(Originally published 06/08/13 at Trojan Horse Productions. Republished here 10/30/13.)
In recent days, I’ve spent much time trying to sort out my understandings of Good and Evil, order and chaos, darkness and light. I read a lot about Zoroastrianism, wanting to be sure my thinking isn’t “dualist” like that religion. On 06/11/13, I wrote:
Like Manichaeism, a truly false religion, Zoroastrianism emphasizes a conflict between Good and Evil, which is absent from my thought. I prefer to think of something more like Yin/Yang.
Yin and Yang are both necessary, and alternate but don’t necessarily conflict. Yet the traditional concept of them also errs, trying to connect that same dichotomy to almost every other one imaginable:
|hot and cold||life and death|
|female and male||young and old|
|too much and too little||north and south (magnetic)|
|stability and change||negative and positive (electrical)|
|past and future||truth and error|
|large and small||night and day|
|wet and dry||creation and destruction|
|grace and works||mercy and justice|
I wrote 06/12/13:
So, needy people fail to make the transition from infantile to post-infantile behavior. Regardless of worldview, and contrary to the notion that self-love is subconscious, Christianity’s teachings would tend to facilitate that transition; people can consciously learn right conduct.
Transition is a key concept. One could ask if Good and Evil don’t just correspond to stability and change; Vishnu and Siva. But the nutrients in my bloodstream are destroyed and converted into wastes as I use them. Fire releases light and heat, but destroys that which it consumes; and, in most cases, produces wastes.
Many of these dichotomies are independent, and many — as with fire — involve ambiguities and shades of gray.
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