by David Eide .

It is very difficult to come to terms with the shadowy nature of existence. The corruption, the brutality, the waste, the hypocrisy and lies. It is bad enough to see them in one's own nature but then to see it multiplied 1000X in the society and general world can be very dispiriting.

Hope, charity, compassion, vision, truth: These qualities must survive and endure. They must overcome the dark nature of the individual person and they must overcome the dark nature of family, community, region, and nation. Sometimes you can glimmer the great hope, the great innocence and beauty, the grace of the world, the achievements that are driving all of the mundane and marvelous activities. You can sense the perfection that good people strive toward and this heightens the spirit. The times we perceive these are rare. We disappear back into the mundane world and find the shadow of the day, of all days.

The world certainly contains evil but it itself is not evil. Evil is dissolution, evil is the breakdown of essential structure necessary for the meaning of life. Evil is the inability to penetrate itself as it confronts itself in this world. It recognizes itself, promotes itself and defeats all attempts to thwart it.

To divide the world between good and evil is not sufficient for the complexity of life. To say that evil cannot evolve into the good belies experience. To say that good cannot degenerate into evil belies experience.

The more that evil successfully organizes itself the less chance it will evolve into the good. It is always attempting to attach itself to the body politic. It is like a virus that breaks down the healthy intention of the cell. And yet, if we wrap ourselves in a cocoon of self-created "goodness" we are defeated at every turn. Reality disturbs the cocoon and steals our dreams.

We assume the human being is a creature searching for the good and is restlessly at odds with the organization of the world attempting to find a way out of a dilemma. We know the facts. We have seen the pictures. We have noted our own impressions on hearing the news. We must act. And when we decide to act we suddenly meet with a strange reticence in the world; especially that world that has a vested interest to stay the course. We fight and get entangled in the darkness of the world and the more we struggle the further pulled in we get by our effort.

The dilemma is really that of keeping a clear mind, of avoiding becoming absorbed by some interest not properly our own. It's the struggle to overcome our alienations. The very life that we are made to live, built around mobility and pleasure, simply adds to the dilemma. We are sped from one occupation to another, from one diversion to another. We meet with hundreds of people who we do not recognize. We lose all perspective, all proportion, all relation to the past, all relation to the wisdom that has gotten us thus far, we lose ourselves and try to create an image out of magazines and tv. We have sacrificed ourselves to power and wealth and little else. When we wake up and discuss this unpleasant truth we feel like naked children and are, in fact, abused like children because we have no defense against the evil of this world.

Rushing headlong into a future we think we can create, we suddenly realize that we are operating in cycles that bring us back to where we were when we begin to forget.


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