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Eckhart on Evil

Eckhart Tolle:  Question: If Being, or God, is the creative source of all energy and thoughts, Eckhart Tolle-awakenand thoughts from the ego are a negative form of energy, don’t these negative thoughts originate from Being?  In other words, did God create evil?

Answer:  That kind of question has been asked and talked about by many philosophers and it has remained a kind of stumbling block in the Christian religion.  So let’s see what the intuitive answer is.  In this sense-perceived universe, if you want to use anything here to compare God to, the most appropriate thing in this sense-perceived universe would be the sun.  The sun is the source of seemingly inexhaustible energy, and the giver of life.  The very heat in your body comes from the sun indirectly.  The sun of course is not eternal, but compared to the human life span it can be considered virtually eternal, it’s so much vaster.  And it gives freely of itself, millions and millions of years of pouring out energy.  Now let’s say the sun is in a process of becoming conscious of itself, because my intuition is the Universe, or rather that which underlies the Universe, or the One behind the many, is in the process of becoming conscious of itself in the dimension of time.  The One also exists in the timeless dimension, where there is no past and future.

So God, to use that word for a while, in the timeless, God is already complete and perfect.  But it seems that in the realm of time, God is becoming conscious through all these life forms.  Now if that were the sun, then in the process of becoming conscious, the sun continuously emits zillions of photons, light particles.  Let’s say the individual photon is part of the process of becoming conscious for the sun.  Now in that process, the individual photon would undergo a change of consciousness arising.  Temporarily, the individual photon, as it becomes together with the sun, as consciousness arises it mis-perceives itself as a separate entity.  It no longer realizes its oneness with the sun.  There’s a continuum, it never really loses connection with the sun.  So temporarily, as part of the process of becoming conscious, it believes itself to be separate.  It’s a temporary thing.  While it believes itself to be separate, it creates all kinds of illusions that reflect the basis illusion of separateness.  That’s basically where we are at, where humanity is at.  The human being is the photon, the sun particle, so to speak.  The consciousness within is the consciousness of God, there’s only one consciousness.  And that consciousness, in the process of the whole becoming conscious, mis-perceives itself temporarily.  And that creates the illusion of separateness in the individual human.  That creates the illusion of the identification with form, which is the illusion of separateness.  That’s seeing oneself as a separate entity.  The stronger that illusion is, the more that gets reflected in its actions outside, which then become deluded.  And that’s called evil.

Ultimately in evil, nothing is destroyed.  The essence of all life forms is eternal.  But on its own level, it’s not pleasant.  From the point of view of the larger whole, it’s only a brief dream episode that takes place as the One is becoming conscious.  So that is the answer to “Did God create evil?”  So the teachings that say that evil ultimately is not real, of course that is correct.  But it’s a question of levels.  If you look at it from one level, it has a certain reality.  The fact that it ultimately is not real does not mean that on this temporary level it appears very real.  But it must be recognized as deluded.  Evil can be defined as complete identification with form – that is the illusion.  The more an entity is identified with form, the more seemingly evil the entity creates, and the more suffering is created.  What’s the answer?  The answer of course is why we’re here.  We are the arising of the answer.  The answer is not just the answer, it is the end of the illusion of separateness and the end of so-called evil.


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