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Evil Is as Good as Good
Doug: Hi there, Daniel. I have a long-winded question that has been bothering me a bit. I was wondering if you could shed a bit of light on it. So, Isvara and its creation is perfect, all appearances to the contrary. Doug is absolutely at the whim and fancy of Isvara, and so practicing karma yoga and discrimination is essential to let Isvara do Doug (or any other jiva) and not superimpose Isvara on awareness.
Daniel: Isvara will do Doug whether he is doing karma yoga or not. But karma yoga will most definitely help Doug out when Isvara decides to hand out some whippings (unfavourable outcomes viewed by Doug). ☺
Exactly! And because Doug – and everything else – is absolutely at the whim and fancy of Isvara, all that’s left to do is to deal with Doug’s own little “jiva package.” Do what is appropriate to Doug’s nature; follow svadharma in the karma yoga spirit. This is the foundation in preparing the mind fit for liberation.
Doug: At the same time racism, sexism, famines, sex trade, etc. is all Isvara. All the nasty adharmic stuff is Isvara. Now if the creation is perfect, I infer (not sure if this is correct) that racist acts, famine, rape, etc. have a purpose.
Daniel: From Isvara’s perspective everything is good – because everything that exits is just Isvara. Actually, there is no such thing as a “good” or “bad” outcome. There is only the non-personal dishing out of results according to the needs of the total. This whole creation is a self-equilibrating system. The good, the bad and the ugly all play their fair role.
Awareness in association with maya is referred to as Isvara, or “God,” the creator, preserver and destroyer of the objects in the dharma field. I suggest that you further explore this topic. Here is a super link on the subject of Isvara jiva jagat and the gunas: ShiningWorld.com/site/files/pdfs/publications/articles/Isvara_Jiva_Jagat_and_the_Gunas.pdf
As James once said, thinking it is bad or good is the problem. Karma does not know what you want. It impersonally delivers results on the basis of the gross and subtle actions, which are in turn the result of other gross and subtle actions, which are in turn the result – it goes on mindlessly, ad infinitum. Sickness and health are the result of karma. Is health good and sickness bad? Maybe. Maybe not. How do you evaluate things in the karma world, in maya?
Doug: Even though there is tons of apparent suffering, from the self’s point of view nothing is happening. Moreover, even in the apparent reality, the truth is that there is no “person” there, it’s just the three bodies reacting to vasanas.
Daniel: Exactly. You summed it up well. I would just add the gunas to the mix.
The creation comes into existence with the emergence of the three gunas: sattva, tamas and rajas. As the components that make up the dharma field, the gunas govern the creation of everything. This includes the vasanas and the individuals’ svadharma, giving rise to “their” conditioning. Here is a link that further briefly covers this topic: NonDoodle.com/funny-truth/extended-topics/
Doug: So, in the USA there’s always been tons of rhetoric about the scourge of racism and how unfair it is. At the same time I infer that perhaps many minorities’ plights are partly the cause of their own minds and reaction to the world around them. Certainly there’s racist vasanas, let’s say against blacks, but at the same time much of their karma means that those actions will happen to them. Moreover, it seems possible that, let’s say a white racist could be reborn as a black person living in a ghetto if karma and rebirth is a great equalizer.
Daniel: There is also the topic of free will. But I won’t go too much into it. Humans are the only beings that have problems. This is because they have an intellect that offers them the ability to make choices. With this said, when self-ignorance is dense, then the action figure (person) will be committing stupid adharmic things left, right and centre. The intellect also allows us to compare.
“About the topic of karma even sages are perplexed.” ~ Bhagavad Gita.
Doug, this island is nothing but an impersonal karmic machine. I suggest that you simplify your investigation about the karma, trolls, racism, rapes and ghettos, etc. – and redirect your attention back to self-inquiry – back onto yourself, awareness.
Rather set your attention into the investigation of that which knows Doug and his feelings towards the nasty stuff. Are you, awareness, feeling overwhelmed or affected by the nasty stuff in anyway? Nope.
Your job is not to save the world. Your job is qualify yourself for the assimilation of self-knowledge – liberation.
Doug: This understanding could easily fall into some sort of Biblical judgement kind of thinking, and indeed it could be a hiding place for unpurified rajas and tamas, so a wiser interpretation would be to see everyone as the self and know that each jiva has to work out their own karma.
Daniel: I like what you said: “…each jiva has to work out their own karma.” Everything in and about creation is perfect to you, awareness. Why? Because you are totally unconcerned and see everything neutrally. Nothing affects or sticks to you or more accurately, to you, awareness; nothing has happened, is happening or will happen.
If there is a romantic couple making love under the sunset, fine. If there is a racist rapist aggressively violating a woman under the sunset, fine too.
Doug: I still can’t seem to accept the evil that happens around me.
Daniel: Chapter XI of the Gita presents the self in its creative aspect as a cosmic universal person, someone that is both wonderful and terrifying, the idea being that the devotee should love the ugly, angry, fearful parts of his or her self, and accept the evil in the world as an inevitable consequence of self-ignorance. The holy parts of one’s self are easy to love, but the dark parts are less so. As long as differences exist in the devotee’s mind, love is conditional.
Doug: In the end, this stuff doesn’t really matter, because everyone is the self. Moreover, thinking feeling and acting as if (or with the knowledge that) all is the self is the best way to treat everyone around you. I am trying to understand more deeply how Isvara may view the situation.
Daniel: Isvara ain’t viewing anything, but rather just dishing out accordingly. Like James Swartz once said, “evil” is simply just ignorance of Isvara, i.e. dharma. If you understand that you are awareness in more than a purely intellectual way, your jiva will appreciate Isvara and align itself with the dharma field (Isvara) in such a way that unnecessary conflict will disappear. Unnecessary conflict is conflict born out of gratuitous likes and dislikes. It does not serve the evolutionary needs of the total. Of course conflict will not be eliminated, because creation does not work without the rajas guna.
Doug: Thanks again!
Daniel: I will finish up by saying this: Doug has nothing to worry about. What happens is out of Doug’s control. The “evil” stuff is as good as the good stuff! On this apparent island of duality, where there is clarity (good), there is ignorance (dark). Evil is just a dramatic-sounding synonym for ignorance.
Do your little duty, Doug, and take it easy. ☺