The Zoroastrians, who practice a very ancient religion that actually came before Judaism, Islam, or Christianity, believe that there are forces of Good and Evil...that humans are born without sin, and that our free will determines our fate. It was the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis that brought up the idea of "original" sin, and that Satan tempted Eve, thus causing the fall of Man.
I have been studying world religions, and their origins, and I am interested in how Human Beings decided to explain evil-or, what society has decided is evil. All the religions have addressed this, or adapted ideas from other religions...but what do you personally, deep in your heart, believe? Have you personally come to some belief that accounts for the bad events and people in the world?
Please share your thoughts! You would help me get a grasp on this question. This is something of which I have always wanted to hear various different points of view.
Thanks! and Blessings,
asked 26 Oct '11, 00:55
I wouldn't normally answer a question like this, but since you say you want to hear different viewpoints then I'll give you mine.
I don't like the idea of "the Satan". I consider him a far too convenient scape goat. A way for people to project their own perceived weaknesses outwards. Thus they lose claim to their own weaknesses, they lose responsibility for themselves and their lives - and consequently remove some of their power to rule over and change these if they so desire.
And once something is projected outwards, the natural tendency of people is to feel they have to fight this thing (because of the idea that one has no power, or less, over things that appear outside of them). That fighting shows the basic mindset, that on some level, the people consider The Satan something powerful that they have to fight against, because anything truly 'superior' to another does not have to fight anything inferior...it can simply and quite easily without a thought cast it aside. "The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world".
Further, in almost all cases I find it practically irrelevant. So there may be some "The Satan" who whispers temptations into ones ear, or incites one to 'sin'. So what? Practically speaking, it is of no difference, and still ultimately comes down to our choice whether we go along with it or not. And so the only "fight" is within ourselves. I consider that far more accurate, and also far more empowering and think it would have been much better had this idea of an evil outside to struggle against was never introduced. (fruitlessly - once again because only weak things need struggle and thus we condemn ourselves in our struggle with the identity of weakling)
I also have various issues with some of the theology behind it...particularly that it was often based on small areas of scripture and then insinuation and extrapolation by others who I ... often sincerely doubt had any true mystical experience or knowledge on the topic other than intellectual knowledge from dusty tombs they read. But I'm not going to go down that road or this will become far too long.
Don't get me wrong though, I do believe in devils and demons...but I also think the identity of "evil" placed on them is perhaps a bit of a misnomer. I think those forces play vital, important roles. Otherwise I do not think they would exist.
So, as to why I think "bad" events happen, or the existence of "evil people". Ignorance is the reason behind them. Plain and simple.
For events, they do not have any inherent meaning. They are meaningless and we apply meaning to them. There is a very basic exercise undergone in the initial stages of training in many mystical and magical systems which involves one of the first steps into a transition into pure awareness. It involves learning to consciously detach our consciousness from thoughts in the mind and letting them flow, following them closely while not judging or changing them, maintaining our awareness as separate from them.
When extended this practice can lead to a personal experience of the "meaninglessness" of things. Which is often initially a rather sobering state - but can also be very joyful.
Ignorance plays as a reason into this by virtue of the fact that we don't see the whole picture. We don't know what will occur as a result of the event down the line, we don't know the state of those involved or all the things that led up to it. We are ignorant. And this fact can be turned into our benefit when it is acknowledged. By doing that, we can literally shape the event to our benefit, not only by changing our perceptions of it in the moment and seeing the good that was involved in the event - but also having that event catapult us into good in the future, where we may say either personally, or as a whole species "That was one of the best things that happened to us, if it weren't for that - this, this, this wouldn't have happened".
As to "evil people"...I don't believe in evil people (which has definitely led to some discussions between myself and others). I believe in hurt people, and I believe in ignorant people. And I especially believe in ignorant, hurt people. People who don't see their fingerprints all over their sordid lives. Who don't know any better. Who have never had a glimpse of any real power that they have within themselves, so they resort to a fleeting shadow of power to feel ANY tiny semblance of control over the world. A control that on some level, they know and feel they should have.
Satan is the little mind, the ego. God is the great mind, the higher self. We contain both.
answered 26 Oct '11, 10:26
I have never believed in Satan, because when you think about it, there are only really 2 religions that claim that evil and Satan exists, and these two religions are mainly Islam and Christianity (no offence to people who practise these religions).
For most of the other religions such as Buddhism etc, they say that all evil stems from within yourself and from your own thoughts.
I remember reading or hearing from somewhere this analogy, that evil and light is like a dark room without lights.
When you enter a dark room(evil), your first instinct would be to look for the switch to turn on the lights (good). But when you enter a brightly lit room (good), you most probably won't be scurrying to look for the switch to turn off the lights (evil).
answered 26 Oct '11, 12:42
I believe there are low or dark entities on this plane, who have made it their mission to spread lies, chaos, pain, and evil in the lives of the good and the bad. Those of us here chose to be here, and decided to exercise our free will, even knowing that some people would use it for good and some for bad. Because the Creator doesn't interfere with our free will nor intervene for us, allowing us to develop those skills on our own as we wished to, it sometimes seems like a crazy and evil place. But if he doesn't make a puppet of you, he doesn't make a puppet of the demons nor the mass murderers, nor child abusers either. The human race has to work this balance of good and evil out all on our own, as it had to be, over who-knows-how-many lifetimes, until the evil ones learn and reincarnate into better people. This is also why we are all responsible for each other in a way.
answered 26 Oct '11, 02:58
well jai you have free will to do good or evil, to be in harmony or to judge, to be juste or injuste, some also do evil because of ignorance example: a child see other children and one children hit another and all the other children around him fall on is side because they think he is strong. well this child say i want people on my side i am going to show them that i can do better then that he takes a rock and hit another children on the head with the rock and kills the child or make him handicap for life. so you see that is ignorance. if they know what they are doing and the consequence of their action then that is evil. and yes satan exist and temp people with desire they have. read the bible about the temptation of the christ. you are angry why do you not turn those stone in bread? bow down to me just once and you can dominate the word. why not jump down this cliff and ask the angels to stop your fall? and jesus was wiser then satan and said the truth at each temptation and said be gone satan.
experience and enjoy.
answered 26 Oct '11, 02:30
Personaly I believe that good and evil exists within all of us and it is up to us and our free will to determine which we will be. People that dont believe in evil or satan never seem to get bothered by such and those that do believe and are afraid are bothered by evil.
It has come to my attention that most especialy religious people that pray a lot in the old fashioned way seem to be bothered by satan and evil. I have friends that once they joined prayer groups and started reading their bible seriousluy all of a suddan woud have a crisis and would need help for they believed that evil/satan was bothering them. I even have a family member this happens to but before their religious conversions and constant bible reading this never bothered them. Why? It is my belief that they are influenced by what they are reading and being told and their own mind does the rest.
answered 26 Oct '11, 04:08
one may need to understand what conditions constitute a being
answered 26 Oct '11, 10:34
The concept of good and evil is only a way to explain and describe events and conditions. I tend to believe that there is only good. Like a scale where in comparison from one good to another, the distance bewtween the two, one good may seem evil to the the other good.
answered 26 Oct '11, 12:50
Evil is lack of good whereas Good is lack of Evil. Religions where needed to explain the idea of ONE is ALL and all of us are that ONE. Evolution takes its toll over years and rules and regulations of every religion seem outdated when peoples thoughts and actions have become more evolve and understanding.
The soul's nature and birth right is towards love harmony and beauty (in thought and action), when there is lack of love harmony and beauty we tend to become disagreeable beings with ourselves and other people and experience evilness hence sin.
Satan - original Sin: The deeper meaning for me at this moment in life means Spirit of agitation like intolerance, rivalry, jealousy, to patronize - and so on. These tendencies awaken in oneself when Oneself is Claiming 'That I am different from others' This is when you exile yourself from Eden (or blissful state of mind and actions).
Root of evil is Selfishness, We are All One Beyond Our Garment that we wear (the human vessel)
answered 26 Oct '11, 09:30
I don't know what to believe, but I was just thinking about this. So, if we are all connected and are One, and that Oneness is The All that exists, and that is God, and we are only separated by the illusion of separateness, and everything is energy, even our thoughts, then the illusion of separateness is energy, and if energy has 'substance' then our thoughts have substance and the illusion of separateness has substance. However, that substance is only able to do what we give it the power to do within the illusion we create in our mind. The more aware we are of the illusion of separateness, the more faith we have that everything is gonna be all right.
Like when we are dreaming and we realize that we are dreaming and since we are aware that we are dreaming, we can control the dream. But until we are aware that we are creating the dream, we unconsciously react and can become vicimized, chased, etc... When we become aware that it is a dream, we can stop running and fighting. We can fly because we want to, not just because we are being chased. We are free to love our loved ones instead of unconsciously fighting with them. We are free to exlore the world of our dreams and to do whatever we want.
Except when we are awake and become aware that we are creating the 'dream' then we can tear down the wall we have created in our minds that keep us trapped, keep us from doing what we want. These walls are limiting beliefs. The beliefs that we are not good enough, not worthy, not lovable, etc... And since thoughts are energy, and if energy has 'substance' then our thoughts have substance. So the devil only has the power and ability that you give it in your mind. So the knowledge of good and evil is our thoughts, good and bad, which create the illusion of separateness.
This is just my logical view of it based on my understanding of quantum physics.
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