Why Evil is Part of God’s Creation

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Today’s message is one that reflects some of the private conversations that so many of us have had with God. Whether we pray on our knees, talk to ourselves while driving, or cry quietly and simply ask ‘Why?’, today’s message touches on many of the questions that we so often don’t know how to answer, but that seem to come up again and again as we experience humanity.


Some say that God doesn’t know evil. People who believe this can’t explain why a God who is good allows robberies, murders, disease, poverty, and other terrible happenings that take place on this Earth. These acts may seem evil to us, but are they evil to God? If they are, why would God permit such evil? And if the evil did not come from Him, He who is the Supreme Creator of all things, where did it come from? Who created greed? Who created hate? Who created jealousy and anger? Who created harmful bacteria? Who created sexual temptation? These were not the invention of human beings. Man could never have experienced them if they had not first been created by a higher power.

Some people try to explain that evil does not exist, or that it is merely a psychological factor. But this is not so. The evidence of evil is here in this world. We cannot deny it. If there is no evil, why would Jesus pray, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”? He is praying plainly that evil does exist.

So the truth is, we do find evil in this world. And where did it come from? God. Evil provides the opportunity for us to recognize and experience goodness. Evil had to be, if there was to be any creation. If you wrote a message with white chalk on a white board, no one would see it. So without the blackboard, the good things in this world wouldn’t be visible. For instance, Judas was Jesus’ best publicity agent. By his evil act, Judas made Christ eternally famous. Jesus knew the role he had to play, and all that was going to happen to him in order that he might demonstrate the love and greatness of God. A villain was necessary to this enactment.

Perfection is not to be found in this world

It’s hard to know where the dividing line is between good and evil. Certainly it is terrible that bacteria kills billions people every hundred years, but think of the chaos of overpopulation. And if everything here were good and perfect, no one would leave this Earth of his or her own accord; no one would want to go back to God. So in a sense, misery is your best friend, because it starts you seeking God. When you begin to see clearly the imperfection of the world, you will begin to seek the perfection of God. The truth is that God is using evil, not to destroy us, but to make us disillusioned with His toys, with the playthings of this world, so that we might see Him.

This is why the Lord Himself permits injustices and evil. But I have said to Him, “Lord, You have always been perfect. How do you know what suffering is? Yet you have put us through these tests; and you had no business doing it. We didn’t ask to be born as mortals and to suffer.” (He doesn’t mind that I argue with him. He is very patient.) The Lord answered, “You don’t have to go on suffering; I have given everyone the free will to choose good instead of evil.”

So evil is the test of God, to see if we will choose Him or His gifts. He created us in His image and gave us the power to choose for ourselves. But we so often don’t use that power consciously. At night, when we leave our bodies during sleep, we all return to our Godlike states. But in the daytime, we become devils – not all of us, but most of us – the unconscious among us. Why not live in tune with God in the daytime, for then we shall know no fear, we shall know no evil. It is easy to say this, but how easy is it to put into practice?

While evil in itself is something we don’t want, yet it is like a poisoned honey, it is palpable, it is tasty. At the table, we are tempted to eat too much, and to eat the wrong things. Then we begin to get fat here and there, just where we don’t want it. In response to our wrong actions, Nature takes revenge and seems to be poking fun at us all the time. It is indeed a funny world! But the results of our wrong actions don’t seem very funny to us! Believe me, I know! This is why many of us quarrel with God and scold Him, “Why have you created all of these terrible temptations that your children succumb to? Why have you made them so pleasurable?” Well, the lesson is simple: the Law of Cause and Effect.

So, since there is no perfection in this world, why continue to seek it here? You may find a little short-lived pleasure, but mostly you will find suffering and injustice. Pain was given to make you know when something is wrong with the body. But when the pain of cancer comes, there is no reason in it. The sufferer has no relief from his pain, and he doesn’t know why he has to suffer. And there are those who need money and can’t get it, and those who don’t need it who easily acquire more. Those who have much want still more; and those who have nothing want just a little, but can’t get even that. Isn’t this true? Why these injustices? Some people are as healthy as can be, and some are always sick. But health or disease doesn’t necessarily determine whether or not you are happy. St. Francis suffered much of the time, yet he was healing the sick and was filled with the joy of God. Suffering has a different meaning for you when you have attained the freedom of God. But you have to attain that freedom first.

We must learn to work without desire, and to live in this world without attachment. As soon as you are caught up in desires and attachments, you will have all the evil that is coming to you. That is why the Gita says “O Arjuna! No (compelling) duty have I to perform! There is naught that I have not acquired! Nothing in the three worlds remains for me to gain! Yet I am consciously present in the performance of all actions.” Those who want to be liberated must do likewise, engaging in service-ful, joyful, and non-attached activity. Most people willingly work hard for money, but they won’t make even a little effort for their salvation. We must work for God. The way to do this is to stop cooperating with evil and to behave as God would have us behave.

We must love one another. Sometimes it is not easy, but to love your enemy means to choose not to become another person’s enemy. By a thought, any one of us could destroy another, but why would we want to? Jesus had that power. When his enemies taunted him to save himself from the cross, he said, “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scripture be fulfilled, that thus it must be?” He conquered by love. If the ordinary man is slapped, the great desire is to slap back. Therefore, God does not give His divine power to those who are spiritually weak, because they would misuse it. The desire and the strength to forgive comes from attunement with God.

How few you find in this world who are sincere and who want to be your friend for your sake, and not for something they can take from you. Those sincere souls are most enjoyable. Greater than all riches is true friendship. If you can be a true friend to people, you will find God. If you sincerely love people, you can know them, just as when you look through a clear glass, you can see what is in the glass. But your perception of people is unclear unless you love God, and unless you love others with the love of God.

“I can give my life for a sincere soul”

In this world, we will all eventually learn that we must be fearless, sincere, and surround ourselves not only with those whom we can inspire, but with those who can inspire us as well. When we attain heightened levels of clarity, we can begin to help those who are ‘evil’, but trying to do this when we are not yet strong enough ourselves will weaken us. So many of those who try to reform others become infected with their evil.

If you have a mind that absorbs everything like blotting paper, you must keep that mind free from evil influences. Just as blotter paper that has become snaked with spilled oil will no longer absorb water, so must your mind first be saturated with good until it becomes impervious to evil.

Be strong in your own goodness, and try to be helpful to others. The man who only looks out for himself and his own family won’t find much happiness. If he doesn’t think of anyone else who might be suffering, he denies himself the joy of helping another, so his own cup of satisfaction will remain small.

The Cosmic Motion Picture

There is another angle to duality, or good and evil. If a movie producer made motion pictures only from select angles, and showed them in the film houses morning, noon and night every day, he would soon have to close-up business. He has to produce variety in order to attract people’s attention. The bad man makes the hero look so much better! And we like plots that are filled with action. We don’t mind looking at exciting movies about danger and disaster because we know that they are only movies. I remember one time when I was taken to see a movie in which the hero died; it was such a tragedy! So I stayed and watched the next showed until I saw the hero alive again, then I left the theater.

If you could see what is going on behind the screen of this life, you wouldn’t suffer at all. It is a cosmic motion picture show. This movie that God is projecting on the screen of this Earth has no value once you see what goes on behind the screens. Look at the beam of God’s light that is projecting these scenes onto the screen of life. See the pictures of the whole universe coming from this beam. See beyond the illusion.

Another time, I was sitting in a movie theater watching an exciting drama on the screen. At a certain point, I looked up into the projection booth and saw that the projectionist wasn’t interested in the picture, because he had seen it over and over again. Instead, he was reading a book. The projection machine was doing its job; there was the sound, and the beam of light was casting the realistic pictures onto the screen. And there was the audience, caught up in the drama. I thought, “Lord, You are like this man, sitting here in the booth, absorbed in your own nature of bliss and love and wisdom. Your machine of cosmic law is throwing on the screen of the universe scenes of jealousy, of love, of hatred, of wisdom, but you remain uninvolved in your plays.” From age to age, from civilization to civilization, the same old pictures are shown over and over again, only with different characters playing the parts.

When I took my gaze from the beam of light that was casting the scenes on the screen, I looked at the audience and I saw that they were going through all the emotions of the actors in the movie. They were suffering with the hero and reacting to the evil of the villain. To the audience, it was a tragic experience. To the operator in the projection booth, it was only a picture. And so it is with God. He has created pictures of light and shadows, the hero and the villain, good and evil, and we are the audience and the actors. It is only when we identify with the play that we get in trouble!

Without shadows existing alongside the light, there could be no picture. Evil is the shadow that converts the one beam of God’s light into pictures or forms. Therefore, evil is the shadow of God that makes this play possible. The dark shadows of evil are interspersed with the pure white beam of the virtues of God. He wants you not to take these pictures so seriously. The director of a movie sees the murders and the suffering and the comedy and the drama as a means to create interest for the audience. He stands apart from the play and directs and observes it. God wants us to behave with detachment, realizing we are only actors or observers in His cosmic show.

Though God has everything, it can still be said that he has some desire: He wants to see who will remain un-intimidated by this picture, and who will play his part well and come back to Him. You can’t run away from this universe, but if you act in this play with your thought fixed on God, you will be free.

If you feel like saying to God, “Lord, this is a motion picture to you, but it is terrible to us”, He may reply, “I make you realize it is a dream every night when you go to sleep. You simply forget this in the daytime.”

For him who realizes God, there is no evil

The way to supreme happiness will not be found by the scientists nor the material-minded people alone, but by those who follow the masters who say: “Go back to the booth of the Infinite from which you can see the projection of all these cosmic motion pictures. Then you won’t be troubled about God’s creation, God’s play…”

When you are part of the delusion, you suffer.
When you stand aside and watch it, you cannot suffer.
When you are an observer, you can enjoy this play.

And with that, a little story to end today’s message:

A king fell asleep and dreamed that he was poor. He was crying out in his sleep for just a penny for some food. Finally, the queen woke him and said, “What is the matter with you? Your treasury is full of gold, and yet you are crying for a penny.”

Then the king said, “Oh, how silly of me, I thought I was a beggar and was starving for lack of that penny.”

Such is the delusion of every soul that is dreaming it is a mortal, subject to the nightmarish evils of all kinds of disease, suffering, troubles, and heartbreaks. The only way to escape this nightmare is detaching from the dream images of this world. It is because you have your attention on the illusions that you suffer. If you give your heart to man, or to drink, or to greed, or to drugs, you will suffer. Your heart will be broken. The more you seek peace in God, the more peace will devour your worries and sufferings. Suffering comes when the evils of the world are let in. When we learn to be spiritually tough, we enable ourselves to be filled with joy, and thus, evil-free.


I realize that some of the terminology or tone in today’s message might have irritated some of you, or made it difficult for you to get through the reading. The words are not as important as the messages they hold within. There are many hidden jewels here. The ones that sparkle for you are the ones you were meant to see. If you allow yourself to be open and clear while reading this, you will come across an answer you were searching for.

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