This post is a response to this article: “Spiritual Excuses and Evil“, a blog post written by Eldon Taylor, host of the radio program Provocative Enlightenment, inventor of the InnerTalk subliminal technology, and a former criminalist. I must say, I am a fan of Eldon Taylor’s, including his books (I have Choices and Illusions and I just bought Gotcha!: The Subordination of Free Will), his radio show, and his blog, and I have had good experiences with his InnerTalk products.
I found this article quite provocative on a personal level, because over the past few years I have absorbed many of the teachings that Mr. Taylor criticizes. I have never known him to produce anything less than a compelling argument, and this article is no exception. That’s what’s been on my mind, and why I felt challenged to gather and share my thoughts about this subject–I agree with Taylor, but I also agree with the “spiritual perspective” with which he doesn’t jibe. So here I want to explore how I could reconcile these views.
He begins by saying,
“I have to admit that it both surprises and disturbs me to know that many supposedly enlightened teachers today insist evil is only an illusion. Indeed, one such prominent teacher informed me that so-called evildoers enter into agreements on the other side to play the role of the likes of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, and so forth.”
I learned that from Lee Carroll’s Kryon teachings (I forget which book exactly), and more recently read about it in Zingdad’s The Ascension Papers, Book 1, but it’s true–there are many teachers who will espouse this idea. We reincarnate and carry over karma from our past lives. Before we’re born here, we work out what it is we are to learn, and we make contracts to set up the potentials of the lessons we choose to learn. It’s all so the soul can have the potential to experience things like victimhood or perpetratorhood, so that we (our souls) can have the chance to experience spiritual growth.
I will disclose that I tend to trust information that comes from the other side of the veil through a channel (like Lee Carroll or Zingdad or Ronna Herman), especially when the information jibes with what other channels are reporting. It’s also consistent with that which is espoused by spiritual teachers I know personally.
Now, myself, I wouldn’t say that evil is “only an illusion”, and I’ll explain that later. Taylor continues:
“Evil according to the teachings of these folks is not just a role someone takes on to educate us in some way, it is also only a passive state of existence since we are all One and created perfectly from LOVE. As such, LOVE, the creator of all, could not create evil.”
So yes, from the spiritual point of view, we are all One; each of us is a divine spark of God, a piece of God, if you will, and we enter into this world as pure love (and then we experience wounds along the way). According to Zingdad’s book, the Creator had the desire to answer the question “what am I?”, which was hard to answer because It only knew Oneness, and things are more easily defined in opposition to what they are not. So It asked, “what if I were many?”, and It created a cloak of forgetfulness, and part of It became wrapped in that cloak, separate from the rest of the Oneness, and for the first time a distinct part of the Creator/God could say “I”, and could say “I am alone.”
Zingdad’s Higher Self explains that this is the story of Lucifer, and that from that place of separation, the energy that pushes away from the Oneness is “the Adversary”. So the Creator could not create evil, but it could create the ability for parts of its Oneness to forget that it was part of the Oneness–the conditions in which “evil” could take root. That which pushes away always has the option of turning back and returning to the Oneness.
Zingdad’s Higher Self says, “If there is such a thing as evil, then it is an opportunity to learn about love.” It is the contrast to love that allows us, and the Creator (of which we are a part), to know what love is. The Creator has made many universes to create many kinds of separation in pursuit of this knowledge.
“This sort of argument continues by acknowledging that men can be confused, but since we are all exactly where we are supposed to be, then what we may see as evil is only a perception. Our perception is limited in the grand scheme of it all, for only the eternal is real. This life we live is but a school yard where we learn to become better human beings and thereby advance our spiritual growth.”
Here’s where it would help to have a definition of evil. I don’t mean to speak for Taylor, but I would guess that his working definition is something like people acting with wanton harm towards others.
I would not say that evil is “only” a perception–inasmuch as we each of us create our own reality through our own subjective lenses and therefore everything is kind of a co-created perception. I’d love for there to be a way around the subjectivity trap, but that’s another thing that comes out of learning the New Age spiritual teachings–it’s impossible for any human to not see things through a filter of personal subjectivity. It wasn’t even possible for The Creator to see anything but through Its own personal subjectivity, which is why It had to ask, “Here I am, but what am I?”, and therefore create a cloak of separation in the first place. But I will say that the thing that causes us to perceive evil in others is when we perceive that others are acting with wanton disregard for another and doing harm towards them.
He’s saying that these spiritual teachers believe only the eternal is real. And I’ll agree with his dissent there–it’s all “real”. As Abraham is fond of saying, every thought that has ever been thought still exists. Our bodies may be temporary, but they’re real. They’re the vehicle through which our eternal souls come here to create and grow.
“Those supporting this view insist that when we think of evil, we attract it. Some go so far as to say that if we think no evil, we will know no evil. That is, evil will simply not exist in our personal worlds. If evil does exist in your world it is either due to karmic consequences you must have agreed to on the other side, and/or it’s the law of attraction at work. One would-be guru even stated that the folks who died in the Sedona sweat lodge incident attracted this into their lives.
This is where I become an apologist for the Law of Attraction and the Karma/Contract perspective. Yes, at this point in my spiritual development, I subscribe to the notion of both of these ideas. Abraham has said about the Sedona sweat lodge incident, “Here is a teacher…who understands law of attraction not even in the slightest, who held seminars for the purpose of seeing how much discomfort you can endure without dying.” And that teacher attracted himself a jail sentence. As for those who died–yes, that’s sad; I’ll comment after this.
“I don’t know about you, and perhaps it’s just my background, but I am aware of crimes that are nothing short of evil and victims who truly cannot be considered anything but innocent. A young father barely out of his teens loses his temper with his crying 9 week-old son and slams the infant in the head. The baby dies. Are we to conclude that the baby attracted or chose this? How about all of those Jewish people who were slain by their captors only because they were Jewish–did they agree or attract this? More recently, how about all of those gassed to death in Syria–infants, small children, mothers, health care professionals, and so forth–did they agree to, or attract this?
And here, as an apologist for law of attraction and karma, I would have to answer, “yes”. Yes, there is a spiritual purpose to atrocities such as these. And yes, that sounds awful to say. Abraham, from whom we first heard about the law of attraction, says that contrast helps us to know what it is we do want. And those who teach about Karma have said that there are souls who enter into contracts to be humans who die as babies, some horribly–I certainly wish that there didn’t continue to be stories of people who cause grievous harm and death to babies. It may sound awful, but the spiritual purpose of premature deaths could be to give loved ones the challenge of grief, the overcoming of which leads to spiritual growth. When it happens en masse, we are reminded of how much we want a world of peace.
One thing about karma and contracts–those contracts are just potentials. Ultimately, we are responsible for our own choices, and as such, we do have free will, even if we are often slaves to our biology and other forces. But we are responsible for our choices, and can always choose the harder, less-selfish option. We can choose to grow.
“There are convenient answers and often, in my opinion, spiritually minded folks opt for them. We all want our God to love unconditionally. We all want to believe that we are created perfectly as an act of Love. We want this God to be not just all loving, but all good. An omnibenevolent God certainly would not create evil, so evil must not exist. This is a form of denial–pure and simple. We don’t understand so we invent a story, a myth, and then go about explaining the world we live in accordingly–and that’s a sad commentary.”
Ouch. Yes, that’s a common question–how can an all-Loving God permit evil to happen? How can people deny that evil exists? Well, I can’t and I won’t. And if each of us is a piece of God with pure love at our core who enters into the third dimension with amnesia, it’s not very comforting to say that some of us humans are so disconnected from the love within that we are capable of heinous, disgusting acts of hatred and violence. It doesn’t seem to help to explain it all away with trite notions that there is a spiritual purpose to all that awfulness.
In my case, I don’t feel like I invented a story here for myself, or that the story was invented by those who have related them. It seems quite consistent, in the messages that are coming from beyond the veil, that from the perspective of higher dimensions, this is exactly what’s going on. I know I’m just subscribing to that which others have taught, but it hasn’t set off my bullshit detector.
“The real problem is this. We all want answers. One of the answers we seek has to do with the meaning of life and this invariably leads to matters of the hereafter. In our earnestness we lose sight of the journey. In other words, we are so focused on discovering where we are going, and why, that we forget to fully participate in the journey itself–patiently awaiting the time when we might grow into the answers.
“In my view, we should focus on our journey and not the destination. Life may be a schoolyard, but if it is, it does not exist to teach denial. If this is a time of lessons, what lesson are we learning right now today? That is the truly relevant question. If I see atrocious actions am I not compelled morally to at least speak out against them? If I can stop an evil act, am I not obligated to do so? By what principle of morality do I hide my head and pretend or excuse evil behavior?”
So he doesn’t like the denial of evil that seems to come out of a belief in karma, contracts, and law of attraction. I’ve also heard on his radio show his disagreement with the notion of The Secret/Law of Attraction; from what I recall, he says you don’t get things without action.
I will say about law of attraction that in my understanding of it, yes, you don’t get things without action, but it’s the inspired action that comes with a positive attitude towards that which you want. Law of attraction means you get what you focus on, so focus on what you want; don’t focus on that which you don’t want, because you get what you focus on. It seems like a convenient cop-out to say that these innocent people that attracted evil into their lives must have had a karmic agreement on the other side. That’s much easier to swallow than to say that the world is a place where random bad stuff happens to people.
What stands out for me is where he says that the spiritual perspective is losing sight of the journey. “We should focus on our journey and not the destination.” And that we have an obligation to call a spade a spade, and to do what we can about evil, and just not explain it away with an excuse that it’s all for the best on the other side. That’s what I’m hearing him say. We can’t bury our heads in the sand and pretend that everything is hunky dory. Agreed.
First, I don’t find the spiritual explanation to be a “convenient” answer, even if it does seem to explain away evil things as ultimately good. It means that we came here on purpose to suffer and struggle! This planet is a sink-or-swim world. There is so much to learn about growing up, supporting ourselves, getting along with others, etc., that it’s fairly common for people to lose their way in some area of their lives. And now I find out that I set up my challenges on purpose, to make it hard for me, because, basically, that builds character? From my point of view, sitting here and wanting things to come easily, that blows.
Second, I have to say, full disclosure here, that my challenges in life haven’t come anywhere close to having to deal with anything I would call evil. For that I have been very fortunate, and there but for the grace of God go I. I am grateful for my good fortune, and I am grateful that I my path has been as easy as it’s been, evil-wise.
Third (and I think I’ll stop counting here), there’s a large portion of Zingdad’s The Ascension Papers, Book 1 that deals with the problem of evil, and rather than explain it all (because it’s very long), I would simply recommend that you read it yourself. But there’s a good bit where it talks about how you would deal with a victim of evil:
“Now, as with all things, there is a right way to do this and a wrong way. The wrong way is to tell this person who is sitting in their pain and confusion to, ‘Pull yourself together because you just created all of this yourself anyway!’… If you can help this being to see that they have options and choices, then they can immediately move out of victim.”
That’s the thing about the “spiritual perspective” on evil–it’s little comfort to those who are embroiled in it as a victim or a perpetrator. I will say about perpetrators, and The Ascension Papers echoes this–I believe that those who would do evil things on this earth are the most wounded of all. You’ve got to be pretty messed up inside to beat up on a baby, for example.
We are all born pure love, but we each experience traumas along our way, some small, some big. We develop guardian sub-selves, subconscious habits of thought that are trying to help us by shielding us from being hurt again, but often these guardians are destructive, to ourselves and in some cases, to others.
Third Dimension vs. Higher Dimensions + Ascension
Where the spiritual teachers are coming from makes a difference. When you have both feet firmly planted in third dimensional duality, things look a lot different than when you’ve got one foot in the third dimension and one in the fifth. The Ascension, so I’ve gathered, is a process whereby parts of ourselves from the higher dimensions are making their way down into our third dimensional bodies. (“Our” meaning “some of us”.) The karmic cycle, I believe (correct me if I’ve got any of this wrong), takes place within the third and fourth dimensions.
According to Kryon, what’s happening now on this Earth is that we’ve been given the green light to step out of the karmic cycle, to ascend above it, if you will. So that’s part of why the “spiritual way” is to see the problem of evil/goodness as a trapping of third/fourth dimensional life. The kicker there–the Ascension hasn’t happened (yet); it’s a process, and it’s really just in its beginnings. So when it comes down to it, the third dimensional problem of dealing with people committing harmful acts is still going on. Embracing unconditional love and loving one’s neighbour as one would love themselves may be the way to ascension, but for now, that’s a lofty ideal.
See Evil, Hear Evil, Speak Love
I remember watching a program, probably an old A&E Biography, about the serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. (Forgive me I have remembered this incorrectly.) After he was convicted, the families of his victims had the opportunity to confront him in the courtroom and speak their piece–the victim impact statements. Most of it were expressions of pain, suffering, hatred, anger; exactly what you’d expect. For those, he sat and listened, stone-faced. One of the family members took a different approach–she forgave him. If I recall correctly, she pitied him. With that, he burst into tears.
I agree that it doesn’t do any good to bury one’s head in the sand and pretend. But I like the law-of-attraction approach–when you see what you don’t want, let that help you focus on what it is you do want. Taylor speaks of the four-corner philosophy of self-fulfillment: forgiveness, gratitude, self-responsibility, and service. The knowledge of the karma cycle, contracts, and law of attraction are best put into action when they help us focus on these pillars of self-fulfillment. When I see news stories of terrible acts, I feel gratitude that I have not had to experience something like that happening to me or my family. I feel glad that I have taken responsibility for my own life and have done what I needed to do to heal (and that’s an ongoing process). And I see that the perpetrator is greatly lost in separation from Love.
I still say that we’ve all come here with lessons that we planned from the other side. But it is here on Earth where we have the chance to learn them. This is where the action is. This is where the separation from God and Love can play out in the most extreme of ways. This is why coming to this planet of atrocities is possibly the greatest challenge that a soul could sign up for. I like to think that the farther away from God’s Love we move, the more Love is created when we turn back home.