Conscience, Goodness, and Evil


What would you say if I told you, “I don’t believe in a continuous state of peace. In effect, there’s no war, and peace doesn’t exist. Even if the place we call Earth is real, the life on it is completely virtual.

Alright, alright! Each of you has something to say in your own way, and there’s nothing more natural than that after all. This is what we call being human. We all learn different things, and we all have, among all that accumulated knowledge, some things we accept as a fact and embed in our lives, as well as some things we reject and brush off.

As it happens, the game that’s called life is jammed into an equilateral triangle. The top vertex is made up of conscience. Goodness occupies the lower, right corner while evil rests in the lower, left corner.

Take a good look around yourself. Films, theatrical plays, novels, and authentic life stories—whatever they may be—all pace back and forth between these three vertices. If you attempt to remove one of them, the entire plot collapses, and all the amusement in life ends. We then have neither a story to write nor an emotion to voice. The resulting quake jolting your thoughts would also turn your hormonal balance upside down. Everything we once labeled as good or bad would crumble, and we would all find ourselves stricken in a void.

Now, let’s try to steep ourselves in this subject.

A “good and conscientious” man is one that acts to our liking, while an “evil and remorseless” man acts opposite to this. In a word, we have descended from either Cain or Abel.

Incidentally, as attentive eyes immediately see, your conscience is not independent at all. Its power is provided by your behaviors and choices. In fact, each of these is dependent on the other. When one scales up, the other also scales up, and all scale up as a result.

So, what if we remove the conscience, which fluctuates according to your deeds, from this trio? Everyone—parents and teachers in particular, who profit from our struggle to keep ourselves in order—would lose their key weapon. Consider a legion of parents and teachers unable to burden their charges with any kind of guilt. If they cannot burden them, they cannot rule them. They know this, so they make a point of teaching you to have a strong sense of conscience. Don’t be fooled when you hear them say it’s for the common good.

You can rest assured that the real motive is to run the show.

What would happen if you don’t have a sense of conscience?

You mother would not be able to tell you things like, “Listen, if you don’t do such and such, you won’t get my blessing.” Your father would not be able to burden you with the likes of, “I’ve done everything I could for you, now you should repay the favor by doing such and such.” Your teacher would not be able to embarrass and humiliate you in front of your friends with nips like, “You just monkey around while your parents strive for you with everything they have. You should be ashamed of yourself!” When you don’t want to do something for your friends, they would not be able to say, “What kind of friend are you. I ask you to do something for me once in a blue moon, and you won’t even do that.”

So, these people lose the opportunity to work and knead you as they like. Of course, as a parent, educator, or friend yourself, you think you don’t try to oppress others. Your hand has an exterior as well as an interior, and everything you deem real will be equally real for others as well. You may not like it, but that’s the situation.

If conscience were to die out, true chaos would emerge, and everyone would start recklessly doing everything they wanted to without considering the consequences. The preceding discourse might or might not be true. More likely than not, what forces people toward a state of chaos might very well be feelings of having restricted boundaries and resources. A realization that resources are not actually restricted might charm away all manner of egocentric behaviors. No one would hesitate to share their abundant resources, so theft, falsehood, and deception would disappear just like that. 

Well then, let’s delve further into this. Imagine you took goodness out of life such that there isn’t such a thing, and there never had been. Conscience will then spontaneously die out because it doesn’t have a meaning anymore. In the meantime, no one can recognize evil because there’s nothing to contrast it to. 

Suppose we lived in a world with no concepts of goodness and conscience at all. Maybe no one would want to attack others, take their belongings, and trample over them. Let’s alternatively assume the much-feared chaos has really occurred, and everyone is raping each other materially and spiritually. The most powerful seize the properties of others and try to end their lives, but so what? People won’t see this as bad because they think it’s normal. Everyone is behaving the same after all, so under these circumstances, they won’t feel any distress. Like I said, life is just a virtual thing. You just observe the results according to your viewpoint.

Coming to the other side of the story, let’s picture a world where evil doesn’t exist and everyone tries to give help and resources to others. In such a world where the opposite is totally unrecognized, what could such great amounts of goodness contribute and to whom? If no one is conscious of what they give or take, it shows goodness won’t allow any other emotions to spring forth.

The spiritual community uses the term playground to define the Earth. This conveys that all entities coming to this planet have to play their parts, which could be given to them or chosen by themselves, on a giant stage. The stage is set, and the outline of the plot is perfectly defined, but the rest is just a form of improvisation. You develop the play according to how you feel. You’re just like an actor leaving the stage when you take your final breath. The play continues, but you don’t have a part in it anymore. What remains is your lingering image in the minds of others and what people attribute to this image based on what you did. Some of them will call you a good actor and remember you with love and respect, while others will recall you as a mediocre or maybe even bad actor and talk badly of you.

It doesn’t matter if you played the hero or the villain. Considering it from this point of view, it’s how you played your role that matters rather than what the role actually was. Your rating depends on that. If you pulled off the role without a hitch, you may get to take on a more important role next time, but if you failed it, you may very well have to repeat the same role on a different stage with different actors.

Now think about this: Could you create an entirely peaceful world? If you could, would it be any fun? Would an uninterrupted state of peace have any meaning for a child who doesn’t know about the notion of war?

Come on, friends! Let’s be honest with ourselves. We have fun with this sense of separation, and for this very reason, we avoid absorbing the energy of oneness. If we didn’t, the world would have become a peaceful paradise a long time ago, or our spirits would have stayed wherever they were before and continued enjoying themselves there.

We love this triangle. We become angry with people who try to push the limits and approve of those who head for the crowded parts of it. We loathe people living near the limits, particularly those who try to push beyond them. In fact, we even sometimes tell them that they’re sick.

I’ve been asked this question many times: “Now that you think like this, why don’t you try to take part in the illuminated side of life or enhance it?”

Primarily, I was not always a person who tried to radiate light. Even though my life has usually fit into the definition of a good guy, I have made a lot of mistakes. Even when I kept telling myself, “Why did I do that? It wasn’t what I meant to do,” every time I did any wrong, I still continued making mistakes over and over again, and I couldn’t help it.

I start to understand a little now. Or maybe, just like other people, I’m using pretexts to avoid being crushed under the weight of my own deeds. However, in my understanding, I must bear similar energies within myself to be the person I am today and have an understanding of those who decide to consult with me.

I may have made many mistakes at times that were probably due to my lack of knowledge and understanding of others, or maybe I was trying to prevent myself acquiring too many fears. I’ve hurt some of my friends. I’ve lied and gossiped about them. I played a friend’s boyfriend against her. I grabbed another friend’s boyfriend for myself. There are too many to recall…

I’ve reached this state from there because I realized it was much easier to be up here. I realized true goodness can emerge, even within all the elements of provocation. I sat up and took notice of that being able to preserve goodness can provide a stable illumination despite those factors.

There’s a clear difference between a hermit living in a mountain cave and an illuminated city dweller. In places such as mountain caves or monasteries, places where no provocation is to be found, people don’t have to listen to the conscience on the top of the triangle to choose between good and evil. Life is simple and easy there. Either your meals are restricted by the environment, and you don’t have a choice other than to be content with what you have at hand, or you consent to follow what someone else has decided for you. In short, you don’t have to make a choice about even your food. There is usually no evil in such places, and you’re unable to differentiate between true good and true evil because you’re not subject to any difficult choices.

The factor needed for you to commit evil is to feel fear. It could be fear of starvation, fear of being lonely, fear of being unloved, fear of earning disfavor, and so on. The horrible sequences on people’s minds when they are used to living among the crowds are too numerous to be counted. Whereas a sole person fears hunger or death at the utmost, because he doesn’t have much else to do, he clings to prayer or meditation so he can presumably realize how groundless these fears are. Monasteries usually teach people how to overcome these fears. They tell them of the importance of sharing and teach them how to be tight-knit families in the midst of such poverty and neediness. It’s easy to live as you’ve been told to when no other way is known to you.

But what you gain may not last that long. There are many stories about people who get off their high horses when faced with provocative factors, such as vegetarian Shaolin monks suddenly becoming cattle farmers, Catholic priests caught in homosexual acts, and cult leaders who control women so much as to make them kiss their genitalia or participate in orgies. There are many other similar tales, even if they don’t always reach our ears.

On the other hand, we can assume those who have to share a city with all the other inhabitants— who try to love rather than fear, despite the guilt imposed on them by their mothers, fathers, teachers, and friends—have a lot harder time of it.

These people are obliged to stay with love and be able to reveal their own illuminated sides in addition to pleasing their surroundings and making up for their parents’ deficiencies. They have to balance themselves despite the provocation. All those things together seem compelling.

However, they could easily intimidate and suppress other people, and seemingly struggle less with them, if they allowed themselves to be captured by their fears, behave aggressively, and externalize their darker sides. It’s like things would get easier that way, wouldn’t they?

I’m not forgetting that I’ve just said it’s easier to be a good person, but do remember that when you’re good, a few of the people around you are actually your friends, always putting a good word in for you and blessing you. Each of those blessings sticks to your energy field and makes it shine brighter. You start to experience the feeling of love that increases with every moment. You see? It’s too easy.

The closer you get to what isn’t good, the more your circle changes. You become used to living with ephemeral relationships rather than real friendships. When you get closer to the left side, you realize how the words used about you behind your back, or even to your face, are also getting closer to it. The fear increases so much that your best friend, or even your brother, transforms into someone who is unreliable, giving you a concern of betrayal that bothers you day and night. Some people wish you ill, and these ill wishes also stick to your energy field and magnify the darkness that it already bears. You start to experience the feeling of fear that increases with every moment. You see now that it’s not easy at all?

Oh, and people think that all the noise suddenly cuts out when they die! It hardly does if you ask me. Because we believe the universe is actually holographic and death just applies to the physical body, the machine that bears the soul in this world, I don’t think the situation can end just like that. The elders must also have been thinking this way, because they were very keen on saying prayers in the names of the dead and repeating the same ritual on each and every annual commemoration.

Take Adolf Hitler for example. Barring some extremists, not one person cherishes his name, even after all the years since his death. Instead, the world’s people mostly still condemn his memory. Now look at those who have provided critically important services to humanity. I’m talking about those who still enjoy people’s blessings on a daily basis here. These are people who were regarded on a prophetic level and able to influence all people like the prophets Muhammad, Moses, and Jesus. They are people who achieved phenomenal success in sciences, such as Aristotle, Pythagoras, Galileo Galilei, and Leonardo da Vinci. They are people who worked miracles in arts and music, like Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Renoir, Van Gogh, and many, many more.

I’m talking about these marvelous human beings so much that no war will ever be able to erase their names from history and deprive them of the blessings they receive. Do you think they were ever concerned with doing favors or listening to their consciences? I don’t think so. They merely played their parts well, and in a sense, they achieved immortality.

Don’t forget you also want to shoot a movie, write or act in a play, mingle with the entertainment types, or tell some kind of story to the world. That’s why you’re here after all. It doesn’t matter which, but if you were to take one element out of the triangle, you would have to give up on this very desire.

The subject boils down to the point of free will. Choose to go down in history either like Hitler or like Atatürk. Neither the world nor your inner circle will be hot about it, but what will be said of you when you pass away, or even when you’re still alive, will only interest you at the very edges. Just take a step back and consider your choices. You can go through the stage without ruining the triangle yet expanding its limits little by little. You then accordingly register at either the left or the right side of “the book of the immortals.”

As I said before, you cannot actually spoil the triangle. When you try to expand one side, there will always be someone at the other end doing the exact opposite for the sake of balance. In this case, regardless of which side you are on, you are obliged to equally shoulder the responsibility for the other side as well. Who knows, perhaps the fact that most people know this much is actually what forces people to live like sardines inside the triangle.

On my own behalf, I make a point of persisting on the right side and accept responsibility for my deeds. I know my kindness can very well be the reason for someone else’s misdeeds, though, and so be it! The fun and the knowledge of it will grow, and maybe then the dream of humanity leaving the realm of duality and approaching the energy of oneness will finally become real. I hope you enjoy the play.

Leave a Reply