The Nature of Evil

Timothy DD. Harris, R.O., B.A.

To understand the concept and origin of evil, it is necessary to understand creation. The material universe which includes life, matter, and energy, is Spirit. God is an infinite living mind, which, as it states in Acts 17:28, " For in him we live, and move, and have our being." As certain also of your own poets have said, "For we are also his offspring." Simply stated all that exists is God.

Society "is still held in the grip of an erroneous and stultifying idea that evil can be eliminated and goodness enthroned by force or by compulsion in one form or another: in short, that men can be made "good" either by God, the Divine Law, or by some person possessing Godlike power."(1) This concept lacks the fundamental reality that humanity was made in the image and likeness of God, having free will.

"Free will of action is a reality with which even God will not interfere: and goodness must come from within and cannot be forced - only suppressed - from without."(2) Free will is what distinguishes humanity from the angels. It is this faculty which makes humanity a creator.

In Genesis we find the nature of man when it was written,

"Gen 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.


Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."(3)

Man/Woman were created gods having dominion over all of the earth. For man/woman to realize their godhood it was necessary that they fall into matter to have dominion over it.

In Genesis we find the account of the fall or birth of man/woman into matter. This account is written thus,

"And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed."(4)

In Genesis we find the allegorical story of the inception of evil when it is written,

" Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat."(5)

This story attributes the origin of evil to a serpent. "The serpent of the garden of Eden is sense consciousness. It may also be called desire, and sensation, or the activity of life in an external expression, apart from the source of life."(6) Thus when man/woman entered the physical body they were subject to the consciousness produced by the senses. This consciousness caused humanity to fall asleep to their divinity. This consciousness has been associated with lustful expressions of life.

All creation is subject to the law of cause and effect. Every cause has its effect, and every effect has its cause. It is humanities own actions which bind them to or free them from the wheel of karma. Jesus stated this principle when he said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin."(7) Because of this law ancient mystics have taught that evil is nothing more than good misunderstood. Evil is the word live spelled backwards.

There is only one power in creation and that is God. Jesus expressed this fact when he said, "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:"(8) Thus creation is not a divided house, but one house with one power.

"The elimination of evil will not begin in law, by edicts, by compulsion, or by any other methods so far tried - although it may be somewhat controlled - but will have its beginning in an individual who has become conscious that, like virtue, goodness has and is its own reward; and gradually, in good time, will bring to such an individual all good things. The individual must also realize that although evil is a universal habit, he is not excused for doing as others do."(9)

This world is a direct reflection of the inward state of humanity. This world will change one person at a time. To begin this change it is necessary to follow the ancient teachings. To this end Jesus stated, "Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?"(10)

The concept of an evil power and a black brotherhood is nothing more than a creation of the serpentine consciousness. It is not now nor has it ever been real. Each individual is self responsible, this is the eternal law. This is why the old school at Delphi had written over the entrance "Man know thyself."



End Notes

1. Dr. R. Swinburne Clymer, The Great Work Spiritual Initiation (Philosophical Publishing Company "Beverly Hall", 1961) 131.

2. Ibid., 131.

3. Genesis 1. 26-27 KJV

4. Genesis 2. 7-8 KJV

5. Genesis 3. 1-6 KJV

6. Metaphysical Bible Dictionary (Unity School of Christianity, 1931) 584

7. John 8. 34 KJV

8. Matthew 12. 25 KJV

9. The Great Work Spiritual Initiation. 133

10. Matthew 7. 1-3 KJV