For us living on the earth, evil is a very real thing. St. Augustine’s theological belief that evil does not exist means little to someone faced with the death of a loved one at the hands of a terrorist or a criminal murderer. There is never a question in our minds that the hand that wielded the weapon belonged to someone with evil in his or her soul. Today, evil, and all the euphemistic terms used to describe it, has become a popular tool, flung at powerful people to denigrate their reputations among the credulous population.
Because we live within the world of matter, evil looks like an odious form of matter that sometimes seems to fill the world or the souls of some human beings.
However, God and the beings in the higher astral realm are spiritual beings. There is NO matter in the spiritual world. In the heavenly world, evil is simply ignorance and spiritual darkness, and it can be dispelled with knowledge and spiritual light. The world of Spirit is a structure in which virtually every soul can progress regardless of its state when it leaves its body behind. The definition of evil means everything when defining a spiritual world that allows for a dynamic heaven and Hell.
God, and everything in His spiritual realm is a state of consciousness. Our world of matter is really a temporary training ground; a world of limitation designed to allow us to gain our spiritual footing. It’s really just a big playpen where we have enough freedom to crawl around, but not enough to run around breaking the spiritual furniture. Matter allows us to learn the difference between good and evil in an arena in which evil can take on a material disguise. Matter makes it easier for us to visualize and ultimately understand our spiritual heading. It allows us to see evil in a form we can understand.
That’s why we see evil as a form of matter. It’s a crutch to be used until we see evil for what it really is…emptiness of the human soul. Let me repeat that. Evil is really nothing more than the emptiness of the human soul!!
The human soul is a vessel, a tiny spark, struck from the Body of God. As a result, the human vessel is built to carry only the light of God. Nothing else can fill a soul.
At this point, let me define the “light” of God. There are so many spiritual qualities embodied in that term that it would be impossible to fully define, but the most important are love, wisdom and knowledge. The human brain imposes limitations on the capacity of the soul to visualize God’s light, especially during its early development, however with proper guidance, determination, perseverance and a willingness to keep an open mind, the light becomes more and more visible and easier to see as one ages. Once people begin to sense the sheer joy that these gifts impart, their minds become more and more open to the “light” and its attainment becomes a major part of their quest for meaning within their lives,
A soul filled with a substance called “evil” would be quite different from the soul emptied of light. It speaks to redemption, and also to spiritual sanitation.
A soul filled with evil cannot be filled with good until all the evil is removed first. But who is expected to do that? Would it be some self-appointed authority who decides who is evil and who is not? We all know how that worked out in medieval times and 20th century Europe, Cambodia and North Korea. If not by some governing body, it would be up to the individual to do it himself. But the self-removal of evil would be very difficult, akin to quitting a long term drug addiction. Most evil people don’t even realize their own evil. You can’t remove something you can’t even see.
And what happens to all that evil once it is removed from the soul? Does it just lie around in piles waiting for some other poor soul to step in it? And even if a soul could entirely empty itself of evil, what’s to prevent it from filling the void with evil again, like a drug addict that keeps going back to their drug after a tenth try at rehab.
On the other hand, a soul empty of goodness can still be redeemed by the simple process of voluntarily filling itself with light. And the light is always flowing down from God, like sunlight from the sun. Like rain from the sky, it naturally fills empty vessels. At least it fills them as long as they are open vessels. The trick isn’t to find a front loader to remove the evil and a dump truck to haul it away so that the vessel may be refilled. The trick is simply to persuade the vessel to open of its own free will so the light can flow in. That’s what evolution of the spirit means.
It is this idea that sprang from Zoroaster and continued through the Jewish people and finally to St Augustine which allows us to believe in the final redemption of virtually any soul. The evolution of every spirit is defined by its openness to God’s wisdom, and NOT by the evil it contains! If free will can shut out the good pouring from the heavens, then free will can open the portals to let it in.
This doesn’t mean that evil doesn’t exist. It certainly does! It is, unfortunately, plentiful in our material world. But not in the world of spirit! No soul can contain evil. Human bodies can be possessed by evil spirits. Human souls can be enthralled by earthly evil. But an evil human soul whether on earth or in the world of spirit is really just an empty soul, and an empty soul is an ignorant soul!
Empty souls try to fill the emptiness with rage, hate, narcissism and any number of addictions. Empty souls commit evil acts because they feel their emptiness. They feel the need to fill that emptiness with something and evil acts give them the illusion of fulfillment. But remember that all souls are really just sparks struck off from God’s body. Souls are made from God’s own substance, and nothing can fill a soul except more of God’s light. The soul remains empty in spite of its acts. That’s why empty souls must continue to commit evil acts. It’s an addiction, like a drug.
Some empty souls even unintentionally invite other empty (evil) spirits into their earthly bodies to keep them company, (possession). They are only looking for a way to fill their own emptiness. Now there are two empty souls in the same body. But when released from the body, both souls go their own empty ways.
There may well be souls that are beyond redemption; souls that are defective vessels; souls that remain empty because they are unable, or even just permanently unwilling ever to open themselves to the light. No one living really knows their ultimate fates. No information ever escapes from the deepest of the hells. (See chapter 5 on the Structure of Heaven.)
But no matter how empty the vessel, it can always be filled again if only it opens itself to the light from above. We are all spirits, and each of us has all of eternity to fill our emptiness. The more light we embody, the more fulfilled we become and the higher we ascend. The higher we ascend, the closer we are to becoming a part of God’s great consciousness.
In the chapters that follow, I refer to evil spirits because, to us on earth, they are evil. To God, they are really just empty souls.