Chapter 16


What is evil?
When is it right to combat it?
There are those who think that to be peaceful is to avoid all conflict, all struggle.
Then there are those who feel that you must struggle, crusade, jihad, against the forces of the world that are evil, or unjust.
Both of these views are mistaken.

To avoid conflict is impossible, unless you are dead.
There are particular conflicts that are falsely created, that can be avoided or let go.
But there is one battle at least that everyone must fight, and this fight is real because its origins are within yourself.
Likewise to struggle against the evil you envision in the outside world is meaningless.
If you triumph in the struggle within you, then you will be able to vanquish darkness everywhere.
If you do not do this, then you cannot even comprehend what is dark or not.

If you are blind, then darkness and light have no meaning, they would only be make believe.

On the other hand, when you have light within yourself, the darkness can do nothing against it.
You can enter a room filled with darkness, the darkness could be ancient, it may have been dark there since the dawn of time, but the moment you turn on a light, the darkness is gone.
There is not even a question of struggle, the dark can do nothing against the light.

What are the forces of darkness?
I have said before that the three essential qualities of life are truth, love, and being.
These are all functions of awareness.

Likewise, all the features of darkness are born of ignorance, of an absence of awareness.
The darkness cannot fight against light because darkness is not a real force at all.
It is not that the world is divided by two forces, 'good' and 'evil'.
There is no such thing, there is only awareness, and the absence of awareness.
And as soon as even a little bit of awareness is created, ignorance is lost.

The qualities that are born of ignorance are lust, anger and greed.
These qualities lead to the suffering of the world.
Lust for possessions, for sex, for rightness, for fulfillment, is born out of an ignorance of the fullness of life.
As soon as you become aware that everything that you need is already present, then lust is no longer real.

Anger is born of a wish to impose your lusts upon the world.
It may be a lust for power, or for revenge; anger is always born of a desire to change the way things are or have been for you.
When you can see that there is nothing that can be demanded of life, dictated, or certain, in either past or present, then anger is no longer real.

Greed is the desire to hold on to what you have and to accumulate more.
It is the desire to possess.
It is born of a belief that the world is limited, that you can only have if others do not, that you can only enjoy if you hold on to what you believe is yours.
As soon as you can see that life is unlimited, and that all is connected, then you will know that sharing is the only reality.

The time to engage in conflict is when you witness these dark qualities around you.
To stand against them.
To oppose people, nations, or groups that wish to cause suffering due to their lust, greed, or anger.
But lust cannot defeat lust, greed cannot defeat greed, and anger cannot defeat anger.
Darkness opposing darkness will only breed more suffering.
The moment you can demonstrate awareness, love, sharing, then you defeat darkness.
Even if in the world you must struggle for the sake of it, the victory is already yours.
But fight it with darkness, and you have already lost.