In this week’s Mindful Monday, I have expanded the table of definitions. Clarity is Kindness.
Paradox: A logically self-contradictory statement or a statement that runs contrary to one's expectation.
Good: That which is morally right; righteousness.
Evil: A manifestation of immorality or wickedness, especially in people’s actions.
Righteous: Very good; excellent; virtuous.
Wicked: Intended to or capable of harming someone or something.
Virtuous: High moral standards.
As defined, Good and Evil are both synergistic energies seated at opposite ends of polarity. They do not self-propagate. They expand and grow from the intent and actions of an individual. Both manifest in the form of degrees. Thus, these degrees (levels) increase or decrease as the medium of thoughts and actions are engaged.
The energies of stating a truth increase and multiply allowing for greater truth and clarity (becoming righteous). Congruently, the energy of just one lie multiplies, as does the energy of just one truth.
Good is kind. Evil is mean.
Good is truth. Evil is untruth.
Good is selfless. Evil is selfish.
Good is black and white. Evil is shades of grey.
Paradoxes of Evil:
In the Mind of the Evildoer, Their Acts Are Not Evil: Evil acts are committed by those who falsely justify their thoughts and actions under the pretense of good or ignorance. As the Russian dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn concluded in his book, The Gulag Archipelago, “To do evil a human being must first of all believe that what he’s doing is good.”
Much Evil is Perpetuated by Inaction: Indifference is the greatest evil. One of the greatest invisible paradoxes. The most profound act of evil is inaction. When one examines the greatest evils perpetrated on humanity, there was always a common thread, a formula. A singular or collective committing an evil act in addition to a singular or collective who is aware of what’s occurring and consciously chooses to ignore it. As philosopher, Edmund Burke once quipped, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
More Information Does Not Necessarily Translate to More Knowledge or Even Wisdom: For reflection, state-sponsored book burning has long been considered wrong, and even evil due to the destruction of knowledge. Additionally, it is well documented that this destruction indeed harms society and is diametrically incompatible with freedom. Today. the irresponsible and ill-intended voluminous amount of “information” available by the click of a button, the internet, is the contemporary, modern-day version of book burning. No burning is necessary. As Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, and philosopher, Cicero once declared, “The function of wisdom is to discriminate between good and evil.” Hence evil blossoms in a society incapable of obtaining wisdom.
Great Power Versus Great Evil: Although tempting, radical change is not the answer. This generally results in the creation of Radical Resistance. The pursuit of balance and equilibrium, may best be done through minute, discreet, and subtle, yet powerful acts of integrity, decency, goodness, and graciousness each day. As Gandalf from Lord of The Rings said, “Some believe it is only Great Power that can hold evil in check. But that is not what I have found. I have found that it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.”
The Greatest Paradox of All: Everything exists due to its opposite. Conversely, light is not possible without dark. Joy is not possible without sadness. Good is not possible without evil.