I don't mean we cannot beat evil - I mean that it cannot be fought; because evil is a negation, opposed to Good - and a negation cannot be fought.
Indeed, even discerning and rejecting one evil after another does not suffice to be-Good - since there are too many evils, and the business of rejecting them has no end. Only when the rejecting of evil is set aside and The Good is embraced positively have we learned the lessons of evil.
To oppose that which is evil is Not to do Good - but merely to engage in Men fighting fight Men, or evil-System fighting evil-System... because all Systems, all institutions, are evil now.
If we engage in the fight of the lesser evil against the greater (taking the side of the less evil nation, corporation, religion) then at best we merely strengthen the less-evil, which is Not actually doing Good!
Fighting to reduce the amount of evil is not positive Good. It is to support one type of demon against another; to support one version of Hell against another.
To be-Good we must forget about fighting and be-Good, join-with Good: that is, take the side of God and Creation.
We must do Good; that is to love; to pursue truth, beauty and virtue; to know sin and reject it...
And this doing - where is it done, how manifested? Well, in many possible ways, unique to each person. Different individuals will be drawn to manifest different positive Goods; for example the traditional transcendent values of truth, beauty and virtue - and their unity in practice. To pursue and real and positive value is to do Good.
Some Christians naturally want to fight and win, they want the heroic camaraderie of being part of a victorious army battling on the side of God - so naturally they seek a Good-army to join. BUt there isn't one.
Other Christians want to suffer to win, regarding this mortal life as wholly negative, a trial, a test. They oppose the negativity of evil with a negativity of not-doing evil. They embracing death to this world for the goal of life everlasting.
...Yet so long as the world is, and I am - God has a reason for sustaining them. A long as there is me and I live, here are things I need to learn from this mortal experience, and Good to be done.
But how to do Good in a world where all activity is so constrained, where so much is forbidden, punished or poisoned?
To begin with - we can be confident that there is a Good way for us (as individuals) to live, else we would not be alive. There are Good things that we personally can do, else we would not be able to do anything.
And if our life is such that we can 'only' think; then there are Good things we could thing - Good ways we could think.
We are alive to do Good; and we can always do that Good for which we are alive.
I needed this this morning.
The focus on the good/God is so important, rather than the constant fight.
An excellent and timely post.
The problem with fighting evil is instigation. Evil often demands to be fought. It strives for reaction. It purposefully taunts in a manner that will elicit a fighting response. This is often little more than a ruse to motivate people to engage with evil at its own level of un-freedom. The purpose of the agitation is to weaken alignment with God and Creation.
Of course, fighting evil is sometimes necessary, perhaps even unavoidable, but there is a big difference between lured into a fight by evil like a push-button automaton and freely choosing to fight evil on your terms.
Either way, fighting involves active engagement with evil whereas doing Good focuses on active engagement with Good, which is the very thing evil is attempting to deny and destroy. Doing, being, and thinking Good knocks evil out of its comfort zone of instigation. Doing, being, and thinking Good forces evil to engage with you at the level of God and Creation, which may make evil think twice before committing to any sort of engagement with you.
I get the sense that evil very much wants to instill the (false) belief that it has become impossible to remain fully aligned with Good - that the best one can hope for is fighting and/or suffering in the name of the Good. In light of this, perhaps the best way to "fight" evil is to do all that one can to prove this contention wrong.
@Frank - I was trying to draw a distinction between 'fighting evil', which is not possible; and fighting 'beings on the side of evil' - which is often necessary. Fighting beings on the side of evil (which is most people in the world, after all) - however necessary - isn't actually fighting evil.
"Only when the rejecting of evil is set aside and The Good is embraced positively have we learned the lessons of evil."
I've been thinking about this post and what it would mean in practice. The movie "Groundhog Day" came to mind. What I like about the movie is how we see the narcissistic protagonist (Bill Murray) come to understand that he is stuck repeating the same day over and over in a small town in Pennsylvania. He tries living badly (embracing Evil), only to realize that to "pursue real and positive value [by doing] Good" is the only way to really live, finally allowing him to "break free."
Finally, the other nice part about the movie is that we see after his embrace of the Good that he begins to literally use every minute of his day to "manifest different positive Goods." At the end of the final repeated day, he comically accumulates a lifetime of good works in a single day. It's a worthwhile movie for some light entertainment (would be painful as a book), but also to consider how we can all choose to live better, to actually do Good, minute by minute.
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