Monday, November 3, 2014

Two sides of the same coin.

When I wrote this article on the aspect of God in us all, I knew there was something I had to add to it. A few months ago, the same article became a source of thoughts that began the question of good versus evil. It began as an internal debate in my mind, and perhaps I have something to share today.

We have seen the existence of "evil" forces in the world, be it in form of oppressive regimes, extremists, or anything else, and have often heard of people talking about good triumphing over evil.

I have asked this question numerous times on this blog - I ask again. Who defines what evil is? Who defines what good is? This is another example I like to cite - if a person, who hasn't eaten in weeks, steals a loaf of bread, is he evil? Equivalent to greedy thieves who steal in the guise of being "good" Samaritans? If stealing anything is evil in your perspective, in a place with no jobs, no place to make a living, no resources of his own, would stealing to feed his 3-year old baby make him evil?

I used one very important word as part of that question - perspective. That's what it all comes down to. Be it the so called elected leaders in our lands, the so called spiritual leaders, or others, what we all do is what we "perceive" to be beneficial to us; to our living. After all, we are organisms fighting in the never ending battle resulting in the "survival of the fittest".

Decisions we sometimes make are based on our own experience, while some other times on the advice of others we might trust. This then transforms in our minds as the "coalition of good forces" in our perspective, for we all believe that what we do is always for the good. Will what we do have consequences? Absolutely. That could affect others? You bet.

Now, I keep referring to the larger context of the world and our own personal context in what I say here. It is simply because our own existence becomes a smaller example of the larger world we live in - a microcosm, if you will. Every decision we make or that are made for us affects us personally, as well as everyone around us.

Perhaps this is why our ancient stories are often recited to us as moral stories - the lesson being the victory of good "forces" over evil "forces". Perhaps the forces they were referring to are the forces within us - our own abilities. The war then, becomes one that is internal; something that forces us to look within and find our own abilities that are "evil", which can be overcome with the "good". This aspect of duality is the cause of conflict - be it internal to our minds, or what we see in the world.

Our actions are merely actions, no matter what we do. The resulting consequences, prevailing circumstances and the prelude to our actions give it context, and help us form opinions. Be they good or bad, about the person and the action.

Good and evil are but two sides of the same coin. We just have to understand the subtle difference that exists and be in a position to evaluate and make decisions such that the negative impact said decision has on others, is negligible. Recognizing our similarity to said "coin" also forces us to look within, to find the subtleties of our behavior, giving us a better understanding of human nature, which in turn forces us to appreciate all life around us. This will make us a little more compassionate, towards fellow humans, and all elements of nature.