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The Origin of Evil

Do you believe in two equal powers forever contending with each other? Then it is no wonder you are at war with yourself and with all the world. You will remain at war as long as you believe this.

What but perpetual warfare can result from the clashing of two equal powers, good and evil? Victory can belong to neither. This is self-evident. When one or the other appears to triumph, it can be only luck, not law.

With this belief you have no firm ground under your feet. No wonder you stagger and fall and bruise yourself. Do a little thinking and you will see how impossible it is for these powers to be equal if there is law instead of luck. One must be stronger than the other.

Evil is the greater, do you say? And because you see so much of it in the world? Because it obtrudes itself upon you, look which way you will?

In midwinter you see snow and ice and cold all about you. Wherever you look the thick blanket presses down upon the earth and buries all the greenness you would like to see. There is nothing but cold snow, you say, no warmth anywhere. But that very snow that is so cold to you is a warm covering for the plant life below, protecting it till its time comes to shoot forth into bud and blossom. And the sun still shines steadily above.

You know, because experience has proved it to you, otherwise you might not, that in due season the ice and cold will disappear end that which was covered will appear. And come forth the more abundantly because of that which appeared undesirable, and even evil, to you. 

So when you look out into the world the good seems to be covered so thickly with evil that but few indications of its presence pierce the crust. But it is there. "Overcome evil with good."

If a victory is possible one power must be the stronger. If evil is stronger than good, progress for an individual, a nation, a race is impossible. Steady retrogression and annihilation must be the order. But we do not see this steady retrogression. On the contrary we see the reverse. Then good must be stronger than evil and consequently the power to be used to the removal of evil.

What is the origin of evil? Why is it permitted? What a; vexed question to settle is this mystery of evil! And yet for those' who can see, how simple it is!

Is God the author of evil? No.

Where then did it come from if God made everything that was made? It never was made in the sense of a creation by God.

What is Creation according to the Science of Being? It is the Expression and Manifestation of God. Evil neither expresses nor manifests God. It expresses and manifests our ignorance of God.

Here, right here, is its origin. It is a parasite which feeds upon and is sustained by human ignorance. It will come to. an,: end only as its nourishment ceases. As souls, living souls remember, we have been ignorant of our true and eternal being that images or expresses God. This ignorance is natural because the.1 Adam or sense-soul cannot have, all at once, the knowledge which is the product of its growth.

This first soul—first in the sense of order, not as a beginning in time—is pure and undefiled. It is all right in every respect and; there is no evil in it or anywhere else. But it is very small as compared to what it is to be. It is only "I am" or "I; am conscious that I exist."

That is all, and that is good. There is nothing wrong about: it. It is Adam before the fall, the primal innocence of the soul. But a self-idea must be conceived by the soul. It is very natural that if we are conscious that we are, we shall begin to form some, idea as to what we are.

The self-sense uttered in "I am" compels some idea about what I am. This is a natural sequence because of the nature of soul. The limitations of this first soul—it is a very little intro duce a limited self-idea because the self-sense is so limited. And this limited and mistaken self-idea begets all that we call evil.

Right here is its origin; and with the true self-idea begins also its destruction.

The amount of evil you see in the world, the proportion between good and evil, depends upon your self-idea. They belong together. When you see so much evil around you, you are seeing through a pair of spectacles which lend their own coloring to what you see.

What is your self-idea? What are you? You know that, you are, that you exist. But what are you? What is man? A being born some years ago to die some years hence, and meanwhile to suffer all imaginable ills?

That is the coloring afforded by your spectacles. He is nothing of the kind. Your self-idea is all wrong. As a soul you have lost your primal innocence and fallen into a knowledge that compels you to prove its falsity. You have eaten of the tree and you have to digest its fruit. This is what experience is, the proof that the natural self-idea is incorrect.

Here lies your fate. You must prove that it is not true, for you have a glorious destiny to fulfill. The eternal good which antedates your self-idea is pushing, pushing, pushing steadily to manifestation; and all that you call evil has to get out of the way.

Work with this good and the victory is yours, for it is stronger than evil. Its roots are eternal and the parasite has none. "Overcome evil with good."

If you were as sensitive to good as you are to evil you would see as much of it. If you become more sensitive to good than you are to evil you will see more good than evil. You can increase this sensitiveness to good by getting and holding persistently in thought, the true self-idea. Get it and hold it and you will become it. And in the process of becoming, evil vanishes even as the snow melts and runs silently away under the steady beams of the sun.

What! No more murders, robberies and crimes if we get and hold the true self-idea? Yes, just that.

The man who steals is after satisfaction and thinks he will get it that way. But he will not and cannot, for because of what he is in being, and what he is as a soul, satisfaction through such a channel is impossible, and he has got to move on.

Sometime, through experience, he will find that when he sought to rob others he only robbed himself, and there is little satisfaction in that. He ignorantly, in his efforts to gratify his instinct of appropriation, used his imaging power to picture what he wanted and the way to get it; and this in defiance of the moral sense which was not so strong as the animal instinct of appropriation.

He was ruled by this instinct to his own loss, as he is sure to sometime find out. His experience, crowded full of evil though it may be, is, and will continue to be, a means by which he will find out what he has done. So with all its evil it, and all in it, is good for him. It is a mirror in which his own nature and possibilities are revealed unto him when he has his eyes open to see.

Remember that the murderer or the thief or the rascal is a living soul, and not a material shape. This is only the instrument which the soul uses, and very pitiful work it is sometimes required to perform.

However this visible person may appear to you, however wicked and altogether vile this man may be, that soul must ascend. Ascension is compelled by the nature of its being, and the almighty resistless primal energy which is the creative power of God pushes it along the upward path.

Whether it continues to use the flesh, or whether with pain and bitterness it forsakes it, still its experience continues, for its desires remain to it; and still must it learn the mistakes it has made and why it has had to bear their consequences.

"Lord, keep mine eyes from seeing evil."

When you stop thinking evil it will begin to disappear from your own life and from the world. Thought is creative. All evil is in thought, nowhere else. It is subjective. Its manifestation is the objective you see.

If it is not subjective with yourself, if you are not thinking "What a rascal Mr. So-and-so is!" you will see no rascal in Mr. So-and-so.

Get the true self-idea for yourself and of necessity you must have and hold it for your neighbor also. What is true for you is true for him, in that you bear the same relation to God and have the same destiny to fulfill.

While you are fulfilling this destiny—and it is glorious—much that enters into your experience, which is your existence, seems evil because it is unpleasant and painful. But this very feeling is Nature's push to make us move along.

As souls we cannot stand still, cannot hang back, as our mortal or natural sense inclines us to do. We must move.

Throughout creation the general tendency is upward. But gravity has to be overcome, and our mortal sense, natural to the Adam-soul, tends to draw it downward. The conflict between this gravity and the general impelling tendency is what we feel and call pain.

It is a voice that warns and instructs us if we have ears to hear and a heart to understand. "MOVE ON," it says, and continued suffering comes from holding back.

If we hear, understand, and heed, we obey the voice, we move on and the suffering abates. Some day we move on beyond it, beyond the liability to it. We attain mastery of that nature in us that feels the suffering.

Before we get ready to move on, before we hear and obey, we cry aloud that our experience is evil, is full of evil, that evil is master and we are slaves. We speak from feeling only, lacking the understanding that would interpret it.

"There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification."

Get that most desirable thing under the sun, understanding, and the evil disappears, the good appears. Then the way to the overcoming of all that seems evil is found.

Evil is overcome with good, when the good is laid hold upon and brought to bear upon the evil. Then we obey the eternal command and we move on in compliance with the demand of our God-being.

All is good. There is no evil.

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Ursula N. Gestefeld

  • Born April 22, 1845 and died in 1921 (burried at Graceland Cemetery, Chicago).
  • Involved in Christian Science
  • Most famous work is The Woman Who Dares.

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