Does Evil Exist?

Via Emma Blue
on Feb 9, 2011
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I have seen people living in hell on earth.

Sin is a lack of awareness. In Hebrew the misinterpreted word for sin is ‘chet’ which means to miss the mark.

My meditation teacher once wrote to me, standing before the killing fields of Cambodia, thousands of skulls laying in the sun, “there are some things even the Buddha can’t explain”. Very few could look at the horrors of the world and proclaim no evil.

We are all sinners but the bible (bear with me here) tells us that there is an outside force which tempts us. This demonic force—an entity, shimmers flirtatiously, beckoning for us to choose that which is wrong while feeling good about our choices in the moment—evil. Humans can choose to create evil when choosing to align with this force.

Before I believed in a Creator or Spirits, I believed evil did not exist. I wore my apathetic slogan on my sleeve, “it’s all good”. My explanation of evil was people becoming confused by their internal narratives and the culmination of the cravings of ego and the black magic society we live in, which preys on our desires.

I didn’t admit God was there, and thus chose evil. I had to live with my own worst enemy which was myself, but at least I had the choice. Since beginning my gospel journey in 2008 and studying the Bible, I have seen people possessed by demons, I have seen people living in hell on earth. I have watched women wrapped in mini-skirts of bacon throw themselves in front of my beloved’s face since committing to share his life with me. It could just be a chemical reaction causing ovaries to do somersaults, or a force of Temptation. A force which exists whether we realize it or not.

While we are born of love and the capacity for goodness, we are also born onto an evil path in this tormented flesh. We do not know if we are choosing evil until we recognize the path of evil—but we don’t have to linger there. Once we have the awareness of evil we know how to recognize and celebrate good. Evil is an option that we created, it enables free-will.

This web of life was intentionally created—no one has proved that anything is created out of nothing, logically if something was there, it was created. Show me a place where God is not. Yet when we choose to ignore God, there is the absence of God—ergo or evil. Some say “_____ murdered/raped/started war in the name of God”. Were they really in tune with God? We are given explicit instructions and I believe what was meant to be said was said and what was said was meant;

If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. —Romans 12:20-21

There is always a choice and our destiny is to love, “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law”. —Romans 13:8

Loving is the law, love is fulfillment.

What does your faith tell you about the existence of evil?


About Emma Blue

Emma Blue wants to be a mensch when she grows up. To inspire you to share your story and to wear fewer ungapotchke outfits. She finds eye contact, dancing and writing with stolen time agreeable. She lives in Sarasota, Florida with her daughter, Aurélia. Keep your finger on her cyber pulse with her newsletter .


17 Responses to “Does Evil Exist?”

  1. helene_rose says:

    You have opened up some interesting points EmmaB.
    I believe that if we dig deeper into the evil that you describe – we find pain.
    Many many people are in emotional / physical / psychological pain that dampens their spirit and causes them to live without joy and love.

    Through my work as a healer, I believe and know that we all have the capacity to heal our wounds, free our pain and live in love.

  2. Padma Kadag says:

    Emma..I have some questions for you…“there are some things even the Buddha can’t explain”, as quoted from your meditation teacher. What kind of meditation did this teacher teach and is this teacher a Buddhist? I believe that maybe your teacher could not fathom that grisly scene in Cambodia nor could he/she explain it. As for the Buddha…hahaha…the Buddha is beyond delusion but always purely present. We rely on the Buddha but he himself teaches that he can save no one….saving ones self or enlightenment is due to our own efforts.

  3. elephantjournal says:

    The Buddha could, and essentially did, explain the killing fields of Cambodia (or rather their like). Samsara, the endless wheel of habitual patterns, suffering, ego-driven pushing away of pain or anything we don't want and attaching ourself to pleasure is the state we all live in, and can try and wake up from through meditation and such.

    In our most confused states, we can kill, harm, hate. Doesn't mean we're evil—just that our basic, natural nature is clouded, covered, bent, confused.

    All that said, love this article and the contemplation it invites. With thanks, sweet Emma! ~ Waylon

  4. Live and let live says:

    If I am understanding this properly your logic is as follows:
    God exists because nothing can come from nothing therefore god created the web of life. God is everywhere and if I ignore that I am evil. Evil is a human creation without which there would be no free-will.
    Granting that god exists, you are stating some premises that after inspection you might not want to endorse.
    1. If god created the web of life (everything that exists) then god created free-will therefore then free-will is part of the web of life.
    2. If evil enables free-will and and evil is a human creation then free-will is a human creation.
    Premises 1 and 2 are contradictory. Perhaps what you were driving at is more that god created everything and endowed humans with the ability of free-will to choose or not choose god. By choosing god you stay on the good path and by not choosing god you embrace evil. But that means god still created evil. If god created evil to tempt us or test our faith then god wants us to acknowledge evil so that we choose the right path. If we choose god (the good path) it is said, "There is one body and one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all." Ephesians 4:4-6 But if god created everything he also created evil which regardless of our acceptance of god or not will exist and even when we accept god there is evil. Another conundrum! So evil is in us by nature of existing in a world created by god. No matter how much I accept, devote, pray to god evil will be there. It seems that we've reached a catch-22 no matter what you do evil is there.
    To escape the paradox one might say that a life with god represents the better moral alternative seeing that god has proscribed certain rules that help one avoid the pitfall that not believing in god creates, being evil. But it seems that if I acknowledge god I am acknowledging evil in the world i.e sin, the devil, non-believers, etc.
    The conclusion (at least in my mind) is then not to acknowledging god and thereby not acknowledge evil. On this path I can hold myself responsible for having an ethical life and not push more judgment into the world by not condemning those who don't believe what I believe. So, by all means believe in god and live by god's rules but don't condemn others and foist the title of evil on those who don't.

  5. Katie says:

    I meant to ask, re that comment: "I have watched women wrapped in mini-skirts of bacon throw themselves in front of my beloved’s face since committing to share his life with me," What on earth does that mean?? Is it a literal statement, in which case totally bizarre, or some metaphor I'm not understanding?

  6. Mena says:

    You have watched women wrapped in mini-skirts of bacon "throw" themselves in front of my beloved’s face? Really…. Maybe you are paranoid and jealous hearted…. Unless of course the women you refer to were prostitutes.

  7. Meg says:

    Thanks Emma,
    It’s a beautiful and engaging article (as usual). I find your perspective on Christianity a very modern meditation. When you examine the paradoxes within, however, I believe you find a buddhist approach.
    Didn’t the Romans kill Jesus? Even buddha couldn’t explain “the bible.”
    I’d love to hear your thoughts on the old testament.

  8. BrotherRog says:

    here's another piece about sin from an earlier post on elephant journal:

  9. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Waylon Lewis, Waylon Lewis, Waylon Lewis, Beatriz A., Lonesome Liz and others. Lonesome Liz said: RT @elephantjournal: Do not b overcome by evil, but overcome evil w good.“ —Romans 12:20-21 #bible […]

  10. Emma Blueh says:

    Wow! So thoughtful, I can’t say I disagree with anyone, this is where I am developmentally right now.

    Thanks for reading.

    Re:mini skirts of bacon was the best example of how we are tempted–my beloved rarely had women interested in talking to him, then once he committed, all kinds of beautiful women took interest..

  11. Jason says:

    Addressed to "Live and Let Live"

    Good day,

    1. The bible teaches that free will is God's intention. But free will needn't be an excuse for sin.
    Galations 5:13 "You were, of course, called for freedom, brothers; only do not use this freedom as an inducement for the flesh…"

    2. No where does the Bible teach that evil enables free will. I have two chemicals that are safe to use, but once combined form a poisonous gas which did not exist prior. Free will can be used the wrong way.

    According to the Bible, God does not tempt us: James 1:13 "When under trial, let no one say: “I am being tried by God.” For with evil things God cannot be tried nor does he himself try anyone. 14 But each one is tried by being drawn out and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then the desire, when it has become fertile, gives birth to sin; in turn, sin, when it has been accomplished, brings forth death."

    The Bible teaches that God is not "Omnipresent" but has a specific place of dwelling, which is his figurative thrown in the heavens. 1Ki 8:49; Joh 16:28; Heb 9:24; Isa 66:1

    You are correct, we have a choice:
    Deuteronomy 11:26-28 " 'See, I am putting before you today blessing and malediction: 27 the blessing, provided you will obey the commandments of Jehovah your God that I am commanding you today; 28 and the malediction, if you will not obey the commandments of Jehovah your God and you do turn aside from the way about which I am commanding you today, so as to walk after other gods whom you have not known."

    God's word in the Bible decides what "Evil" is. Though we do not "judge" others, We are taught to use our "Judgement" in distinguishing the two.
    2 Corinthians 6:” 17 “‘Therefore get out from among them, and separate yourselves,’ says Jehovah, ‘and quit touching the unclean thing’”; “‘and I will take you in.’

    Malachi 3:18  And you people will again certainly see [the distinction] between a righteous one and a wicked one, between one serving God and one who has not served him.”

    Isaiah 48:17 This is what Jehovah has said, your Repurchaser, the Holy One of Israel: “I, Jehovah, am your God, the One teaching you to benefit [yourself], the One causing you to tread in the way in which you should walk. 18 O if only you would actually pay attention to my commandments! Then your peace would become just like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.

  12. Erma says:

    I think you are missing the point focusing on my teachers lineage, but his name is Bill Scheffel and he was a close student of Trungpa's.

    Why would we rely on someone who was just an awake man, to know everything?

  13. Diane D'Angelo says:

    That line is a quote from the post. See above.

  14. 13thfloorelevators says:

    It means she is threatened bc her bf wants to schtup lady gaga, which is probably weirder than if that were actually a an attempted metaphor.

  15. AMO says:

    Nothing about this post compelled me to write except the bacon skirts. WHAT?!?!?! Really?! What planet do you live on?

    A. Is your beloved marked in some way so that he is visibly yours? Why is a woman coming on to him evidence of evil in your eyes? Is flirting evil? Even if they person is in a relationship? Evil? Really?
    B. Where do you live where multiple women wear meat clothes?
    C. Is a meat mini the penultimate turn on for your beloved? If so, why oh why is he your beloved?
    D. Is the throwing themselves in front of him in a meat skirt somehow a way of indicating you are in love with a carnivorous animal?
    E. Seriously. This is not a rhetorical question: Have you ever actually seen anyone in meat clothes and have such people actually thrown themselves at your boyfriend and what do both of these occurrences say about where and how you are living your life? If these things didn't really happen how could you have thought that using them here as evidence of evil in the world was a good way of communicating what you were trying to say?

  16. Emma says:

    The miniskirt wrapped in bacon is actually a line i stole from my friends rap, he wrote it several years ago.

    I thought it was clear that Satan has tried to tempt us to lust/ have sex with others. I guess my metaphor failed because of lady Gaga/ Certainly you could think of it as a leather miniskirt…

  17. YesuDas says:

    "Our basic, natural nature is clouded, covered, bent, confused." A beautiful and succinct summary of original sin, Waylon! 🙂

    (I have refrained from capitalizing "original sin" while I process Yoga 2.0's latest.)