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Good and Evil,according to the "new age".
Posted: 15 June 2005 08:01 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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Who is familiar with new age ideas about good and evil?
    I consider myself pretty well-seasoned(some would say
    well-done too,no doubt LOL ) when it comes to new age
    concepts regarding good and evil. In a sense, good and
    evil, according to many new age beliefs, do not exist. Atleast
    insofar as most conventional ideas about good and evil are
    concerned. If anyone is well-aquainted with these ideas, I
    would welcome a discussion about them. Hopefully,we can
    avoid turning it into the all-too common battle of egos, that
    occur when discussing such matters.

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Posted: 16 June 2005 02:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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many come from eastern Buddist and Hindu ideas. One idea is that there aren’t good or evil people, just people who commit good deeds or bad deeds.

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Posted: 16 June 2005 04:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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[quote author=“Landulf II”]Who is familiar with new age ideas about good and evil?
    I consider myself pretty well-seasoned(some would say
    well-done too,no doubt LOL ) when it comes to new age
    concepts regarding good and evil. In a sense, good and
    evil, according to many new age beliefs, do not exist. Atleast
    insofar as most conventional ideas about good and evil are
    concerned. If anyone is well-aquainted with these ideas, I
    would welcome a discussion about them. Hopefully,we can
    avoid turning it into the all-too common battle of egos, that
    occur when discussing such matters.

Landulf, do you mean good-evil in the Platonic sense of a heavenly ideal form? Or in the human concept formation sense?

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Posted: 16 June 2005 10:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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You can base your reply on either, or both. Personally, I believe
  the discussion may be richer if your thoughts came from both perspectives. But I see no reason for rules on this thread, or basically any thread, for that matter. Essentially, people will say whatever they want on any thread,ofcourse. I would not stop them even if I could.

The only thing I suggest is that those entering the discussion have some(however little)working understanding of the concept
of good and evil according to one or more, new age belief. Beyond
that suggestion, everyone is welcome. Basically, I consider any spiritual belief that is outside exoteric, dogmatic and conventional
Judeo-christian(and Muslim) worldview to be “new age”. That
would include; Buddhism, Hinduism,Taoism,Shintoism,Shamanism,
Asatru,Druidism,neo-paganism, witchcraft/wicca,astrology,Atlantean
myth, esoteric Christianity, Islamic(Sufism) mysticism, “pop” new age,Kaballah,hermeticism, rosicrucianism,magick, alchemy, Thelema,
gnosticism,alien/ufo,Theosophy,spiritualism,indigeneous,zoroastrianism,anthrosophy, and countless other beliefs.


Many are not new at all ,ofcourse. Many pre-date(like shamanism,astrology and others) the Judeo-christian
beliefs by thousands of years. But if you look deeply
enough into most, if not all of them, you will find remarkable
similiarities. That often includes their ideas about good and evil.

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Posted: 16 June 2005 10:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Landulf, I wasn’t trying to pigeonhole your thoughts. I was trying to understand your logic in your opinion of what exactly good and evil are. By offering Platonic forms vs. human inventiveness, I was implying two poles of extremes. For what it’s worth, I’m at the human-concept formation extreme, and would like to hear how the logic of other moral systems work. For instance, is it intuitive? Do you trust some system worked out by someone else?

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Philosophy may in no way interfere with the actual use of language; it can in the end only describe it. For it cannot give it any foundations either. It leaves everything as it is.
Ludwig Wittgenstein

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Posted: 16 June 2005 03:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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Permit me to quote from author Lawrence Sutin’s biography about
  the life of the famous(some would say infamous) late British
  “occultist”, Aleister Crowley. I think it is a good start,but do not
  consider to be the final word of the “new age” regarding the
  concept of good and evil. The following is from Sutin’s book
  I just mentioned:
     
       

  Crowley, a gifted dialectician made the task of measurement as difficult as possible for his biographers.
Esoteric traditions universally acknoweledge that the black-
and-white distinctions of ordinary consciousness may be merely
shallow delusions. Crowley,secure in having transcended such
delusions, insisted that any deviation from the sacred “Great
Work”—the forging of a link between the human soul and the
divine presence,or as Crowley often phrased it ,the “
Knoweledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian
Angel”—is “black magic”. In Magick in Theory and Practice
,he reminded readers of their lack of competance to Judge
a “Master of the Temple”—that is,an adept such as Crowley
believed himself to have become. The boldfacing is Crowley’s
own:

    There are,however,many shades of grey.It is not every magician who is well armed with theory.Until the Great Work
has been performed,it is presumptous for the magician to
pretend to understand the universe,and dictate it’s policy.
Only a Master of the Temple can say whether any given act
is a crime.
“Slay that innocent child?”(I hear the ignorant
say) What a horror” “AH!” replies the Knower,with foresight
of history,“but that child will become Nero. Hasten to strangle
him!” There is a third,above these, who understands that Nero
was just as neccessary as Julius Caesar.

  (Sutin responds) And there may be a fourth who recognizes the limitations of the “foreknowledge” of even the wisest Knowers,as
well as the absence of proof that any murder or any other act of
cruelty is so “neccessary” as to justify suffering.

 

I fully agree with Sutin’s final statement. Statements like the one Crowley made hardly did much to improve his image among
“new agers” or anyone else for that matter. Nonetheless, I think there may be a grain of truth in Crowley’s statement. From the perspective of many,if not most, new age beliefs, everything in existence(matter and spirit) is simply an individual manifestation
of the infinite source,you can call this “god”, if you please. All things
are inevitably evolving and will eventually return to this mysterious
source of all. They then unite with “the All” and somehow become synonmous with it. However, they paradoxically also retain some
fundamental portion of their individuality. Please don’t ask me how
this occurs, i’m still wondering if there is any validity at all to any
spiritual beliefs. Even so-called “Masters” dare not attempt to explain this mystery.

  In any case, from this view all things in existence could justly be called “the body of god”. One hermetic principle states that; “All
truths are but half-truths”. From this view, one can say that there
is no “self”, only one of an infinite number of the expressions of
the absolute. But in a relative sense, one could also say that there
is a “Self”.  From this view then, any action is ultimately an action either for or against the “Self”, perhaps with room for “shades of
grey”. So good and evil per se, have no ultimate reality. One should
instead say that “Wisdom and Folly” are closer to the truth,again according to this view.

  So from the general “new age” POV one could say that, “Nothing
  is True and Everything is Permitted”. In other words,we are free
  to do anything we choose, so long as we know there are consequences for every single action and “we” will at some
point of space,time or state of being either enjoy or suffer the
consequences of our actions. We also must endure the consequences of our actions,good or bad whether or not
our actions were delibrate or accidental. On earth, we don’t
escape the negative consequences of a car accident we caused.
And from the new age perspective there are ultimately no accidents. In this view, no one who suffers is truly innocent.
However, this by no means justifies one who chooses to
harm the suffering, or chooses not to alleviate their suffering.
While “Karmic tools” must exist, a being(including a human being)
can choose whether it wants to be one of them. In other words,“it’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it”. That someone
does not have to be you,however.

  This view is even found in the bible, in the following passage that
  I cannot locate in Chap/Verse and may not quote verbatim,nonetheless, it is there: “Evil must cometh,but woe to the
man whom evil cometh through”. Life is no mere stage consisting
of determinisitic actors. It is no excuse for the SS man to say
he was; “merely following orders”, even “orders” from “on high”. From this view, it is for each individual being to decide how it will
spend it’s evolution back to the infinite source. It has been said that; “Not a single grain of dust shall not attain Buddhahood”.
But each “grain of dust” can choose the quality and mabye duration
of it’s journey. A Mahatma Gandhi could them be seen as an exceptionally self-interested person,whether he realized that or
not. The opposite would be true for an Adolph Hitler. The wise individual will decide whether any action is worth the consequences. We all must harm some other beings in
order to survive and evolve. We still must “pay” even for
those actions. But since survival and spiritual evolution
are at stake,most would consider the harm we must do
to other beings as worthwhile. The problem with “unneccessary
evils” is that they are usually,if not always not worth the eventual
price. The smoker(who is still causing harm,only to their relative “self”) will probably conclude their habit was not
worth their pain and early death. The con artist who gets
rich and never is caught on earth, will probably eventually
conclude that their temporal material riches were not worth the price they paid in some other time, place or state of being. Therefore, the wise choose to do as little harm to all beings,
including themselves,as possible. The fool will choose otherwise.

  Aside from the fact that all these beliefs are based on insufficient evidence, I have many other problems with them.
Just to mention a few, how does all this self-interest leave
any room for love, unconditional love, that is? Why does the
“infinite source” permit any suffering in the first place? Who
or what, was the original “evil-doer” that set the karmic wheel
in motion in the first place and what was it’s purpose? One could
the absolute simply could not be infinite, unless all possibilities
were realized and that includes suffering and “evil”. Or one could
say the absolute wished to give all it’s expressions freedom of action,including the freedom to act against the will of other expressions. It could also be argued that all suffering is merely an
“illusion” or “maya” as the Buddhists call it. I am not entirely satisfied with any of these explanations. There are perhaps others, but I don’t care to enter into them at this juncture.
Others can do so if they wish,ofcourse, and I may be inclined
to discuss them. As for the “original evil-doer"problem and
the “love” problem, I can’t say I have any clear answers to
those questions. I’ve heard the ideas of others, but again
i’m not wholly satisfied with their explanations and apologetics.
Anyway, that is my overall understanding of the concept of good
and evil,according to the general POV of the new age. Naturally, there are great differences in various schools of new age thought.
But there seems to be more or less, a consensus regarding the
nature and/or ultimate reality of good and evil.

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Posted: 16 June 2005 06:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Thanks very much, Landulf, for the impressive explanation.

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Posted: 17 June 2005 12:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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homunculus wrote

Thanks very, Landulf, for the impressive
explanation.

  I can’t help but wonder if you are being sarcastic.
  I thought it pretty much sucked. It was certainly
  long enough atleast. It’s a relatively complex
  subject and I did the best I could in one post,
  without writing even more. If you genuinely
  found it impressive, I must say i’m amazed.
  Well thanks for the compliment, I guess and
  I certainly welcome your comments, questions
  insights.

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Posted: 17 June 2005 12:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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[quote author=“Landulf II”]Who is familiar with new age ideas about good and evil?
    I consider myself pretty well-seasoned(some would say
    well-done too,no doubt LOL ) when it comes to new age
    concepts regarding good and evil. In a sense, good and
    evil, according to many new age beliefs, do not exist. Atleast
    insofar as most conventional ideas about good and evil are
    concerned. If anyone is well-aquainted with these ideas, I
    would welcome a discussion about them. Hopefully,we can
    avoid turning it into the all-too common battle of egos, that
    occur when discussing such matters.

I have looked at this on another forum - however not so focused on the ‘new age’ but maybe my own thoughts are ‘of a new age’ because I am (literally)?
Here’s what I think…

I connect the concept of evil with god. So rather than use the presence of evil as proof of the absence of god I view it this way :-that without god there is no evil. I don’t believe in god at this stage and a concrete ‘evil’ is also not present in my thoughts/beliefs.

However during the times when I did believe in god (even half heartedly) - evil was very present and on my mind constantly.  I was afraid of god. Also when there is no group/religion telling me what to think and making me afraid or telling me how to judge people or events - i’m also less aware of ‘evil’.  I don’t need to watch my back and talk about ‘spritual warfare’. No bleeding through of ‘other’s’ subjective experience. The us and them mindset isn’t needed for a sense of safety.

I think once I begin to define ‘evil’ as being outside of myself - the thought of it becomes stronger and more powerful. Even at this moment .....Strange that.  I read Scot Peck’s book quite awhile ago and started looked sideways at different people in my life. His theory makes ‘you’ very paranoid.  I wonder how can people be born ‘evil’?. Was I born ‘evil’? At what point do children step over some invisible line that allows for that kind of judgement? From that kind of experience I’d say ‘evil’ is easily defined for you by others. -the subjective experience of ‘evil’ seems to be catching? Plant a few seeds of doubt and people who believe may change their minds - bit like the experience of god? Do ‘you’ judge people as ‘evil’ even before they do ‘evil’ so ‘evil’ is not a behaviour but a state of being.  So ‘evil’ is not always something ‘you’ judge when you see it. I think its more complicated.

There was a time when I thought some people were ‘evil’ judging them by acts - typically Idi Armin or Hitler but the word ‘evil’ seems to encourage the connection to unseen forces etc…. the word itself is emotive and ‘old fashioned’ - fundamental!

I don’t think inanimate objects are ‘evil’. Earth quakes, tidal waves, fires, .....but dolls and statues give me the creeps. Seriously ‘evil’ can be everywhere if I’m in the right mindset or gone completely.

I think somewhere hidden deep in my mind I’m always going to struggle with this ancient concept which seems to appear in many traditions, cultures, religions, and times. A Jungian thing?

Also:-
http://www.nobeliefs.com/Shermer2.htm

I basically agree with this quote from the book


“evil is not a fixed entity or essence. It is not a thing. Evil is a descriptive term for a range of environmental events and human behaviors that we describe and interpret as bad, wrong, awful, undesirable, or whatever appropriately descriptive adjective or synonym for evil is chosen. To calls something “evil” does not lead us to a deeper understanding of the cause of evil behavior.”

The good bit….a subjective experience? I don’t think anyone can tell me how to feel it or when - it certainly cannot be attributed to one group ie. xians and not to others.

I agree….I prefer the world in ‘shades of grey’.


I don’t think there is any meaning to life, not because I believe there is only existence but because I think “religion” or the need to provide some kind of filler or fire blanket to that idea of nothingness and no meaning is the whole thing to me - the fear.

I like the idea of free floating or jumping off into nothingness - thats the mystical to me. Overcoming and being with that fear if you like.

Have you heard of “philosophy of freedom” by Rudoff Steiner?
and may I pass on a link you may enjoy
http://user.cyberlink.ch/~koenig/rituals.htm

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Posted: 17 June 2005 05:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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Landulf, I had intended no sarcasm. I hope that when I’m being sarcastic it’s as clear as day, but of course our hopes do not always match reality.

Nothing to do with you, but my workload these days won’t allow me to post any more for probably quite a while. Feel free to private-message me if you want to send me your e-mail address.

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Posted: 18 June 2005 01:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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Snakechic wrote

I connect the concept of evil with god. So
  rather than use the presence of evil as proof of the absence of
  I view it this way :-that without god there is no evil. I don’t believe in god at this stage and a concrete ‘evil’ is also not
present in my thoughts/beliefs.

  I can’t see how anyone could not connect the concept of evil with
  god. But when one uses the word, “god” it is always subjective
  ofcourse. For our purposes here, let’s interpret the word’s
  meaning in either the personal god of the Judeo-christian
  tradition or the, “absolute”, “all”, “infinite”, etc….of much
  of the new age/occult tradition. From either POV nothing
  including “good and evil” can exist without “god”. If there
  are other definitions of “god” besides these two, they are
  a little too abstract for me to have anykind of meaningful
  discussion about. From the POV of strict scientific materialism,
  “good and evil” could not really have any objective meaning,
    ofcourse. The word ‘evil’ too is ofcourse always subjective
    to human beings. From the objective sense of an ultimate
    reality or “being” who is omnipresent,omnipotent and omniscient,all “evil” must be by nature a, “necessary evil”.
  Even christians believe that god “permits” certain evils.
  They feel if god didn’t, greater evil/s would result. This
  argument is dead, IMO before it has a chance to rise.
  If god is all-powerful, etc…. then why couldn’t god just
  go ahead and prevent the “greater evils” in the first
  place? Why would god find it necessary to bring “greater
  good” out of evil and suffering? This suggests a god with
  a sadistic streak and one who has atleast some “evil”
  qualities “itself”.

    I must say that many of the common new age/occult
  understandings of “evil” seem equally implausibe and
  mabye even more so UNTIL you look deeper into them.
  Consider the following quote from the late occult author
  Dion Fortune(Violet Firth) .This is from her book, “Psychic
  Self-defense”. Fortune claims this explanation is from
  Qabalistic(kabbalistic) doctrine:

 

The initiate recognises two kinds of evil,Negative evil and
        Positive evil. Negative evil is the polarising opposite of
        good.Let us try and make this clear by an illustration.
        Every action gives rise to a reaction. The forward drive
        of the bullet is equated by the recoil of the gun. Everything
        which moves has to have the equivalent of a thrust-block
        which to take off. It is difficult to walk on a slippery surface
        because it offers no resistance. We must have something
        for the foot to grip,to push against, and give us the
        forward impulse at each step.
   
          Negative evil is the thrust-block of good; the principle of
          resistance,of inertia,that enables good to “get a
          purchase”.

          But Negative evil is more than this. We might call the
          principle of resistance the “negative” aspect of Negative
          evil.For it has also a “positive” aspect,the Principle of
          Destruction.

          We can best explain the cosmic function of the POD by
          calling it by its esoteric name of the Scavenger of the
          Gods. Its function is to clear up behind the advancing
          tide of evolution,removing that which has become effete
          so that it may not choke and clog evolving life.

          We now find the answer to the eternal riddle as to why
          god tolerates the devil. The devil is the cosmic thrust-
          block and Scavenger of the Gods. It is this aspect of evil
          which is given a more detailed symbolism in the pantheons of other faiths,having its Shiva and Kali,or its Pluto
          and Hecate aspects.We can now see why these resistive
          and destructive forces are classed as gods and not as demons,for they are reactions according to cosmic laws,not anarchical and chaotic forces.

        We now come to the consideration of Positive Evil. This
        again has a “negative” and “positive” aspect. Its negative
        aspect is pure chaos , unformed substance and uncoordinated force. It has aptly been called the “Cosmic
      Abortion”. To drift into the sphere of “negative” Positive
      evil is like being caught in a psychic quicksand.

      We are now ready to consider the sphere of “positive” Positive evil, the demons themselves , or the Qlippoth,as they
      are called in the Qabalah.In order to understand their
      significance we must make a further excursion into Qabalistic
      philosophy. The Creator is conceived of as bringing the universe into manifestation through a series of Divine Emanations,
      ten in number. These are called the Ten Holy Sephiroth,and
    are represented in a diagram as arranged in a particular
    pattern. This is the famous Tree of Life,the key to all
    symbolism.

    The Sephiroth were not emanated independantly, each from
    the Divine Source; but overflowed, the one from the other.As
    soon as one Sephira has emanated another,these two are said
    to be in equilibrium,compensating each other.But there is a period during the emanation of a sephira when the force is not
  yet in equilibrium,but is pushing out unsupported,like an incomplete arch. It is this uncompensated force emanated
  during this epoch of unbalance,and never subsequently
    absorbed after the establishment of the new sphere,which
  constitutes Positive evil. There are,therefore,ten kinds of positive
  evil,just as there are ten Divine emanations.

    To these spheres go, according to their kind,all the evil imaginings of the heart of man that are not neutralised by
repentance or compensated by the overplus of good in
other members of the same group-soul. There is a deep
occult doctrine here which we cannot enter upon now;
it must suffice to state it dogmatically in explanation
of the Qabalistic conception of the Qlippoth.When
we consider all that must have been poured into
these ten sinks of iniquity since the days of Atlantean
Magic,through the decadence of Babylon and Rome,down
to the Great War,we can guess what rises up from them
when their seals are broken.

  Beyond the fact that my ever-skeptical mind finds all this preposterous on it’s face, I have several other problems
with it. Fortune, or Qabalistic “doctrine” rather, seems to
be implying a rather ineffectual “god”. If god is all-powerful,
all-knowing, etc…why would god require the assistance of
anykind of evil and suffering in order to create anything?
Couldn’t the infinite, the source of all spiritual and material
existence do things differently? Perhaps not, if we consider
god from the perspective of much of the “new age”. From
that perspective, God is really nothing more than infinite
FORCE and CONSCIOUSNESS. All other spiritual and material
anifestations are simply the FORM this principle takes. This
would then place restrictions on god,which would imply that
is something beyond the control of god. Wouldn’t that “something”
then be the true all-powerful element? Or perhaps it is equal with god in some eternal dualistic sense? Or perhaps it IS merely part
of the absolute, but only the “dark side” of the absolute?

  Also, even though the Qabalistic ideas regarding the creation of
  the universe, mentioned by Fortune are not meant to be taken
  literally, they still suggest a rather mechanical Creator who has
  blunders just like human creators. This off-balance period described by Fortune implies a Creator that makes mistakes.


  So the fundamental questions remain. That is, why would a principle with the charecteristics of the absolute,according to
much new age belief, permit evil and suffering? Even if that
evil and suffering is only subjective to the being who endures
it or it is an"illusion” or “maya”. I certainly cannot answer this
question with any real degree of comfort. I can offer the solution
that I currently feel suits me the best, though.

  The absolute does not permit or restrict “evil” and “suffering”
  The absolute is infinite and any infinity devoid of the least thing
  would not be infinity. That includes evil and suffering. There is
  very well be some “part” of infinity that is entirely devoid of evil and suffering, we could call that “heaven” , if we wish. There very
well may be a part of infinity where there is nothing but evil and suffering,we could call that “hell”, if we wish. The only thing both
“places” have in common is that they are not eternal. Only the
absolute is eternal. Things may “eternally re-occur” as Nietzche
would say, but nothing is ultimately static. I don’t feel I need
evil and suffering in order to experience good and pleasure.
I do need an INFINITE VARIETY of goods and pleasures to know
good and pleasure. But alas, infinity does not and cannot work
  that way. Besides, what would happen to adventure, challenge,
  triumph,intrigue and countless other things that make existence
  the inexpressibly magical thing that it is. What would become of
  the music of Tolkien’s “Illuvatar”,(the ultimate reality in the middle-earth chronicles) music whose chief beauty lay in it’s sorrow?

    So then, is the soul or individual expression of the infinite doomed to an eternal roller coaster ride of joys and sorrows,
pleasures and pains, and good and evil? Well, it is possible but
mabye that’s not so bad. It is also possible (and this would concur
with many of the new age ideas about the matter) that the “soul”
or individual manifestation of the infinite will eventually and inevitably achieve union with the infinite source of all and thus
become one and the same with the absolute, WHILE paradoxically
and mysteriously retaining a fundamental portion of it’s individuality. Like I said in another post, even so-called
spiritual/mystical masters will not try to understand this,so
neither will I. Since the absolute is often referred to as
NO-THING, nothing can be said that will have any meaning
to us in regards to the nature of such an ineffable state of being
and/or no-being.

    You wrote

There was a time when I thought some people were ‘evil’
        judging them by acts-typically Idi Armin or Hitler but the
        word ‘evil’ seems to encourage the connection to unseen
        forces etc….the word itself is emotive and ‘old fashioned’-
        fundamental!

        I don’t think inanimate objects are ‘evil’. Earthquakes,Tidal
        waves,fires ....but dolls and statues give me the creeps.
        Seriously ‘evil’ can be everywhere if I’m in the right mindset
        or gone completely.

        As a staunch agnostic and in all good conscience, I
        personally cannot agree or disagree with you here.
        Many “new age” ideas would certainly conflict with
        your own here though. So understand that everything
        i’m about to say is from the POV of many, if not most ,
        new age beliefs. People like Hitler and Armin are simply
        those who made choices,unwise choices that their souls
        will have to answer for, by karmic retribution. They may
        have been influenced by negative “unseen forces” like
        the ones Fortune described, but only they could make the
        ultimate choice to listen, or not to listen. History shows us
        what choice they ultimately made. In occult doctrine there
        are all kinds of beings,infinite in number in both the spiritual and material realms. The spiritual beings, no matter
        how “lofty” are also evolving towards ultimate unity
        with the infinite source. Therefore, they are still
        finite and flawed entities,such as ourselves. Some
        will make unwise choices and as a result, endure
        the consequences of karmic retribution. Some have
        “fallen from grace” so far they wind up in “Hell”.
          These are “demons” or “Qlippoth” Fortune(the
          kabbalah) speaks of. Unlike the christian hell, this
          hell is not eternal(though it may last for a “grand
          cycle of aeons”) and even these lowliest of beings
          will inevitably and eventually find their way back to
          the absolute.

          So needless to say, there are entities present in
          the spiritual realm that do not have the best
          interest of mankind in mind. They could rightfully
          be called “deceivers” though we can choose
          whether or not to let them deceive us. This is
          one reason why those who practice “High Magick”
          or “Theurgy”(“god-working”) are very critical of
          spiritualists and mediums within the modern new
          age movement. Mediums and spiritualists are
          considered spiritual “novices” who foolishly
          leave themselves “open” passively to the
          deceptions of lowly and crude beings in the
          lower “astral realms”. Therefore,it is not the
          medium who is actively deceiving a client by
          claiming communications from a dead relative(though
          “high” occultists recognize,along with everyone else
          that this often goes on ofcourse).  It is rather, both
          the medium AND client who are being deceived by
          a malicious entity(or atleast a practical joker entity!!).
          I don’t want to get into how this occurs,according to
          occult beliefs, suffice to say that these are the claims.

          Again, according to much new age and occult beliefs,
          inanimate objects dolls, statues, etc…can be
          PERMEATED with “evil”. Again for reasons too
          varied and esoteric to mention here. Certain
          areas can be tainted with “evil” according to many
          beliefs as well. Both my Father and Step-Mother
          had a rather bizarre and frightening experience
          in a particular area of a forested park around
          our old home in the Nothern USA. I detailed that
          experience in my thread; “Fatima, Megjagoria ,
          What happened?”(I think it is either in the
          “Faith” or “Christianity” archives). In any case,
          if there really is no ultimate scientific explanation
          available in regards to what happened to them,
          (discounting also the possibility that it was not some
            extraterrstrial life-form,which would still fall under
            the domain of material science ) then I believe
            it is possible that they encountered one of the
            “Qlippoth” or “demons” mentioned by the Qabalah.


            According to much occult belief, Earthquakes, Tsunamis
            and other natural disasters are ultimately the result of
            “unseen forces” like the Qlippoth.(KELI-LEE-POT). Such
              forces could be acting on their own accord possibly.
            Or it may possible that they are acting from orders
            “on high”. Supposedly, even an advanced spiritual
              entity can be malevolent and simply “procrastinating”
              it’s inevitable karmic retribution by remaining one of
              obverse “gods” or “angels”(consider the biblical Satan
              or Tolkien’s “Morgoth”). I’m not sure if the Qabalah
              claims that the Qlippoth can act on their own accord.
              It may take either/both the will of the aforementioned
              Satan-like entities or some other entities,like man.
              According to what Fortune says about the Qabalistic
              philosophy, some sort of “seals” are broken and the
              “evil” accumulated in the Qlippotic realms “rises up”
              to disturb our material world. Supposedly, “black
              magicians” can and do break these seals, resulting
              in much suffering and “evil”  our world. The late
            Satanist Anton Lavey swears that he caused a terrible
            earthquake(in Mexico, I believe) the killed many. Again,
            let me emphasize that I take all of this with a huge
            grain of salt. That includes everything we’re talking
            about here, though I keep as open a mind as possible.
            I do believe in some kind of spiritual world MORE than I
            believe in a strictly material ultimate reality. I just can’t
            really say whether or not it resembles anything we’ve
            been talking about,if “it” exists at all.

            I read some of Michael Shermer’s stuff and find his ideas
            just as plausible as any. I do believe he would not define
            himself as a “material absolutist"though. To me, the
          entire topic is up in the air.I don’t agree or disagree
          with any ideas about good and evil(except more or less,
          the exoteric Judeo-Christian ones). It’s just that I find
          many of the new age ideas very fascinating and since I
          do BELIEVE (no certitudes, remember) in some semblance of a spiritual realm and/or ultimate reality, I have choosen the new age ideas that make the most sense to me,if only
          in a metaphorical way that relates processes we mortal
        humans cannot understand better using our intellects
        alone.

          As for meaning in life? Well, Snakechic first we have to
          answer the questions regarding the nature of ultimate
          reality. If ultimate reality is only material, than I don’t
        see how life can have any meaning whatsoever beyond
        the meaning that we may give it. Mabye some people
        like certain existentialists and Nietzcheans can argue
        for some abstract meaning in a cold,empty, lifeless,
        sterile, material ultimate reality, but I can’t. This is why
        I say I may be biased in beliefs regarding an immaterial
        or “spiritual” ultimate reality. The material alternative does
        not sound in the least bit appealing to me. Perhaps no more
        appealing than the Xtian eternal hellfire/tyrant god reality.
        If we did find out that there is a spiritual ultimate reality,we
        are then faced with the question of why does this self-existing, self-sustaining “thing” or “no-thing” create anything at all?
      That is another questions even “the masters” won’t attempt
      to answer with any degree of confidence. Mabye even if that
      question was answered we would still find nothing meaningful in the answer, atleast meaningful to us,if only us AS WE ARE PRESENTLY. I can’t really begin to ponder the question of
  meaning,especially ultimate meaning, it just leads to a further muddle than what i’ve already gotten myself into here. From the
length of this post, I think that would be a pacific ocean-sized
one.

  Anyway, thanks for the link, I am pretty familiar with the O.T.O
  and all the Crowlyean/Thelemic stuff. Some of it is a bit hard to
  to comprehend, but I am well-aquainted with the fundamental
  ideas and philosophy. I have also read some of Rudolph Steiner’s
  work. Though I can’t say i’ve read “philosophy of freedom”.
    From what I know, it has to do with his ideas of brain/sense-free “thinking”. I do get alot of literature mailed to me from the
  Anthroposophical Society, which Steiner founded. Their love-all-beings,eco-friendly, approach to spirituality is immensely appealing
to me. They also dovetail nicely with my usually more or less,
left-wing (not communist,mind you) but IDEAL polictical views.
Alot of it may be sentimental and unrealistic. But like Elvis Costello
sang; “What’s so funny about peace,love and understanding? I’m
just a deadhead idealist, I suppose, and a rare one since i’ve
never touched hallucinagenic or hard drugs. I suppose i’m naturally burnt LOL Anyway, I think this is way more than enough for now. I don’t even know how you or anyone else is going to be
able/willing to read all this, much less respond to it. I just can’t seem to tackle this subject in a few succinct words.
    Take Care, Landulf II

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Posted: 18 June 2005 05:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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Well, i’m glad your were impressed.
  I do the best that my limited intellect
  will permit with such a complex subject.
  I would PM you, but i’m not registered
  and I really don’t want to be anymore.

  If you are interested in looking into this subject further, permit
  me to recommend a few books I have found helpful. They can
usually be found in any “new age” section in most bookstores
If not, they can be ordered easily. I won’t list them in any
particular order of importance:
 
  1). “The Kybalion, Hermetic Philosophy”,by “Three initiates”.
  2). “The Tree of Life”, by Israel Regardie
  3). ” A Garden of Pomegranates”,by Israel Regardie
  4). ” Modern Magick”,by Donald Michael Kraig
  5). ” Ritual Magic, by Donald Tyson
  6). ” What is Occultism,by Dion Fortune
  7). ” Psychic Self-Defense”, by Dion Fortune
  8). ” Theosophy”, by Rudolph Steiner
  9). ” Do what thou Wilt, The Life of Aleister Crowley, by Lawrence
Sutin.
10).” The Confesssions of Aleister Crowley”, by Aleister Crowley
11).” Magick without Tears”, by Aleister Crowley
12).” Liber Null and Psychonaut,an Introduction to Chaos magick”,by Peter J. Carroll
13).” Book of Lies, The Disinformation Guide to Magick and the Occult”, edited by Richard Metzger
14).” The Golden Dawn”, by Israel Regardie
15).” The Black Arts”, by Richard Cavendish

  Just a small sample of what I’ve read over the years.
  There are countless decent books regarding the new
  age, mysticism, occultism,alternative spirituality,etc…
  There is also alot of garbage.If I were you i’d avoid
  the “pop mysticism” stuff that you get from the Kabbalah
  center(of Madonna and Paris Hilton fame). Stuff like that
  is usually just feel-good, watered down, junk for dilettantes.
  Many of the above deal with the questions of good and evil
  from an occult,etc…perspective in a much deeper and more logical
  manner, IMHO.

    Take care, Landulf II

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Posted: 18 June 2005 05:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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Many thanks for the list, landulf. I’ll probably check out one or two titles, but I’m about 100 times more secure in my life’s point of view than I used to be, so my interest lies more in what might be called a scholarly sense, or curiosity about ways of life that others find useful. About ten years ago, I had a girlfriend who was a witch, and she had degrees in philosophy and psychology. Ever since, I must admit to a strong attraction to the potential value of “occult” ways. I also have a good friend who’s a dominatrix—however, I doubt if I’ll ever succumb to any of that, though as an observer I do find it fascinating to see people who actually crave having pain inflicted on them. Thanks again.

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Philosophy may in no way interfere with the actual use of language; it can in the end only describe it. For it cannot give it any foundations either. It leaves everything as it is.
Ludwig Wittgenstein

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Posted: 23 August 2005 02:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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I enjoy reading the discussions on new age ideas.  I am new to studying spiritual science and have several books by Rudolf Steiner that I hope to read as time allows. 

Looking at good and evil from a new age point of view for me is basically trying to describe the opposites or the extremes of a polarity.  It is the opposition of two qualities similar to qualities such as love/hate; happy/sad; harmony/disharmony.  I think that there is more grey or more in between than the total extremes. I think there are good and there are bad things and it is with moral judgements that we try to decide what is good and what is evil.

When we look at what was viewed as good and evil even only a few decades ago compared to now it is easy to understand that evil flows out of the manner the good lives and how it is viewed or judged by society.  I think every being and every object has good and evil qualities or should one rather say positive/negative, good or bad.

Light can only shine when it penetrates darkness and good can only come to life when it penetrates it’s opposite (evil) 

True freedom is reflected in the fact that we have choices to pick between good and evil.  When we can make a choice that is the best for us regardless if it can be viewed as good or evil by society or someone else we are truly free.  Therfore I think good/bad is very individual, in the eye of the beholder and is a choice of freedom.  As long as our choices are not harmfull to our fellow human beings, nature etc.  I do not think it should matter if they are good or evil by someone’s definition.

Hope I made sense.  I am writing in my second language so therefore excuse my grammar.  I am from South Africa and have been here about 8 years. 

Belinda : :wink:

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Posted: 24 August 2005 05:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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Belinda, I think that your thoughts about evil deserve some dialoguing. Is evil something tangible? Can it be personified in actual objects or creatures? Or is evil something else—perhaps it’s a concept represented by feelings of horror persent in the person who takes the brunt of a particular harmful act? Is evil, in other words, an invention of human imagination or is it something that’s actually measurable? One last question for you to ponder: Can evil be inadvertent or is it by nature always done “on purpose”?

Sorry for piling on so many questions. Socrates would have poisoned me.

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Philosophy may in no way interfere with the actual use of language; it can in the end only describe it. For it cannot give it any foundations either. It leaves everything as it is.
Ludwig Wittgenstein

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Posted: 02 December 2005 10:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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[quote author=“MrMody”]many come from eastern Buddist and Hindu ideas. One idea is that there aren’t good or evil people, just people who commit good deeds or bad deeds.

I like the sound of this.  Still, I’d have to think on it further because it’s difficult to make a transition to that when I think of, e.g., Saddam and what he did to Iraquis, pre-war.  What would be objections to the idea that deeds are good or evil and not people?

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