How do your concepts of Good and Evil fit into this picture?
They provide a very true picture of the realities of the situation, and to understand this properly one has to realize that both Good and Evil have ‘evolved’ considerably since they were first conceived in their primitive forms. Just as in the natural world there is a struggle for survival, so on a higher level there is a struggle to rise above Evil. Always there are the two antagonists: the positive and the negative, the right and the wrong, the Good and the Evil. To explain the nature of the forces of evil and indicate the subtlety of the struggle, let us use an analogy. During the last World War the allies were on one side and the axis powers on the other. Now, we are not saying that one side was good and the other evil, but for the sake of the analogy let us say that right at the top, with the men in power, one was good and the other evil. Still further, as an analogy, let us say that those on the axis side were serving the cause of Evil. Through the ranks of those in the axis side, as one came down from the top, one found less and less Evil in the individual soldier. In the lowest ranks one found men who were wholly good, honestly believing that the cause they served was good. They were patriotic, selfsacrificing, family loving and neither cruel nor callous. They hated killing and the war itself, but carried on courageously in the belief that they were fighting for the salvation of their country and for principles that were good, however misguided they may have been. Yet the simple fact
is that the most good among these men actually served Evil, as did those who knew differently. Perhaps their motivations and intent were different, but no matter how high these motivations nevertheless they effectively served the cause of Evil. So it is in the struggle between right and wrong, activity and inertia, positiveness and passivity, reaction and apathy, and all the opposites which make up the combatants on either side. We have come a long way from the simple concept of the sinners and the righteous, of the followers of God and those who chose Satan. Of course the picture is no longer mainly black or white, it is mostly grey and there is considerable blending in individuals. No one is wholly good nor wholly evil, and perhaps no one or at least very few are intentionally dedicated to Evil. Most in the ranks of Evil are misguided or harbour misconceptions; perhaps, like the soldiers previously mentioned, they have been conditioned into their errors of thinking and sincerely believe that what they are going is right. Viewing Evil in this perspective we see that there is no easy solution, that the Problem is much more complex than we believed.