Out the Yin/Yang

Many religions the world over talk about good and evil, the eternal struggle, the celestial dance. Scan through them, and you’ll find all sorts of arguments, stories, prescriptions, and warnings. You will also, more than likely, probably, find some teaching on the need to balance the two in order to achieve harmony of self and world.

What a load of post-consumer hay bales. Evil is not a necessity; good does not require it.

Lemme ‘splain. No, there is too much; let me sum up. We can have good without evil, but we cannot have evil without good. Therefore, evil is the lesser and can be done away with without harming the eternal balance or whatever.

Lots of people argue that without evil, we wouldn’t know what good is. How would we appreciate what is good, if we don’t know what is bad? Easy: we’re designed to know and appreciate the good things. That’s why we constantly seek them out. We happen to have a post-design flaw that causes us to veer toward what is bad or evil.

An arrow is designed to fly to its target and impact it. The shaft, tip, fletching, binding, et al, are the design, and it’s effective. When it’s built according to design. If the fletching is misaligned, the shaft bent, the tip cockeyed, then the arrow will not fly true. This is a post-design flaw.

We were not designed to have evil in our experience. “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31a) Note the “all” and “very good.” The design was set in place, and there was no evil or bad at all. Period. Ergo, we do not need evil in order to understand, identify, or appreciate good.

Sometime between the end of the design period and the first record of human actions, evil happened. Lucifer got jealous and too big for his halo, and he decided to destroy the good God designed. All evil is a reaction to and action against good. Evil fights good; good overcomes evil. There is no balance, no equilibrium.

Now, what we do need is hardship. Challenge. A learning curve. That, friends and neighbors, will truly make us appreciate good things. Hardship is not necessarily evil or bad.

Evil stems from a desire to destroy, steal, kill, or hurt. Hardship stems from not having built the skill level required for the task. Evil drags us down and beats us with what we don’t have. Hardship shows us a future that we can have, if we’re willing to pick ourselves up one more time.

Not the same at all.

Is it evil to teach an infant to walk? That infant must haul itself up on hands and knees, shuffle forward until it can grab something taller, drag its body upward, and balance all its weight on two very small points that are neither anchored nor aligned. That child will fall many times, gather many bruises and scrapes, fail over and over again. All for what?

Walking is one of humanity’s core designs. The challenge makes us grow, forces us to use our muscles and build our strength. Once we learn to walk, we can then learn to run. Then we can learn to leap and change course and balance and dance. Every new level of nuance brings new challenges. New hardships.

Any time we attempt to gain a new skill, we face hardship. The challenge of learning, of refining and perfecting, makes us appreciate the final outcome. Children run around all the time because they know how recently they were chained to the floor. The hardship resulted in a true joy in the freedom they attained.

If you want to enjoy the view from up there, you have to climb. If you want to marvel at underwater worlds, you must dive deep. Good is what we get when we learn how to act, think, and be according to our design.

Good comes from God, Who designed humans to have good. Hardship and challenge are God’s way of moving us to the next level of even more good. Every step up you  make, the less evil you will find. It cannot outshine the good.

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