Many religiously philosophical teachings have viewed evil as merely apparent, saying that all circumstances and happenings are actually good, but we just do not normally understand how these apparent evils are actually good in the bigger picture or in the long run. Conversely, one of the tenets of our teaching is that evil or bad happenings are quite real and not always good. The other view often applies a reasoning that God is the only Real Power, and that God is the Creator, and God in all knowing what is good, and that God must know how to achieve good, and that God is all-loving, and therefore all must be good – unless we were to deny one of those tenets above. The main problem with their reasoning is concerning their notion of power; for they tie themselves to a reasoning that if God is all-powerful then God must be all-controlling or all-directing of every circumstance, even in the specifics. This means that God must be a micro-manager of all events. But this posses a contradiction with a belief in human free will. It also contradicts that there could be hazard and uncertainty in how the world will develop or turn out in the immediate future. So it also demands a divine determinism, and often it is accompanied by a belief that everything is really perfect or the best of all possible worlds, or at least that every single event is guided by the divine intelligence of God’s mercy and love. And for this to be so, there would have to be a micro-managing of all details in the world. For how else could everything be perfect or good?

Now to help explain certain metaphysical truths about power and freedom and also evil in the world, we will make use of the spirit known as the devil or satan. What is this spirit of the devil? It is the archetypal ego. It is who we are as human egos. Now of course, the human ego is not all that bad, but it has a potential for bad, and this potential for bad is the devil spirit. Another important comment is that we can accept the devil spirit as a metaphysical reality and as a real power in the world, but without having to necessarily believe in every story or mythology concerning this devil. In this study, we are not interested in such stories and myths, but we are interested in how the devil power relates to human beings and to the world.


Let us first gain some prerequisite understanding. In the beginning, ontologically so to speak, God is the only Power and has all the Power. Then at some point, not in real time but ontologically, God’s Power is divested and spread about in limited portions, and in limited forms. God’s Power will now work through these limited forms, in limited portions. This does not mean that all through the Cosmos God must only work through small living beings. No; the cosmology is full of many levels of Power at work, through many levels of beings at work. For example, there are the Angelic powers, which emanate various qualities or kinds of Power, and which can also serve as guiding archetypes for lesser beings in the cosmological hierarchy. Satan, or devil, is one of these, but a unique one.

Imagine that each human potential, or kind of unique capability, were empowered and guided by a certain angel. So maybe there is a music capacity, a thinking capacity, a loving capacity, a teaching capacity, etc. Well then, even greater is a human’s capacity for deciding what to do, directing all parts of the self, and being an effective power in relationships and generally in the world. This is the power of the human ego, the power of self-identity and intentional self-direction. As you might see, the significance of this power is huge. It can either facilitate or destroy the other capacities. It is the captain. But a captain might be extremely wise and skillful, or a captain might be a drunk or just out to get things for himself. You see, the directing ego might be leading in a good way, or it might be leading in a bad way. When it is good we say that Christ is at the helm, but when it is bad we say it is the devil at the helm.

In occult teachings, the devil coincides with the pentagram turned downward. This is the gaze and power turned downwards towards manifestation. It is Power being directed downward into manifesting. There is nothing inherently wrong about this. Power manifesting is not at all necessarily bad. Remember who we are meant to be; we are meant to be a limited portion of God manifesting, God creating.

So the devil is this Power with a gaze turned downward to manifest. Nothing really bad about that; nothing wrong with manifesting. Yet, the devil gaze is ONLY turned downward. It never turns upward. It is always thinking, for instance, about what can be manifested. I’ll do this, then I’ll create that, then I’ll make that happen, etc. But no upward gaze at all. No thought or consideration of God, or what God would want. In fact, no real consideration about what anyone else wants but me. In other words, the spirit of this manifesting power is purely self-centered and only desiring for its own gratification or success, yet without any consideration of others, let alone God. This is the purely self-centered ego power. It is satan, devil, or whatever name is given to this.

You see the original esoteric meaning here, that satan or devil is a name given to this possible phenomena of the human ego -- when it has a particular quality of self-centeredness combined with a myopic gaze at manifesting [from this self-centeredness]. The devil’s gaze is always turned downwards and never upwards; and as well, its intention proceeds from self-centeredness and just personal desires, rather than consider the perspectives and needs of other selves. Thus, when the Cosmic Power [of God] manifests through a self-centered and limited-perspective ego self, then this is called devil. It does not have to be this way, though. God’s Power moves through many levels of limited being and limited intelligence. Thus, the Absolute Good is most usually limited (and second-rate, as it were) in all manifestations. But limitation does not have to imply a self-centeredness or selfishness. Saints manifest God’s Goodness and Mercy, although limited in their capacity to manifest. So limitation is unavoidable. But the self-centered way is avoidable.

Now the consequences of this possibility of devil at work is that bad circumstances can be created from this. God the Almighty is not micro-managing all world affairs. Human egos are also at work. Some of these egos may be working for the Good; yet some may be ignoring the Good, ignoring God, and not gazing upward at all. This is simply part of possibility. Each personal ego has a power to create circumstances, even if not for the good of the Whole. This is possibility. Or as one teaching says it; this is hazard. And this is what is meant by having the devil in this world. And know that the devil power can create circumstances that are not for the overall Good and not directed by God.

another related topic is how the devil is a power of bondage – through obsessiveness and fixed personal identification… and limited ego perspective.


Evil is relative to good, yet there is still meaning in their distinctions. In this creation of limited being, there are degrees of good and degrees of bad. That with has more good is less bad, and that with less good is more bad. Bad/evil is just the absence of good. It does not have to understood as a real force in itself. Just as we do not need to suppose that a force of emptiness is making the glass half full; emptiness is simply the as-yet-to-be fulfilled space. Imagine a universe with Light radiating out from a central source. If evil is the darkness at the furthest end of this universe, this merely means that Light has yet to fill that space. If evil is like ignorance, then evil is simply a lack of understanding. So in this meaning, if one wants to dispense with evil, the solution is to bring more Light or more understanding.

Imagine then, on one end, closest to the God-Source or to the Light, are those beings more full of Light, Love and Good, whereby the Good runs through them most strongly. On the other end of possibility, furthest away from the Light/Source, are those beings lacking in Light, Love and Good. At this end there is absence of good. We stand in between these two ends, of absolute good and absolute not-good, unless one is an absolute saint or an absolute satan. So we must discern what is more good from what is less good, which is a relative discernment between good and bad.

Yet from the widest God perspective, each being is either: following Good and coming closer to Light, or turning away from Good and moving towards evil. But if the latter is the case, then this is perceived as part of their learning process, like one might go astray as part of an eventual learning that this will lead to a dead-end. Eventually we learn that love and goodness are the only worthy ideals, and that any movements away from love and goodness will only lead to suffering. So even evil becomes a lesson, because one eventually learns from evil that evil leads to personal suffering; whereas love and goodness lead to joy. Sometimes one has to learn from mistakes, or from manifested ignorance, before one acquires knowledge and the straight path.

With this wider view, it is easier to accept people who are obviously not doing good at the time, and see what they are doing as part of a greater learning process. But this rational acceptance does not mean that we should agree with their actions, nor is this suggesting that every action is really good. People and life get hurt by evil actions, so we cannot merely categorize these actions as learning events. Thus, we need to still acknowledge that there are bad actions, which hurt others and the environment. So this view is not a justification for any actions. Nor is it an unconditional excuse, because each needs to be responsible for what they do, which includes self-responsibility for mistakes and going astray from the good. Nor does this view have to imply predestination or any sense that the person unavoidably had to do what they did. It is true that sometimes people do what they cannot help but do; but in other cases people made avoidable mistakes. Yet this view does involve forgiveness and knowing the person will eventually learn from these mistakes, even if it is in another lifetime.

From this wider perspective one understands that the possibilities of imperfections and mistakes are necessary to the greater purpose and in the unfixed, non-deterministic Process of spiritual unfoldment. Yet still, in regards to each particular moment and event, there is freedom and responsibility, and nothing necessarily has to happen as it does. This is how one can understand the wider perspective and the smaller perspective. From the wider perspective, little events do not matter much, because the bigger picture is the real importance. But from the smaller perspective, little events are important to our little lives, and each day matters a lot, just as each person matters a lot, and just as each decision and action matters a lot.

The wider perspective tends to stand above the smaller perspective and make light of what happens there; but this is not really fair, because the smaller view and the smaller events are as important as the larger ones. In fact, the larger events are composed of these smaller events, so we need to give due respect to the smaller events of life and to the more focused views and projects of our involved life. The wider view should have an automatic superior status; for the smaller, more focused perspectives and concerns are the nitty-gritty of life. Yet equally, the smaller perspective should not have precedence over the wider view, letting the smaller events of life obscure the wider perspective.

Inevitable are ignorance and its problems, as well as the light of wisdom.

These are two sides of Being-manifesting, or of Light-descending.


Two faces of the Spirit are light and darkness. Light is revealing. Darkness is veiling. But let us not get caught up in thinking that darkness means evil or something hideous. It is a shadow on the light. It is the veiling. But its purpose is not outside of the overall divine purpose. Darkness is not some immense evil force opposing to God. Rather it is part of God. In other words, darkness is an aspect of God, or the overall divine purpose, and it holds a polarizing relationship with Light. So both darkness and Light are aspects of God and divine purpose. Light awakens and reveals, while darkness brings sleep and veiling. Light is expansive and radiating, while darkness is limiting and contracting. So why would anyone choose darkness over light? Nobody would. We all naturally seek the light. We seek the light, and yet darkness is still a reality of our being and of the universe. Darkness is a reality of the physical and mental universes. This is the way it is. It is just part of the metaphysical and physical structure of reality.

The purpose of darkness is to limit and veil the One Almighty Light. This limiting of the light is necessary for there to be limited forms and limited understanding, which are necessary for there to be diversity and uniqueness in the universe. Light unifies forms into itself, like fire consuming objects. So without the veiling power of darkness, all of life would instantly be consumed by the One Light, like a great apocalypse, and this process of life would come to its end. For the process of life, or the evolutionary transformation of energies and structures, requires an interplay between light and dark, between revealing and veiling, between awakening and forgetfulness, between expansion and limitation. This is the great process we are all in. This is the interplay we are all in. And in a sense it is a play, or even a playfulness. In the tradition of Shiva, life is a play of the God-Being. They say that God is playing peek-a-boo with him/her Self. And without the shadows of hiding and veiling, this great interplay and this great process would not be possible.

So in this sense we might understand a point and purpose of darkness and all that we make antithesis to the Light. We still desire the Light, or aspire to the Light, rather than darkness; for this is natural. Yet maybe we can see a purpose to the darkness. We are all in some amount of darkness, as well as some amount of light. This is where we are now. Tomorrow, maybe we will be in more light, or maybe more darkness. Hopefully more Light, because Light is a greater experience. Yet the lesser experiences can also be purposeful. We are in some darkness right now; so what is the purpose of this? It is to experience this unique interplay between light and shadow, between revealing and veiling, between knowing and mystery, between answers and questions. And we can accept, without judgment, this present state we are in; for this is one of the unique experiences of Being, this particular blend of light and dark, of revealing and veiling. For the purpose of being here is to experience being here; being in this unique experience. Yet, we don’t really want to become stuck in just this one place. We want to move on, and in moving on we naturally are inclined to move towards greater Light rather than darkness. We know this aspiration within ourselves.


The reason for darkness is to have some amount of limitation, containment, as well as ignorance scattered all over the universe. This brings about uniqueness in both form and experience. This is also required for there to be a process towards expansion and greater knowing. If there were no limitations to experience, there could not be any breaking through or expansions of experience. If nothing were somewhat asleep to the divine reality, there could not be any awakening. There could not be any experiences of expansion or awakening. There could not be any spiritual-evolutionary process or journey to divine perfection, because everything and everyone would already be full in the Light or fully alight. So the darkness and all of its relations are necessary in the overall divine purpose, necessary in order for a process to be, and also producing unique stages and experiences along the way.

The relations of darkness, such as limitation, containment, ignorance, and all narrower experiences are also purposeful in providing contrast to the awakening and expansive experiences of Light. We need contrast in our experiences in order to develop self knowledge and world knowledge. We need to have some past experiences of darkness, of limitation and ignorance and mistaken action, in order to contrast with new insights so that we can learn. The best and truest knowledge is mostly based on learning from our experience, and much of the time this is learning from our previous ignorance and mistakes. Sometimes also we learn from other people’s ignorance and mistakes. The point here is that experiences of contrast between dark shadows and light are necessary in the process of learning and maturing.

Finally, it can be noted that our individual experiences of darkness, ignorance and limitation are useful in developing more empathy in us for those other people who get stuck in various forms of darkness. So having some experiences of darkness, helps a person have some understanding and empathy for others in their own kind of darkness, and this experience-based understanding gives the person some knowledge of how to help others stuck in similar predicaments. For since stages of darkness are inevitable in a greater learning-awakening process, the people who can best help those in such darkness are those people who have already experienced similar darkness.


Add somewhere to above: We are seeking greater Light. Darkness is actually seeking Light. And Light is bringing darkness into itself.


Darkness is not by choice. It is not where we want to be. For it is natural to seek the light, the expansion and the knowing, rather than seek darkness, limitation and ignorance. Yet darkness is an aspect of reality that we have to accept. It is an inevitable part of the greater process. So to be in life, to be alive, and to be in relationship with others, inevitably involves experiences of darkness, regarding ourselves and others. In other words, it is inevitable that we will find some degrees of darkness, limitation and ignorance in our world. Some days and in some situations we may find a lot of this darkness, while in other days and situations we may find less, but there will always be at least some degree of darkness around, in us and around us. Though too, there will always be at least some degree of light and goodness around. So both these experiences of darkness and light are always around in our reality.

So, we should accept darkness, in general, because it is an inevitable aspect of reality. We also need to accept darkness in ourselves because this is where we are at in the process. Every stage of a process has some degrees of darkness, so we might as well accept the stage where we are at. Similarly, everyone we meet will have some degrees of darkness, so we might as well accept that too; whether it be darkness of ignorance, selfishness or sickness. Nonetheless we do not need to agree to particular cases of darkness, and not all particular cases of darkness are needed.


“Lead me from darkness to Light”

Darkness means ignorance or lack of knowing, and of course Light means knowing. The human progression, advancement, or evolution is from ignorance to knowingness, from darkness to Light. Our soul knowingness begins with a tiny light, then gradually this expands. Then at some point the expanding light realizes that a much greater Light is surrounding, or that one is within a greater Light, so the way forward is much to do with opening and coming into the greater Light.

A further importance in this statement is that darkness, or ignorance, is but a stage in life. Also, darkness is relative to Light, meaning that any instance of darkness is a relative lack of Light; that is, any darkness or ignorance is some degree of Light but not much Light compared to what is greater or possible. This gives us a simple understanding of evil or badness in the world – that it is simply a lack of Light or knowingness. Badness is not intrinsic, meaning that it doesn’t have any real ultimate foundation. In other words, there isn’t any ultimate real evil power in a dualistic combativeness with the Good power, but there are instances or pockets of temporary ignorance, darkness, along the daily saga of human evolution. So what we find is bad, or evil, is but a temporary occasion of darkness, ignorance, lack of Light. It is dark and temporary, relative to the bigger picture of our human evolution. Evil is like little kids doing stupid things, due to immaturity and a lack of knowingness, but unfortunately these little kids might have enough physical, social or economic power to create harmful actions.

Consider also how we each have relative degrees of light and darkness. That is, make this a personal study, rather than just an understanding about other people.


Not everyone will be in the truth and not everyone will be in the good; sometimes this is by accident and sometimes by intention. But each decides and acts depending on their capacity and receptivity. If we view others and the world in this way, it lessens a tendency to harshly blame and judge others. So in this perspective we view others with a recognition that each is limited by their present capacity and by the stage they are on in their spiritual evolution. In this view one sees all events and persons with an understanding of that’s the way it is. You see, that’s just the way it is. One might call this the acceptance perspective. Yet this should be balanced by a spiritual idealism, which also recognizes greater potentials for intelligence and virtue. So, we can accept this present situation, or person, as ‘the way it is’; but also within this present moment are greater potentials or higher possibilities – for spiritually finer or more mature choices and actions. If we have this balance in our recognition, then we will avoid passive fatalism in the acceptance perspective.


A recognition of each according to their capacity, and the respect and patience that goes with this recognition, is consistent with emanation and process metaphysics. As the One Great Light emanates outward and manifests, there will be inevitable limitations and smaller containments of Light. Smaller containments of Light will result in lesser intelligent and lesser ethical action. Also, the further away something is from the Source, the more difficult it is to tune in and receive the Sound of Truth and Love. So there are relative limitations in everyone’s receptive capacity. Yet nothing and no one is ever completely out of range from the One Great Source, and our God-Source is continuously reaching out to everyone. Everyone may be somewhat limited in their receptive capacity, but everyone also has an inherent capacity to move closer to God and receive more of the Light and Sound of Truth.

Everyone’s understanding of truth and ethical perspective is also colored by their present conditioning and stage of spiritual maturity. Everyone is somewhat limited by these two circumstances. Everyone has at least some social/cultural conditioning, as well as a unique personal history of experiences that will inevitably condition and color their understanding. In addition, everyone is limited and colored by their unique stage of spiritual maturity, or spiritual awakening. At any one time in life, there will be some who are more spiritually awakened than others; some people will have more spiritual experience than others. For those who are less spiritually experienced, or newer on the path, they will be more conditioned and colored by ego patterns and cultural limitations. So in summary, everyone’s understanding is relatively limited by their receptivity of Light and also somewhat colored by cultural and personal conditionings.

Even spiritual realization and vision is somewhat colored by cultural background, and this coloration is one of the reasons why spiritual-religious teachings differ.


This doesn’t mean the world is perfect, just because everyone is limited by their present capacities; but it does suggest that we interact with others according to their limited understandings and not carry too high of expectation of them. This view also encourages patience and compassion. Each person needs to accept their own responsibility, in how they decide and act; yet part of the compassion we can give to others is in accepting them for their present capacity to understand the truth and emanate goodness in the world.

Now to balance this view and way of interaction, we need to also hold people responsible for their choices and actions. For it is true that a person is limited by their present capacities and understanding, yet in each present moment this person needs to realize and accept their very own responsibility – for thinking rationally, feeling sincerely, and acting in consideration of others and the environment. That is, even though each person is limited in any moment by their present capacities and understandings; simultaneously each person has an extra capacity in each present moment to realize their individual freedom to reconsider any choice or action, and to make better decisions based on more rational thinking and more caring feelings.

Also, it is everyone’s responsibility to help others realize this self-responsibility. But this is balanced by an acceptance of others, in the recognition that everyone is limited by their present capacities and understandings. And finally, it is everyone’s responsibility to teach others or help expand their capacities and understandings. Thus, we accept what is in the present moment or situation, but we also try to evolve the person or situation to a higher stage, a better understanding and a higher ethic.

make sure that freedom is inherent in the truth of that’s the way it is; otherwise it is determinism.


..even in realization and expression, one is limited by capacity and also colored by culture and understanding.


Zoroaster ; Light and Dark ignorance and the absence of light.

Welcome the Light coming from the Cosmic Dimension of Mind. In one sense, Light descends into mind; yet in another sense (of experience) the Light just emerges from each point. Light heals us by purification. Light obliterates illusions and obscurations. And Light also brings true seeing and intelligence.

Zoroaster reminded people of the struggle between Light and Dark. This was a very arcane teaching, and it is perennial in most spiritual teachings. Some attempt to deny the Dark or to say that it is merely an illusion. There is some truth in this non-dualistic view, but in reality there is always some Dark in any moment and any place, so it’s not merely an illusion or false view. This is a tricky topic to discuss.

The esoteric meaning of the Dark is ignorance. But there really is no actual essence of ignorance. Rather, ignorance is simply a lack of knowing, just as darkness is simply a lack of Light. Ignorance in ourselves or in the world has a very definite effect on how things happen or what people decide to do; so in this sense, ignorance cannot just be dismissed as an illusion. We also can notice what could be called evil in the world, which is an extreme degree of ignorance in action, meaning an extreme degree of Darkness or not knowing. So the meaning of evil has the some kind of anti-property as ignorance and darkness. It does not have actual existence in itself, but instead it is an effect of an absence of knowingness and lovingness.

Now if can understand ignorance and evil (or badness) as two related kinds of Darkness, we then might understand how to deal with it. And remember that this does have to be dealt with, rather than just ignored or dismissed, because it won’t just go away on its own. Darkness will persist, if nothing is done about it. So what to do is to bring Light into it. Bring consciousness, knowingness and lovingness into this absence of Light. Then the darkness simply disappears. Do not give it any energy of agreement, as if it is something real on its own. Instead, always see any darkness as merely an absence of Light. Likewise, we might see any depression as a lack of love. It is not useful to actually fight the darkness, because this tends to give it a substantiality that it doesn’t really deserve. Instead, just bring in Light to end the darkness.

So metaphysically, there is a struggle between Light and Dark. But we might better view this as a Process between Light and Dark. The Unfolding Process of Existence begins with darkness (though Light eternally exists in Essence), and gradually this darkness is obliterated with Light. But the Light penetrating darkness takes time. This is the Spiritual Process and what is also called the Great Transformation. Gradually, and eventually, the Light wins.


So now we might see a symbolic meaning of Satan or Lucifer. Satan means an opposing force, or adversary. Lucifer means Light bearer. These two names are usually thought to be the same actual entity, but some think otherwise. What is odd to common sense is why a Light bearer would be considered an adversary to God. Actually, Lucifer is the fallen Angel of Light. The Light of God/Being has fallen; it has fallen (or better said, descended) into this world and, in this process, the Light becomes relatively obscured or darkened. So Lucifer can be interpreted as Light fallen into darkness, or as Light descending into manifestation and thus becoming relatively obscured. This darkness in the world and in people, to relative degrees, is really a necessary and unavoidable consequence of Light descending into the world, or of God/Being differentiating into manifestation. Once there is differentiation and individuation, there is an unavoidable and necessary consequence of relative darkness, relative ignorance, and relative separation. Understand this. This is the cause of evil, mistakes, stupidity, corruption, etc. This is the cause of egocentricism and ego pride, all essentially caused by the Light having to constrict itself into relatively separate entities, each limited in knowing and in Light. Lucifer is the power of this egocentricism and ego-pride, fueled by relative darkness. So, in some respect, each of us is Lucifer, the fallen Angel of Light, now trapped in our relative darkness or ignorance of God, and unfortunately opposing God (as Satan) in some way by our egocentricism and selfish desires. Religion, in its truest meaning as a returning to the One, is the Way out from Satan-Lucifer, and also the way for Lucifer to return Home.


Definition of and problem of evil:

If Light and Good are virtually not there, then we call this extreme state ‘evil’. But generally speaking, what we might call evil could be caused by extreme selfishness, confusion, sickness, immaturity, or harmful intent. If we want to get really picky about evil, we might include all thoughts that are not good and all unjustified anger.

Evil is because of a lack of love and intelligence – that is REALLY in us – as it is the reality of Divine that is through us.


If Light and Good are virtually not there, then we call this extreme state ‘evil’. But generally speaking, what we might call evil could be caused by extreme selfishness, confusion, sickness, immaturity, or harmful intent. If we want to get really picky about evil, we might include all thoughts that are not good and all unjustified anger.


evil is partly caused by self-autonomous narrow self-interest and partly caused by accidental unintentional sickness (as part of possible hazard or chance miscues in the creative evolutionary process)


evil is a possible outcome of the cosmic process of learning and exploration. But also of exaggerated self-desire and lack of concern or sympathy for others.