The priest rose again and asked: And what of good and evil?
The next child answered:
You can not be Good or Evil by accident. All of us are good and evil, for these are the light and dark within us, but we can not be both Good and Evil.
The Good love to serve all the world. The Good feel the whole of existence as a body and themselves as a cell therein. The Good are not without freedom or without individuality. They do not lose in being Good, but gain. The Good may sometimes find themselves lonely and despairing, but they are never alone and always find faith when despair subsides. The Good carry the glory of the Creator with them to every occasion, however small, for they know that the Creator graces every occasion with Its holy presence.
The Evil love to serve only their own selves. They have trained their selves to be strong and determined enough to enlist their Souls to its will. The Evil seek to become the Creator—and indeed their quest is not misguided, for are they not also of the Creator? The Evil see virtue only in the self, and all else is a tool at the command of this self. And at every occasion, the Evil bring with them the power and dominion of the absolute authority of the Creator within. The Evil are neither vindictive nor compassionate; rather, they are focused.
The good is that in you which longs for harmony, peace, closeness, kindness and above all, love. The evil is that in you which which longs for supremacy, command and power, and its tools are those of control and manipulation, deceit and cunning. The good in you sings when the the sorrowful are comforted, when the hungry are fed, when the sick recover. The evil in you laughs when tragedy befalls an enemy, when the naïve are duped, and takes joy when your gain comes at someone else’s loss.
These have we all. We are not Good or Evil only because we have good and evil within us. We are only undecided.
Some of you imagine that Evil is everywhere, that it lurks round every corner awaiting the moment when your guard is down to strike at your throat. Those who imagine Evil so are afraid that this Evil will infect them like a virus, rotting everything that was once Good.
But such people do not know the strength of Good, nor do they understand that Evil is chosen.
Others of you imagine that Good is everywhere, that there is no Evil except that Good which has lost its way and has become desperate, forgetting itself. Those who imagine Evil so would walk in pits of crocodiles and rattlesnakes unaware that their very lives are in danger.
But such people do not know the strength of Evil, and they too do not understand that Evil is chosen.
If you have chosen Good at the very center of Soul, there is no need to worry that you will lose yourself to Evil. For do you not take joy in the simple act of loving? When you see a child suffering, does your heart not go out to her without hesitation? When you hear of injustice, do you not surge with energy to give your strength to the downtrodden?
When you are Good, you know it. You are as an eagle whose nest is far above the earth. You remember your home, and when you ascend you do so naturally, with the untaintable awareness that your are getting closer to where you most long to be. With each stroke of your great spiritual wings, your self confronts the good and evil within itself, choosing Good.
But the eagle’s purpose in flight is not always to return home. Be not hard on yourselves when you meet with good and evil and you choose not. It is your unique pleasure to enjoy the light and the dark in mixture before returning to your great spiritual home. Relish this pleasure. Do not choose unless your heart—the center of Soul—longs for the choice as a lover longs for her beloved. Do not choose until the mixture of good and evil appears to you as a pallid broth lacking in flavor. For only then will you know that you have received as much nutriment from this solution as it has to offer. Only then will your choice be enduring, for a choice cannot be both powerful and obligatory at the same time.
But when you do choose, remember that you will still choose again. As the eagle must beat his wings many times before reaching the heights of his nest, so you must choose many times and in many different ways before reaching the purity of Goodness which is the key to the lock on your long forgotten home.
Be not afraid that you will choose evil or even that you will choose Evil. The Creator’s glory is ever increased by your very existence, and his only desire is that you follow the relentless pull of your heart. Whether Good or Evil, every path leads back to the Creator eventually.
If you on some occasion choose evil, even if you have already chosen Good, nothing is lost. The eagle often descends and at times even digs in the earth. If your inner being calls for Good, then trust that your momentary choice of evil serves the Good. Trust that you will learn to choose good ever more enthusiastically thereby. To those who have chosen Good, a momentary choice of evil is an expression of weakness, whose root lies in fear, doubt, deprivation, insecurity. Those who deny the reality of Evil do so because they have chosen Good and they know that evil can serve the design of Good.
And what of those who choose Evil?
Evil is carefully chosen. One who chooses Evil is as a student who spends years taking courses in all subjects before deciding on a major. There is no accident which leads to being Evil. Hell is not populated by poor fools who made a mistake and were ever after haunted by guilt. Hell is populated only by demons.
Surely you are asking yourselves, “Who would choose Evil who knows Good?” But you are all inclined to Good who hear these words of ours, for our words can give no gain to Evil. So it is no surprise that you ask the question.
And how is a choice made? Why do you prefer harmony to control, unconditional acceptance to absolute authority? There is no argument or rationale in these matters. We must each feel the sensations of Good and Evil in their purity before we can decide. For have you not once or twice felt the sensation of power that comes with a perfectly executed act of cunning, have you not witnessed another who was absolutely at your mercy?
Those who are Good looked upon Evil and cringed. And this is how the choice is made. Those who are Evil looked upon Good and likewise cringed. And just as a momentary choice of evil feels weak to the Good, so a momentary choice of good feels weak to the Evil. In Evil, there is no place for mutual love, for acceptance, forgiveness, or trust. To the Good, these are virtues, but to the Evil, they are vices. The virtues of Evil are indifference, shrewdness, cunning, control over Soul and others, and ruthlessness.
So I tell you: trust yourself, regardless whether it is self or Soul you choose to trust. There is no right or wrong in your choice except where you choose what you do not want. When you meet with good and evil, let yourself feel them in their fullness. Roll them around your tongue like a delicate chocolate and savor their flavors. Let your palate become sensitive to the feelings that come with the good and evil within. In so doing, you are giving the Creator what it most desires: to immerse itself in the authenticity of your experiences. As you grow in your ability to feel, some day you will finally experience Good and Evil in their purity and you will know what your choice must be.