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The Word and the Way
VII. Of Evil and Suffering

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With the Father, evil and good are terms without meaning.  He is the Whole, the All, the Supreme Standard. In and by His Presence is revealed All Truth.  But to man good and evil are terms that have meaning.  They have reality to him because they speak to him of the real.

 

To travel from darkness towards All Light is called good, for by it, upon that roadway, the consciousness and the individuality of man expand and unfold in ever increasing wisdom, love and power, in every attribute and talent which the Father has given, in new creation, beyond man's imagination.

 

To travel away from the Father, whether knowingly or without one's knowledge, is called evil.  It is as if a man were to turn his back upon the light of day and travel downwards into the deepening darkness of a cavern until the spark of All Light within him could no longer be held manifest, and had to be withdrawn from him, as from a vessel no longer able to contain it.

 

To approximate towards All Light, towards the Father, is the measure of goodness, and none may debar any man from it, if he so wills, either on earth or in heaven, for light has power over darkness.

 

The degree, in which a man turns aside from the way, preferring the path that leads downward, is a measure of evil, as men term evil.  The degree in which men persuade other men to follow the same course downward is a measure of evil.  The degree in which men create conditions by which others are incited to travel downward, or hindered from travelling upward on the path of All Light, is a third measure of evil.

 

It will be observed, then, that good and evil are as directions of travel.  All that leads or tends upward towards All Light is good, and all that tends or leads downward away from All Light is evil.  Similarly, all that quickens and aids the growth of man's interior being, of the All Light within him, so that it permeates and possesses more and more the individual man, illumining him from within, is good.  While, conversely, all that feeds the individual self so that the man grows more and more closed upon himself, upon the self that is himself, closing the door against the All Light within, is evil for that man.

 

Consider further this matter of direction as a measure of good and evil within the sphere of man's existence.

 

In the silence the Father's Voice spake, and yet speaks.  In the stillness, from the stillness, of His Presence His thought goes forth with power, creating, setting all things in motion. The All Motion was and is and ever shall be His speech.  It was as if the universe of being heard and obeyed the voice of the All One.  His thought, going forth with power, was revealed in energy set in motion, given shape and form, pattern and direction, in orbits and rhythms beyond number.  Thus came into being all the elements which man may know and measure, from the most primal to the most complex, aggregating, segregating, drawing together into areas and groups, and into bodies and combinations beyond number, driving them forth in orbits and roadways, moving as if held within the pulse of the thought of the Father within the ambit of His Person.

 

Such, in the weak language of words, was and is and ever shall be the way of creation, of the universe of being in whose great estates of consciousness man, first as a mortal, second as an atmospherean, and finally as an etherean, fulfills his existence.  Such also is the universe which men see and measure in part, the universe of suns and stars, of solar systems, of galaxies, of new worlds forming, of old worlds going out of being, the whole in motion, endless, changing from one state to another, under continual transformation.

 

It will be seen that, even in this, motion may be discerned to have purpose and direction.

 

In the silence the Father spoke and yet speaks.  It was as if He said: Let there be others, persons within My Person, who may share with Me this glory, creating, as creators under Me, by virtue of My direct presence in them.  That they understand all things, they shall be brought into being at the farthest limit in which My consciousness is manifest, and travel thence towards Me, towards the summit of All Knowledge, enriching themselves with all experience upon the way.  Thus, when man was brought into being, he too had a direction, to follow which was life without limit and to deny which was and is to fall out of being.

 

That life might be thus manifest and developed to become conscious, capable of self-knowledge, capable of individuality, conditions were created as wombs in which life might be engrafted.  It was and is to provide such conditions on the frontier of light and darkness, between consciousness and non-consciousness, at the zero of entity, that innumerable worlds, such as this world, were and are brought into being, of kinds and natures beyond man's imagination.  For the earth is not the sole place in the universe through which life springs into existence.  It is but one of countless others that have been before the world was, and of others unending that shall come into existence after the world, the mortal earth, has fulfilled its purpose, yielded up its last harvest, and gone into dissolution.

 

The nature of creation has already been touched upon: First, the creation of conditions, the womb, as it were, at the farthest from All Light, in which life should be manifest; second, when the womb thus formed was ripe, the engraftment within it of life, as the Father's thought taking shape, with power over the elements, moulding, creating, setting them in motion, so that the primal forms of life were established; following this, the transformation of these forms into new forms, ever more complex, ever more capable of becoming the vehicles of consciousness; finally, the arrival, through this creative process, of forms of life able to be crystallized into separateness out of the group-life, given individuality, becoming persons.  The third stage was and is the engraftment of the capacity for everlasting life, of the etherean ray of being, the soul-light, within the vessels thus provided. Then man stood upright on the earth.

 

Because man was crystallized into separateness and had become a person, with individuality in his own right, he had and has liberty to choose his own direction.  Such liberty belongs to no animal on earth, for they are held within their order. But man has this liberty and he cannot escape from it.

 

For a time man, thus brought into being in every division of the earth, many in number, was held, as it were, under the shaft of a directive light that he might know how to live, and might not, by losing his way in the intricacies of existence, take the downward path without knowing, and thus fall out of being, losing his identity.  For at this time man's hold on the heritage of everlasting life was but newborn and very frail.

 

Came the time when man, prospering thus under direction, was capable of advancing towards greater responsibility, new experience, by which he might ascend with strength and knowledge, not led wholly as a child, but as one grown able to know and choose between light and darkness, thus commencing, for himself, his conscious ascent towards the Father.

 

How shall the child not make errors when left to prove himself?  How shall those who stand with but one foot on the threshold of wisdom not go astray?  How shall they who are given the freedom to develop themselves, responding to their surroundings according to their desires, not find their desires overpowering them at times; finding, too, the desire to make themselves yet more sovereign in the exercise and development of all that their desires prompt them to do?  In this way error and evil and what men call sin came upon the earth, and grew, being fed, by virtue of the creative thought thus built up by millions, as they essayed all the roads of experience, including those that led downward.

 

Thus deprived, by their own actions, of the ability to hear and heed the voice of All Light within them, men created on earth, and in the lower heavens of the earth to which they rose after death, conditions of great darkness. These conditions held man in bondage.  Nonetheless at no time was the way closed against those who were ready to rise, ready to be aided, ready to reach upward toward the second and higher resurrections. 

 

The conditions, which thus held men in bondage, were partly those created by man as a mortal and as an atmospherean in the exercise of his liberty to find his direction, and enter into experience, living life, as he desired to live it.   Such was and is the nature of the darkness and bondage upon man on earth in this day and upon those who have ascended into the heavens of the first resurrection.

 

Let it not be thought that the suffering thus undergone is without reason or benefit.  By man's experience, by his entering upon it, he is strengthened greatly in soul, made resolute, built up in courage, in patience, and in persistence, by his overcoming of it.  Step by step he builds up within himself the power to discipline and rule over his own thoughts, words, acts, and desires so that, little by little, he becomes truly capable of

Knowing the right path and travelling upward upon it.  More, he becomes capable, both in wisdom and in strength, of pointing the way to others and of helping them upward.  Forgiveness, compassion and love grow greater within him, and he stands upright, enriched by all he has gone through.

 

Nor is this all, for on the pathway of his overcoming he has perforce encountered and been engaged in much that was not of his creating, nor of his desire to enter, but which belonged to time past, being created by others before him; even, in some measure, by others who were brought into being on some other world before the earth was.  In this act of transmutation, as he travels upward, he becomes, though he knows it not, a very redeemer, taking upon himself the bondage of others and, by his overcoming of it, making it as if it had never been.