Since the beginning of time humanity has been in a constant struggle between good and evil. We discover who we are in confronting evil and at the same time the darkness and the light within. The external is a reflection of that which is within. Evil manifests itself where there is a complete absence of what is good and pure.
In Greek mythology, the evil Goddess Eris has the only purpose of sowing discord. She causes a conflict among the Goddesses Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite by throwing a golden apple among them with the words: “to the fairest”.
No other God wanted to be put on the receiving end of the wrath of the three Goddesses by choosing one of them as the fairest. The Goddesses then ask the mortal prince of Troy Paris to do it for them. Each tries to bribe him by pledging great gifts, and Paris then gives the apple to Aphrodite who had promised to make the most beautiful woman on earth fall in love with him.
The woman chosen was Helen, the queen of Sparta and wife to Menelaus. When Paris eloped off with her, Menelaus declared war on Troy, rallying all the Greek kings, and triggering the Trojan War.
Another Greek Goddess, Enyo, delighted in war and destruction, bloodshed, and the sacking of cities.
The fallen angel and the lure of power
Christianity describes the devil, Satan, as a fallen angel and the very personification of evil. He was expelled from Heaven at the beginning of time after attempting to become equal to God.
The archetypal motif of the fallen angel or Lucifer is found in Summerian folklore, Roman mythology, Germanic tribes, and the Vedas.
In popular culture, we find Darth Vader, a fictional character in the Star Wars series. He is the dark father and the personification of evil in popular culture, serving the empire as its chief enforcer.
The windows to the soul
Eyes are said to be the windows to the soul with the bible quoting several passages in this vein. “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light,” (Matthew 6:22). “But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Matthew 6:23).
I remember very well when my elderly German neighbor, who had experienced the horrors of World War II, remarked on Vladimir Putin’s ascension to power in 1999. “You can’t trust him. His eyes are cold like those of a wolf.”
U.S. President Joe Biden told Putin during a closed-door meeting in 2011: “I looked in your eyes and I don’t think you have a soul,’ and [he] looked back at me, he said, ‘We understand each other.'”
Often evil disguises its real intentions behind a smokescreen of lies, disinformation, and false flag operations. It is the playbook of such Lords of Evil as Adolf Hitler, Slobodan Milosevic, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Zedong. In our lifetime we have to face the truth. We have another Lord of Evil in Vladimir Putin. Over decades he has not only duped western politicians but much of the rest of the world. Let’s connect the dots just to illustrate how much this Lord of Evil has sown destruction and discord.
- Under Putin, Soviet-era repression has given way to a marriage between kleptocracy and organized crime, turning Russia into a “Mafia state”.. Organized crime has become an outgrowth of the political machine. Mafia cells have undertaken assassinations, facilitated coercion, and extortion. Outspoken Putin critics such as Garry Kasparov have all the while warned and revealed the true nature of the monster.
- During a closed-door meeting in the year 2000, Putin is said to have offered the wealthiest Russian oligarchs a deal: Surrender to my authority, and you can keep your mansions, and multibillion-dollar corporations. Those oligarchs who reneged on this deal and undermined Putin were thrown into prison or died under mysterious circumstances. Putin’s wealth is a secret but it can be safely assumed that he has used the oligarchs as a major source of his hidden assets.
- Turning Russia into a Mafia-type state has given Putin huge resources to weaken Western democracies. Putin has repeatedly voiced his disgust for the multi-culturalism, sexual diversity, and free speech which he sees as a direct threat to his authoritarian and 19th-century imperialist dreams. Over the years he has funneled huge resources to rightwing and extremist groups in western countries, spreading lies and disinformation on social media through Russian state-funded bots.
- And then in February this year, the Lord of Evil decides to invade Ukraine, the world’s breadbasket, triggering the largest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II and possibly the deaths of millions of people in Third World countries due to famine. Meanwhile, we have become almost emotionally immune to the daily bombardment of playgrounds, hospitals, and residential buildings in Ukraine as Putin wages a war against innocent civilians.
What does humanity have to learn from all this?
We need the enemy, and the opposite perspective to gain clarity on our own core values and choices. Often the question is asked: “If there is a God, why does he allow evil?”
But we have been given the power of choice. We cannot blame dysfunctional human actions on the Creator. God has often been seen as a strict father figure punishing his flock for sinful or bad behavior. The Mystics in contrast view God, the universal creator or the divine as “a state of Being” – the connection to pure love, kindness, and compassion. The manifestation of evil would therefore be the opposite condition – the state of complete absence of God.
Napoleon Hill once said that every evil carries within it the flames of self-destruction. It was a warning by the famous mentor to his students, political and business leaders to reflect carefully on their actions and goals. When they are not in sync with the universe and designed for the benefit of all, those flames will come back to burn you.
Sometimes those flames can come in the form of such deep disgust and regret with the “Self” that it manifests in self-destructive behavior such as addiction or serious illness.
The tragedy is that the character once held by the stranglehold of the shadow demons finds himself incapable of self-reflection.
Most suffering that we experience in our personal lives or that we witness in the external world is a result of bad human choices and actions carried out from a low level of spiritual disconnect.
The word “evil” is often used in a confusing context to blame, vilify or distract.
The wisdom of the ancient Mystics can be a good guideline. Basic human nature has not changed much over the centuries. There will always be a segment of people who don’t give any regard to the outcome of their actions. Meister Eckhart, the great Dominican friar of the early fourteenth century, warned against those whose “sole concern is how to gain honors, wealth, and pleasure.”
These people, according to Eckart, are those who lack all sense of humility by “running in front of God.” Inevitably their lives will be haunted by what they call bad luck or a bad hand. They will be blaming God, fate, people different from themselves, and basically everyone for what has gone wrong in their lives. They are filled with hate, resentment, and anger. They are the malignant narcissists of our age who seek only personal validation and glory.
As the Lord of Evil and his followers spin the narrative of hate, division, and destruction some comfort can be taken from the fact that evil ultimately destroys itself because it is out of sync with the laws of the universe. The thoughts, actions, and energy you send out inevitably come back to you.
In the same way, the path of light which is that of kindness, unconditional love, compassion, unity, tolerance, gratitude, and acceptance will bless you in a multitude of ways. You will be living a happy and blissful life if you make yourself an instrument of divine purpose.
Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker
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