University Ave. Tucson AZ
I was at University Avenue doing an improvised book signing, when Michael (whom I had previously met there) stopped by to chat. He had been perusing my blog, and didn’t agree with the way I used the word “evil.” He prefers to use “detrimental.” I can understand his view: there is no “I” that we can (or should) be judgmental about and classify as evil; and there is cause and effect, and the responsibility of humanity as a whole. Indeed!
But in the world of form the ego holds the baton, and it can be the source of extremely “detrimental” actions, which can be considered “evil.” (Evil meaning: “profoundly immoral and malevolent.”) Self-importance can turn a group of people into homicidal maniacs, who can kill 3,000 people to blame somebody else AE 9/11 Truth and make a fortune by killing even more people. I would consider that an “evil deed.” Don’t you think?
If you let me define morality as the way we treat other human beings: our family, friends, neighbors and everybody else, the act described above is not only immoral; it is “evil,” because the persons responsible are not only immoral but also sociopaths without a conscience.
In this world, although a dream, we do need morality because within this construction, the great suffering caused by the ego is obvious. Due to the ego, evil does exist in this enormous stage, and that ego-mind must be understood and disciplined. Therefore, we have responsibilities to meet, a challenge to face.
“What we are is the result of what we have thought,
is built by our thoughts, is made up of our thoughts.
If one speaks or acts with an impure thought,
suffering follows one, like the wheel of the cart follows the foot of the ox.”–Buddha
An undisciplined mind will unavoidably lead us astray, toward “detrimental,” “bad,” or even “evil” acts; and that is where suffering comes from. And if there is a selfish entity who is causing enormous suffering , (with predetermination) for personal gain, that entity and its actions are “evil.” Wouldn’t you say?
Filed under: Inner growth, Perspective | Tagged: Buddhism, Detrimental, Good and Evil, homicidal maniacs, religion, society, spirituality, Suffering, Tucson, University avenue | Comments Off on Good and Evil . . . Are they there? | A Buddhist Thought