Ch 4. Accepting the truth

Evil is unspectacular and always human,
And shares our bed and eats at our own table,
And we are introduced to Goodness every day.
Even in drawing-rooms among a crowd of faults;
he has a name like Billy and is almost perfect
But wears a stammer like decoration:
And every time they meet the same thing has to happen;
It is the Evil that is helpless like a lover
And has to pick a quarrel and succeeds,
And both are openly destroyed before our eyes.

W.H. Auden

On the surface, evil always wins. It must. That’s how it’s designed to function. It’s stronger, faster, and smarter than goodness.

The mystic, understanding its purpose and operation, takes the loss and turns it into the only kind of win that matters.

Reconciling this truth with our fairy tales of the triumph of goodness, making peace with this miserable state of human affairs, understanding the value of destruction, can only be done in truth, inside one’s own inner world.

It isn’t an intellectual exercise, or even a faith issue, but a practical alchemical one. It is by discovering and confronting pain, taking apart the threads and reflections, healing wounds, and cultivating virtue and wisdom, that one understands the complex and subtle interactions at work.

When evil comes to you, when it shows up, it is there to serve you, indirectly. It is there to cause pain, to inflict suffering, to create destruction and chaos, offering itself as the enemy, so that you might meet the challenge and learn the great mystical lessons the soul incarnates to learn.