Thank you, Cindy, for requesting this subject. I’m pleased to have spiritually-grounded experts—an Episcopal priest, rabbi, Spiritualist reverend and metaphysical teachers—share their thoughts about evil which I cover below and in next week’s post.
Does God permit evil to exist?
Universally those I queried said evil is either human-caused or judged to be so through our limited perception. God doesn’t create or encourage evil. From my standpoint, the Great I Am allows freewill, so by permitting us to live and grow how we see fit, the Lord must allow evil (a possible byproduct) to occur.
Obsessing about evil empowers negativity.
Richard Sorensen, Episcopal priest
Evil doesn’t exist apart from human beings; we are the only channels through which it exists. Humans can choose to tap into a force of violence and harm. They can also choose not to cooperate with evil. Satan gets too much credit for generating evil; some people blame him as the reason for their actions, essentially to deny responsibility.
It’s a sign of maturity to acknowledge that we all have a dark side, but it’s also unhealthy to obsess about evil, either through fascination or fear, as that energy empowers evil. As the acclaimed speaker Michael Pritchard once said, “Fear is that little darkroom where negatives are developed.”
The energies we create—both negative and positive—live beyond our bodies’ demises.
According to Jewish thought, G*d created four worlds that exist today:
- Action—Our human, physical reality
- Formation—Where emotion is more present and ghosts exist
- Creation—Where will, desire and thoughts are created
- Emanation—Where G*d is concentrated
Since no barriers divide these realms, they overlap. What happens in one world impacts all of them.
Based upon the thoughts of the sages, Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz wrote in The Thirteen Petalled Rose that we create angels through our words and deeds. These angels, who can be thought of as energy signatures or vibrations, can be positive or negative. For example, if someone committed murder, the energy of that “evil” act—hate and rage—has an echo in the other worlds. This is true even if the person who caused it or was the victim of the act are no longer physically present in this world. Negative energy has a residue, particularly in the World of Formation, which is closest to the World of Action.
Visit this blog next Wednesday to read more thoughts about evil, God, redemption and the Hereafter.
You are What You Hate: A spiritually productive approach to enemies by Sarah Yehudit Schneider