In the article “Cosmo-ethics”, from January of 2017, it was stated that “cosmo-ethics adds the word “cosmo” (from cosmos) to the concept of ethics reflecting a more universal perspective of ethics. From a cosmo-ethical perspective, the common good and all living beings must be taken into consideration, the balance and sustainability of all there is must be taken into consideration. All actions must be evaluated from their consequences to all (including all living beings) and everything (the cosmos).”
Two points developed in that article might be relevant to note here as well. They are:
- Your consciousness level is you at an essential level, despite of your culture and much beyond your personality. It is the development you have achieved as an individual intelligence throughout your history and that can then be defined as your personal attributes which should be expressed regardless of place and time.
- At our present consciousness level, we sometimes still need hardships to learn about ourselves and actualize who we are. The challenges we face put us in contact with our own imperfections, allowing us the opportunity to operate self-actualizations that will lead us to a greater connection with ourselves and the cosmos. For an enlightened soul, any burden is light, all challenges are easy. So, at our present consciousness level, hardships are still necessary as not to let us stagnate or fall into pretentious illusions that the work has been completed. There is nothing like chaos to show us who we really are.
So, picking up from there, I invite you to engage with me on a deeper conversation on the nature of Good and Evil and the supposed War among those “forces”. Please understand that the early part of this article introduces multiple concepts as it is necessary to approach the subject from a different perspective as to arrive at a different end-result. As soon as those concepts are developed, I believe the article will have the opportunity to truly reveal its value and inspiration.
We should start with an excerpt of the Spirits’ Book, by Allan Kardec. In this work, Kardec asks the egregora that identified itself as “Spirit of Truth” the following:
“Question 115. Are some spirits created good and others bad?”
‘God created all spirits simple and unlearned, meaning lacking all wisdom. God has given them each a particular mission, to enlighten them and help them gradually reach perfection through the knowledge of the truth, and rise closer to Him. In that perfection they will find eternal bliss without any troubles. Spirits acquire knowledge by experiencing the trials inflicted by God. While some accept these trials with resignation and arrive at their destiny more quickly, others are defiant and remain far from the perfection and happiness promised to them through no fault other than their own.’”
Kardec seeks confirmation of the understanding of such explanation, stating:
“According to this statement, spirits are like children when they are born, unaware and without experience. However, gradually, they acquire the knowledge that they lack by experiencing the different phases of human life.
[and receiving the following answer:]
‘Yes, that is a fair comparison. Rebellious children remain ignorant and imperfect; how much they benefit depends on their obedience. A person’s life has an end, while that of spirits extends beyond infinity.’”
The theological and moral consequences of this paradigm are very profound and involve a myriad of elements, but I’d like to highlight one in particular: the shift from a heteronomous morality to an autonomous one. Let me explain what I mean in greater detail. Heteronomy is a concept of practical morality introduced by Jean-Jacques Rousseau to describe actions influenced by a force outside the individual; in other words the state or condition of being ruled, governed, or under the sway of another. It is the counter/opposite of “autonomy”, which is the capacity to make an informed, un-coerced decision. All major religious traditions are founded on the concept of heteronomy expressed through a few mechanisms. The first if the concept of degradation of the soul – that is, we were created perfect and in harmony with all there is, but for some reason distanced ourselves from this sublime state. Whether the idea is expressed as Adam and Eve being punished with their expulsion from heaven for eating the forbidden fruit and transferring this original sin to all of their offspring or, in Eastern tradition, as the falling of souls who distanced from perfection into in the Wheel of Samsara for as many reincarnations as needed for their complete redemption, the idea is the same – we were created perfect but fell into imperfections. But, if god is perfect, then all of its creations are perfect – any imperfection would denounce a failure on its part. So, how can we be god’s creation and still not perfect? Here’s where the concept of autonomy becomes key! If created as a finished work, we would have no merit in our perfection and arguably no free will or individualization. We would be something like a “perfect robot”. But instead, we are perfectible, arriving at this end goal through our own merit.
So with this conceptual adjustment, our obvious moral imperfections do not constitute argument for the inexistence of god. Instead, it further confirms its superior intelligence for not letting free consciousness reach perfection without merit. Perfection is a state achieved through the autonomous effort and development of each and all of us, not an attribute given to us by god! It also addresses some other heteronomous mechanisms expressed in most religious traditions, such as a rigid ethical code and the idea of punishments and rewards for those who do not follow this code. If we evolve from the state of simplicity and ignorance to a state of moral, emotional and intellectual perfection than it is clear that such codes are simply crotches we need along this path. And then, an important debate at this point is the idea of Good and Evil beyond religious terms. What can we as rational spiritualists or as simply ethical people understand as Good and Evil?
The ideas expressed from this point on were inspired in a lecture from Juliano Pozati. Now that our conceptual framework has been developed, those terms can be objectively defined as:
- What is Good? Wisdom, Integration, Unity with god’s creation, Unity with the cosmos, Harmonious respect to cosmo-ethics, Sublime peace and justice, Unconditional love, We, Us, All.
- What is Evil? Ignorance, Separation, Individualization, Isolation, Selfishness, Disrespect to cosmo-ethical principles, Inequity and injustice, hatred, I, Me, Mine.
You see, all the attributes used to describe “Good” are related to the concept of wisdom, integration, unity and harmony with the cosmos. All attributes used to describe “Evil” are related to ignorance (emotional, intellectual and moral), individualization and separation – which can be expressed as selfishness, bellicosity, prejudices, hunger for power, corruption, etc. Evil is all of that which disrespects cosmo-ethical principles, causing discord and separation. It is the “self” which ignores to be part of a larger reality, seeking to fulfill its perceived wants and needs at any cost to all else. All expressions of evil are expressions of ignorance – ignorance to the natural laws that brings balance and harmony to the cosmos. Think about those concepts and key words identified to provide a better idea of Good and Evil and you will notice that they mutually support each other. Good is all of that which integrates, which aggregates, which embraces diversity and expands in harmony with nature. Isn’t all of this attributes of love itself? Good is wisdom to understand limitations, personal and external (on others). Without knowing ourselves we can’t make much progress in our evolutionary path (at least no conscious and pointed progress). Without putting ourselves in the shoes of others, it is very difficult to be compassionate, very difficult to contribute to bringing their bloodspots of darkness into the light. Love is wise and love brings all together. Love does no harm… so that it is a paradox to even consider a war between forces of light and darkness, good and evil. Those terms simply indicate two extremes and none of us are in any of them as human consciousnesses – none of us.
Life then in the history of our consciousness is simply a small, very small step towards a state of greater wisdom, greater ethics, and greater communion with the whole. It is a small, very small departure from the state of greater ignorance, moral corruption, and greater sense of self-centrism and loneliness.
The ideas expressed here may have something to do with what Jesus wished to express with the following statements:
“If a kingdom is divided against itself, it cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, it cannot stand.” (Mark 3:24-25)
“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (Luke 11:23)
Now, let’s bring the wisdom shared by this article into practical work you can do in your life – in the relationships you maintain and the thoughts and actions you choose to embrace. Are you, through your daily actions, seeking unity and integration (even with those that do not think alike) or separation and discord? Do you often express dualistic paradigms such as “us vs. they”? In your search for peace and justice, do you often see those who think differently from you as enemies? Do you often work to drive your agenda, your beliefs as if you (alone or as part of a small group of individuals) could draft the way all peoples (present and future) could live in harmony? How much do you put yourself on the shoes of others and, in light of the concept of good developed in this article, can truly be considered a “light worker”? It is paramount we give up on the pretentious fantasy of being a sole expression of light and start accepting that in our present consciousness state we still manifest (all of us, without exception) great darkness. If you want a better world, a better future, then develop your competence to express greater light, greater “good”. Be a force for harmony, integration and wisdom. Rid yourself from your self-centeredness, aggression and moral corruption.
The examples of Jesus, Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King show that darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Only from a state of wisdom and seeking integration, one can find itself and lead others towards light. Their examples are still followed by many, sometimes rather unknown, simple individuals these days. I finish this article then, leaving you with the example of Daryl Davis, a man who through love, wisdom and seeking integration has led over 200 KKK Klansmen to give up their robes.
Be light, be love, be wisdom, be unity and integration – and share this article if you’d like the content to reach others!!