming to an accommodation with them, your view of the particulars of good and evil at this level are necessarily going to be different from everybody else’s. You see? It isn’t only a matter of expressing every possible shade of preference along one given line from positive through to negative – it is a matter of expressing every possible shade of preference along many such lines, all that are active within the individual. Hence you are going to find people whose values [on certain issues] are identical to yours, or close to them, yet very different – perhaps bewilderingly different – on other issues. Also, thus you find your own values, no less than those of others, quite inconsistent within themselves. Not that you or others fail to always live your values; not that the values you hold are mere pretense; not that they are chosen or acquired at random, but that each of you is a representative not so much of any particular strand or combination of strands within you as, you might say, the ratio, the final accommodation within you, of that bundle of strands.

F: A lot in that paragraph. More to unpack later, perhaps.

R: That’s according to what people want. But all that refers to the superficial level of, shall we say, good or evil according to preference. From where you stand, certain values, actions, preferences, are undesirable because they offend your embodied values. A pacifist may condemn martial expressions as if they were wrong, which to that individual they will appear to be, but those same qualities when they express as heroism in saving lives will not appear evil even to the same person. A daredevil who likes to live on the edge may value risk-taking so highly as to underrate others whose prime value is nurturance or preservation – until, perhaps, an accident reveals the practical value and benefit of nursing!

You understand. At this level, it is closer to a matter of opinion arising from what you are – a matter of taste, call it – than a moral stance. But, as noted, there are deeper levels. And rather than proceed through intermediate stages, it will be most illustrative to consider the question at its other extreme – pure good, pure evil.

F: Go right ahead. Ten words or less?

R: It may take a little more than that. And I see we are unlikely to finish even this much of the subject while staying within your limits.

F: I don’t mind overdoing a little.

R: Well. Consider what the opposing poles of good and evil look like from the place of non-3D perception. In the first place,

F: Sorry

R: From non-3D, even duality itself is experienced differently. It is seen but not experienced, one might say. Or, it is recognized but not as an inescapable strait-jacket but as a guide to clarity. The nature and expression and consequences of positive and negative are very different when experienced in their totality than when experienced moment to moment in slices of time one after the next.

F: I have heard it said that outside of the physical world there is no duality.

R: You have heard it said, and argued against it. Rightly so, from a deeper knowing. But the argument is futile, because any argument conducted by two people who are using the same words to mean different things is going to be futile – except, perhaps in as much as the argument itself wakes one or both to the realization that the words are creating slippage.

Duality is a fact of created life, an ordering principle no less in intellectual than in physical life, no less in moral composition than in mental orientation. But duality can orient you, or it can entrap you, depending on your relationship to it, and this is where we need to begin next time. We did less than I had hoped, but well begun is half done, they used to say.

F: I look forward to more. I wish I could do more at a time.

R: Righteous persistence brings reward.

F: I’ve heard that. Till next time, then.

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