Many people think both good and bad are real. I’ve even heard people say they are codependent: that you can’t know one without the other. I’m still growing in my understanding, but I’d have to say, against all indications to the contrary, that I strongly disagree.
To me, God is good, so we also can say that good itself is God. And I accept God as infinite, ever-present, and all-powerful. This means that good fills all space, so where is the presence of bad? And with good as all-powerful, what kind of clout does evil have?
I have been studying the passage from Matthew (chapter 4) where Jesus is tempted by the Devil in the wilderness. The Devil tells Jesus to jump down from the pinnacle. Please note that the Devil had no power of his own with which to simply push Jesus! He could only suggest that Jesus do something contrary to good. But Jesus was too astute and clued in to infinite good to buy those suggestions.
Jesus passed his testing in the desert in a way that the children of Israel did not. Wandering around in the wilderness, they failed their test. When tempted to break the first commandment of having only one God, they accepted devilish suggestions and started worshiping idols. Unlike the children of Israel, we have the advantage of an example in Jesus of how to pass our own testing by the Devil. How are we doing? Who remains loyal to the first commandment these days?
Just yesterday, I heard a young client, for whom all was going well, say that she was probably due for something to go wrong. I vehemently repudiate that statement! If you accept that suggestion – and because our experience mirrors our thought – you’ll unwittingly prove it to be true. But by denying that suggestion, you can put that devil-talk behind you, and be untouched by it. And by continuously demonstrating goodness in your own life, you prove it possible for everyone else as well. You are wisely accepting the infinite good available to everyone, and there is an unlimited supply of it open to all.
Lately, I’ve been tempted to be discouraged by how many seem to be worshiping idols, accepting the suggestions of the Devil, and seeming to fail their tests in the wilderness. It feels like they are bringing down the rest of us with them. For example, you can refer to the rather cynical, vitriolic poem I wrote recently of some of my concerns (click here to read it). The current move in Florida and Iowa to criminalize farm photography with up to a 30 year sentence (click here and click here) is the kind of thing I’m talking about that I find disheartening. (I mean really: let’s outlaw truth being revealed!?) Or consider the fact that more than 87% of the people don’t want GMO’s but they are being legalized right and left? Not good.
So is good governing? Or is money governing instead? Some seem to be accepting the suggestion that money is now the modern all-powerful God. The Devil offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world, but Jesus won with the answer of, “Get thee hence, Satan.” It’s not that money is intrinsically bad; it’s just that it is not what the ultimate good looks like. Neither is it the God of the universe that put the planets in their orbits, nor is it Love, or Life or Truth itself.
I believe the universe was made in oneness, wholeness, and consonance – not as a polarized dialectic where opposites contend. Concord is the motive power. Just as light obliterates darkness, harmony must trump discord, proving it powerless. Discord is actually unable to assert itself any more than darkness can flood into a bright room. Suggestions to deviate from the ultimate good are absolutely nothing unless we become complicit with them. Or in the brilliant words of a friend of mine, “Discord never exists except for a mental acquiescence in it.”
That mental acquiescence is what the tempting devil-talk is after, and while it seems easy to succumb to it, that is exactly what Jesus’ example shows us we must not do. Instead, we must cling steadfastly to the first commandment notion of one complete all-good God. Those of us with the clarity and alertness to see that, need to be asserting this powerful Truth, continually pouring it’s purifying light into all dim or dark corners. Instead of standing aghast at the machinations of evil and wringing our hands, we must mentally and spiritually renounce them as totally powerless in the face of omnipotent good.
An effective remedy is claiming God’s incredible goodness as present right where error would seem to crop up, especially in those moments of temptation when a suggestion is entertained resembling anything unlike total good for absolutely everyone. Perfect good itself is present and governing right now in the seed of each one’s thought, ready to be nurtured and defended by those who inhabit the light. Extreme good is inherent and all-powerful in every single human consciousness, even those that are seemingly misguided or misinformed. Regardless of demoralizing appearances, we need to claim the truth of everyone’s actual indwelling goodness, as well as their natural inclination toward real good itself. Then we must profoundly understand why it is so.
Are we, like my young client considered doing, going to blandly accept the inevitably of bad? It’s all around us in the common parlance. Or are we going to rise up and follow our Wayshower by responding individually and collectively, “Get thee hence!” Instead of being brought down by our unwise and beleaguered comrades in the desert, we need to stem the tide by gently holding a space for them to see the light and consensually return to honoring the ultimate, genuine good. In their deepest heart they want to. They have lost their way and we can help them home by keeping the porch light on.
Somehow, good is what’s governing. Are we doing our job of facilitating that inevitability and proving it to be true? Thank goodness, the one true God is destined to triumph.