THE DARK SIDE: BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL

By Marcia Montenegro (page 1 of 3)

The display was titled, "Going Back to Wizardry School," a play on the normal "Going Back to School" theme. About a dozen different books were featured in this children's section of a large chain bookstore. In one book, a young boy at a wizardry school (not Harry Potter) is listening to the professor explain that practicing the black arts is not really evil at all, but is just the exaggeration and twisting of normal human traits: "By 'black,' I do not mean evil. Or wicked. I mean dark and deep, as in the black water of the deepest lakes."1 This view of evil is not uncommon in occult philosophies. Evil is usually expressed in one or more of the following ways, which may overlap: the dark side is just another aspect of the good; both good and evil are needed for the balancing of energy and life (polarity); a magician must master and control all aspects of himself in order to master the spirits and forces of sorcery; evil is a force; good & evil are part of the whole, and therefore, are ultimately the same thing; and, finally, good and evil are transcended and combined in the One.

The dark side

Dark is just the other side of light or good, and these two balance each other. In this case, dark and light are equal (dualism). This philosophy is found explicitly in Deepak Chopra's recent best-selling book, How To Know God, in which Chopra claims that in the 6th of 7 stages of knowing God, good and evil to the visionary "are two sides of the same force. God created both because both are needed; God is in the evil as much as in the good."2

The Kabbalah (also spelled Qabbala, Cabala, Kabbala, etc.), a Gnostic spin-off of mystical Judaism that has been enjoying a revival, and which is also a foundation for many forms of sorcery (namely, ritual or ceremonial magick), teaches that good and evil each "has the spark of the other,"3 according to Rabbi David Cooper.

Cooper quotes a story told by Rabbi in which a boy named Israel has the chance to destroy Satan's "heart of evil" which Satan has placed inside a monster, but is unable to do so when he sees the heart bleed, for Israel realizes that "even the heart of evil has within it a spark of the Divine."4 The lesson, according to the storyteller, is that "even the heart of Satan has a divine spark; even the heart of evil yearns to be redeemed...our job is not to set up a battleground to eradicate evil, but to search out its spark of holiness."5 Cooper tells us that "Evil has divine nature within it," and quotes the Zohar, the sacred book of the Kabbalah, as saying "There is no sphere of the Other Side (evil) that entirely lacks some streak of light from the side of holiness."6

Echoing this view are Mark and Isha Lerner,7 creators of the "Inner Child Cards," a Tarot deck and book using imagery from fairy tales and myth. In their section on the The Big Bad Wolf card (traditionally the Devil card), the Lerners state that the darker sides of life are not necessarily evil, but rather represent a struggle for "the human ego" as it "seeks balance and understanding in the physical universe."8 They further state that "[i]n the dark or ugly side of human nature lies the seed of true spiritual integration."9

Witches Janet and Stewart Farrar claim that "[t]he Theory of Polarity maintains that all activity, all manifestation, arises from (and is inconceivable without) the interaction of pairs and complementary opposites...and that this polarity is not a conflict between 'good' and 'evil', but a creative tension like that between the positive and negative terminals of an electric battery. Good and evil only arise with the constructive or destructive application of the polarity's output..."10 They further state that monotheists are trapped in the belief that good vs. evil is a polarity, and that "Under the unchallenged rule of a non-polarized Creator, nothing can happen."11 Two essential ideas relevant to this discussion are stated here: the basis for polarity is not good versus evil, and good cannot exist without evil.

The quintessential illustration of this philosophy is the yin-yang symbol. One side is black with a white dot in it, and the other side is white with a black dot in it. Most people believe that this symbol represents opposites, but it actually represents the concept of polarity, although people use the term "opposite" to describe it. The dark and light sides are polarities that need to be balanced. If they are opposite, why does each have a dot of the other color in it? It is because though they appear to be opposites, in actuality they are constantly changing and merging with each other, thus becoming each other. The dark becomes light and light becomes dark. There is no absolute dark or absolute light. [See CANA document on the Yin-Yang.]

The Yin-Yang view is even referred to by Cooper: "[T]he constant tension of opposing forces is a universal law. . . .In the East the principle is described as yin and yang. In Kabbalah it is called gevurot (restrictive powers) and chasidim (expansive powers)," and these "forces of the universe are constantly tugging and pushing."12 This is a concept I learned in psychic development classes,13 that the "energy of the universe" moved in patterns of constriction and expansion.

A popular display of polarity thinking is in the Star Wars movie, Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Anakin, the future Darth Vader, is accepted as a Jedi apprentice in order to "balance the force." In recalling the first movie where Luke Skywalker discovers his father is Darth Vader, the message is that Darth Vader has gone over to "the dark side," not that he is evil. As Luke faces his father, together they represent the polarity of dark and light. The implication is that in looking at his father, Luke is seeing himself.

Lucifer, the Angel of Light

Medium and psychic Sylvia Browne admits there are dark entities that choose from the beginning to be this way, but she denies the devil. According to Browne, God sent Lucifer down to watch over people when God saw they had chosen "the dark side." According to Browne, "Lucifer is neither dark nor fallen. He wasn't rejected by God or banished from the light."14

Another book, purported to be bringing a message from the real Christ, tells us that in the Garden of Eden, God "sent the sacred snake to you with an apple and invited you to eat."15 Although God warned man that this would cause "duality and feelings of separation" in man's mind, God does not condemn us for this or any action because he "is not concerned about" our actions.16

According to author Ferrini, evil comes from judgment, and the devil is the "ego mind," and is our "angelic presence defiled" caught in "the savage pull of worldly incarnation."17 Lucifer is not the devil; he is the Antichrist, but is not really bad at all. Lucifer "is the wounded child transformed into the risen Christ, the angelic presence leading the human into God's eternal embrace."18 God himself will say, "Welcome home, Lucifer" and, in fact, "when Lucifer is redeemed, the light comes to man."19

So Lucifer is a protector in one view and, in another, he is the one whose redemption brings light to man. Much like the Satan in Cooper's story, who is not all evil but contains divinity, this Lucifer will be redeemed.

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