good vs evil

On good and evil: a solitary ponder on Good Friday

Today, as I write, is Good Friday. Can we do an hour of meditation on good and evil? Yes. Let’s start one way, turn the other, then conclude somewhere in the middle.




My favorite word is a simple word: good.


I love good, I like good, I need good, I want good. All the things, good. When I ask how your day goes, and you say good, I reply, good is good. Good is good.


When something is good, it’s the best. Great is great, but not as good as good. According to Erika Badu, in her jam Orange Moon, she chants, how good it is, how good it is / how good he is / how God he is.


Consider this Jocko navy SEAL, whose answer to any situation, when something is wrong, going bad, going awesome, going up, just says, Good. It is the warrior version of stoicism, something readers will recognize from my posts two years ago.


And, oh, c’mon, why not drop some more good vibes? This one from the boys.


<Looks out the window.> People ask me, how are you so positive, how is your head always in the clouds? <Smiles.> No one asks why, though, the why is easy: because the air is cleaner up here, because with a head held high I see better into the future. The question, again, is how, how. How? Like this, I keep the good squarely in front of me. I have Beach Boys in my heart, Jocko in my arms, and Badu in my soul, Seneca on the mind. Good. My goals always in mind. A vision in time. Hope like a guide, never ending, all enduring: like in the Sandman comic that my roommate and friend lent me to read a few weeks ago. Worth a read if only for this gem of a gem.




Good is good, but what of evil? This nasty thing that creeps back for sequels and prequels. What is this thing as enduring, compassing? Bah.


Vade retro, Satana.


I keep evil squarely behind me.


Is it bad? No. Worse. We make mistakes, we get over it. I’m not innocent, who is? Some classmate’s trading cards, I stole. About where I learned bad words, to my parents I lied. In bed with married women, aye.


But you grow, and don’t make the same mistakes twice. Fool me, fool. I would, as I wrote, call that bad. Little shit, small time. The real evil in life, on the other hand, is really evil. Insidious. Evil is blowing up the world trade center. Shaving off your daughter’s clitoris. Dumping oil in another country’s backyard. Evil is evil is evil.


Vile, demented, living demons — structured pained, systematic injuries, and powerful idiots.


Fuck you, Satana.


However, those things don’t control me. I was telling Ela the other day, that if a military dictator there was to take over, I would be in the early waves of people assassinated. I have known that fair lady Freedom, read so much of life and lived so much, too. We know that an individual’s life is worth more than all a nation’s pride, valued higher than all the gold and silver yet in earth’s belly.


Get real, Satana.


Google this: can’t nobody or body of narrow villains break my knees to silence me, cloud the truth and make me forget. Life finds a way. The good triumphs. Hip-hop, hoorah. Warriors of liberty, unite!


Meanwhile, add this to your caldron: All good is light, all evil is darkness. Dark has no power over light, but is merely its absence. Therefore, light will always win over darkness, so long as it shines. So, shine, you. Not that darkness is bad in and of itself, these are simple metaphors. Darkness can heal, too, darkness can guard and protect, play with our imagination, give our dreams flight. What I mean to say is, in this war between good and evil, one will always win. Maybe one needs the other.




We ought to consider, on this final note, that without darkness there would be no way to see light. In daylight, you don’t see the light of your computer screen, or bedroom.


Moreover, let us know forget the line of wise thinkers who claim any distinction misses the point completely. There is no good or evil, just the way, the tao, the path. Not left, not right, but straight, we must walk.


Let this page, then, remain on the web as a small quick quilt of ideas, something to think about, as I’ve thought about it, as we continue to think about it as long as we are free enough to remember how powerful enough we are. The wise ones have spoken. Let us now live, well, and guided.

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