Theodicy is the branch of theology that studies the relationship between good and evil. In addition, theodicy tiptoes around the question of why a good god permits the manifestation of evil. Before one can discuss the structure of heaven, it is wise to gain an understanding of theodicy, as well as why bad people are bad in the first place.
The following short discussion of theodicy and what it means may seem a bit dry, but it is included because knowledge of this subject is important in understanding the more philosophical aspects of the spiritual world, and the concepts presented here crop up in several important places throughout the rest of this book. It is especially important because it explains the difference between our mortal, materialistic concept of evil and its true spiritual meaning.
This discussion takes up about 10 book-length pages. Its purpose is to clarify the spiritual meaning of evil, and to show how it differs from the meaning we, the living, give to it.
The entire lower structure of the human spiritual world is built upon the duality of light and darkness. These concepts translate in human terms to good and evil, however as you read forward, you will see why evil has no place in Spirit. If you believe in God, you need to understand His heaven and the relationships between human souls, ghosts, spirits, angels and demons. It’s all based upon light and dark, which translate on earth to good and evil, and you can’t have God’s light without first understanding what the outer darkness is. There are a number of ways of looking at it.
As we will be discussing in chapter 18, the first primitive religions focused almost exclusively on death and the afterlife. In the words of Thomas Hobbes, in his 17th century work Leviathan, life was nasty, brutish and short. Death was everywhere, and no one could count on seeing the sun rise tomorrow. Thus a good portion of planning for your future involved your funeral plans and the rituals that surrounded them. Ancient religions did not stress personal morality in the sense of how to live in harmony with other people. The only universal morality came from the laws laid down by the local kings.