Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Necessary Evil

Neo would not have appeared as awe inspiring, had Agent Smith been a weaker character, a lesser sentient being (The Matrix). Had there been no Joker , Gotham City would have never realized the huge sacrifice Batman made (The Dark Knight). The greatness of the Dark Knight would not have been revealed; and it is in proportion to how great a character the Joker himself was. Frodo, Aragorn and Gandalf needed Sauron to sustain their goodness (The Lord of the Rings), just as Ergaon needs Galbatorix . And where would my dear Sherlock Holmes be without Professor Moriarity ?

The analogies I have employed are borrowed mostly from books and movies, but they would make sense to you, if you are familiar with them.

What would have been the stature of Gandhi in the absence of an evil British Empire? Would we ever know what sweet is without tasting bitter? Would good be perceived as good, if there was no evil? I think not.

We need Evil, to realize what good is all about. It is not there to punish us or make us worship or pray to the tall man in flowing robes with a white beard and a booming voice holding a staff of gold out of fear or reverence , but rather to complete the picture , and balance the system . Good and evil are the two sides of the same coin. Evil is like the force of friction , which slows down a wheel; but will the wheel ever turn and move forward if there was no friction ? It is as much an integral part of the vicious Cycle as Good is. I can never imagine a state of where humanity is either all evil or all good. That is why World Peace is nothing but a Utopian dream.

The wholeness of any entity in this world is dependent upon an entity opposite to it, one which either complements or negates it, be it the nature, physical attributes or quality. Man and Woman, Yin and Yang, a proton and an electron, they all come in pairs, as does Good and Evil. While on one hand , it is disappointing the existence of good is dependent upon evil , that even when everything appears to be as sunny as it could ever be, there is darkness lurking by ; on the other hand, even the darkest of clouds have a silver king , the most evil of men will be conquered by the forces of Good, happiness will follow sadness . Once again, they complement each other in philosophical reasoning as well.

Good needs Evil. How can one bask in the warmth emanated by goodness, if one has never felt the soul freezing chill of Evil? Dostoevsky's words come to my mind. "It is easier to denounce evil, than to understand it". A villainous character will be swore at , but if you step out of the system , then you realize that the bad man , actually is a major player in the chain of events that unfolded, due to which the World is the way it is . If he is removed a little too early or a little too late, the consequences would be disastrous for sure. Remove Adolf Hitler out of the historical picture , and the EU and the UN would disappear as well. In fact, so would the technological revolution which was ushered during and after the WW II. Imagine, if mankind was oblivious of the abstract notions of good and evil, try and contemplate as to what would have happened. I see inertness. I see no life. For can the process of creation be actually initiated in the absence of destruction?

This balance between good and evil also attempts to explain God, as to something which is not dependent on an opposite, to be in its natural form or a state ; something neither good or evil or encompassing both good and evil . If I confused you , please ponder over it. From this definition of God, consciousness, the life force within living beings, can be explained as an entity which is just there, neither created nor destroyed, purest form of energy ; and it just changes its host environment. From the body a house-fly to body a mighty human. Imagine, a super consciousness, which is made up of such innumerable consciousnesses. Imagine, if you could, a being, which is made up these minuscule life-forces, the way our bodies are made up of cells. And think about what you really are, an organism who struts around the Earth with a puffed chest, when the spark inside you and a humble ant, is the same. If mankind, and all the living species were perishable toys , then the consciousness is like the battery powering it .

All of a sudden, the existence of Aghories make sense.

A mosquito irritates and bites us, and sometimes infects us with a virus that may even cause death. Doesn’t that make it an evil creature, one befitting death and elimination? Hail All-Out, eh? But what is it doing, if nothing but merely what it was designed to do? Suck blood. And what are we designed to do? Suck the planet dry, for one. But also, we are here to survive, and we do so in a multitude of ways. So while we are doing our duty as a species, so is the mosquito. And that is why we need to break free of the system, which has us trapped in, moving in circles, on many different levels. Cycles of life and death, of sickness and health, of happiness and sadness, of rags and riches, of the different states of existence, as a mosquito or a man, an ant or an elephant. A system which presents us with a picture so bright and beautiful, that we often fail to ask the right question “who painted it and why”? A fruit so tempting and delicious to look at, touch,feel and eat, that we forget about the tree. A design which creates an ingenious Virtual Reality. Evil is just doing its job; to be a bad ass, and kick the Good guys whenever and wherever they can. Denouncing it is just not enough, an effort to understand it is important as well, for the truer and clearer picture to emerge. This might give a clue to the meaning of existence, the purpose of life. And that is why I think, that Evil is a manifestation of that very Supreme consciousness .

"Evil is not simply the contradiction of good that can be avoided by goodness; instead it is an aspect of good itself that we have separated from good so that the other side may continue to exist as good" - Source Unknown

“There has to be evil so that good can prove its purity above it.” - Buddha

p.s. What I have written is based on my own negligible understanding of why things are the way are . This is neither the first word , nor the final one .


Anonymous said...

really well written n totally great topic at that!

yup, we need all out bad to even appreciate good...

like God told man about all the wonderful things he's made for him to enjoy. then tells him of all the negatives he will have to suffer. and Man asks " why would u spoil the beauty of this world with so much unhappiness"
and God replies, "So u never forget what happiness feels like"

was a fable i read...

and we need all out villians to get out heroes to look glorious too!

bad n good mostly seem like flip sides of a coin. n try as we might, we get a taste of both!

me finally made it here kislay!!!!!!!!! :D :D

(blogspot woes...comment page is a struggle)

Anonymous said...

gasp! am i first here???


kislay, i hope u are aware of this commentor race disorder that is doing the rounds...

i am on terminal stage....

don't disown me, okies? :D

Masood said...

Great post and very well written, Kislay.

vimmuuu said...

Very true and I totally agree with your views.

venkatesh said...

It reminds me of an article I wrote ages ago.. the crux of that article was, the significance of deepavali, the light comes just because we have seen darkness.. unless the darkness blinds us all, the meaning of that festival doesnt entice at all :)
Very nice quotes :) I am going to use it in my next talk!

Vinod_Sharma said...

Very well articulated Kislay. "Evil is a manifestation of that very Supreme consciousness". That is the sum of it. Evil is not inimical to or fighting against the Supreme Consciousness of which it is a mere part. Not easy to comprehend practically at all.

I think the Mool Mantra of the Sikhs is a perfect distillation of the concept of God as mentioned in all Indian religions and scriptures.

Aghora is something that is very, very difficult to understand and accept, because of certain practices which are abhorrent to normal people like us. Those interested can go through three books written by an American, Robert Svoboda, on Aghoris. I can assure you, you would never have read something even remotely similar. The statutory warning is that the faint-hearted would do well to avoid reading them. For the brave and adventurous, selective browsing will be of no use.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kislay said...

@Hip Chick
Danke Fraulein . :) Welcome . That fable makes great sense . And Congratulations on winning the race . I am NOT disowning you . :D

@Masood and Vimmuu
Thanks Guys . :) I thought people will think I am crazy .

Absolutely . Glad that my post gave you some food for thought .

@Vinod Sharma
Thank you Sir . I will get that book for sure . I have trying to understand what the Aghory sect is all about , and as of now , I have understood just a tiny bit of it .
And please tell me , what is the mool mantra of Sikhs ?

Vinod_Sharma said...

There are three books written by Svoboda.

You can find the Sikh Mool Mantra here

The "Oankar" is, according to some, "Omkar"(Om+akar), as can be discerned from its graphic representation too.

Anonymous said...

Agree with what you say.. !! completely...

Have you noticed though... when everyone agrees... the discussion becomes not so interesting doest it .... lol ....

btw my partner in crime has claimed the first place so we gotta dance at your place... !!! make way !!!!

Dewdrop said...

Its an interesting take - in fact, you have covered a multitude of topics under Good v/s Evil and that's what made it good reading for me...

There is an ante to everything, an Aks - matter and anti-matter for ex and as it has been beautifully written in The space Odysseys of Asimov - I embraced him and then there was none.

Anonymous said...

Another one from Heroes..the TV series..
where Mohinder Suresh, The Indian character says these lines..they kind of stuck with me

There is good, and there is evil, right and wrong, heroes and villains. And if we're blessed with wisdom, then there are glimpses between the cracks of each, where light streams through. We wait in silence for these times, when sense can be made; when meaningless existence comes into focus and our purpose presents itself. And if we have the strength to be honest, then what we find there, staring back at us, is our own reflection, bearing witness to the duality of life: that each one of us is capable of both the dark and the light, of good and evil, of either, of all. And destiny, while marching ever in our direction, can be re-routed by the choices we make, by the love we hold onto, and the promises we keep.

Anonymous said...

Okay I know I do this every time but I cant help it:)
these are the lines that jumped off the pages and I am going to note them down ...

A villainous character will be swore at , but if you step out of the system , then you realize that the bad man , actually is a major player in the chain of events that unfolded, due to which the World is the way it is . If he is removed a little too early or a little too late, the consequences would be disastrous for sure. Remove Adolf Hitler out of the historical picture , and the EU and the UN would disappear as well. In fact, so would the technological revolution which was ushered during and after the WW II.
that is some observation..what a perspective Kislay!

Evil is just doing its job; to be a bad ass, and kick the Good guys whenever and wherever they can. Denouncing it is just not enough, an effort to understand it is important as well, for the truer and clearer picture to emerge. This might give a clue to the meaning of existence, the purpose of life.

though there are some faces of evil that cannot even be called ugly and barbaric those faces are ...
the word evil does not suffice ..

PS:-whats churning in that mind of yours? :)))
to come up with these posts one after the other?:)

manju said...

Great post, Kislay! So well thought out!

Maybe we do not have the capacity to view something in isolation and comprehend its nature.

We have to view everything in comparison with something else.

Only if there is Evil before us can we recognise Good.

Charakan said...

Good post Evil for some one may be good for some one else British thought they were doing good thing for Indians by ruling India Many a time good and evil are relative and it changes with time As you said not upsetting Nature's balance is important An antibiotic will not only kill disease causing bacteria but good one also which are needed for our digestion Killing of all Bacterias result in an over growth of viruses which currently are attacking us When we get control of hunger and infection, diseases due to over eating and sedentary life torment us

Anonymous said...

Many philosophers and great thinkers have debated and elucidated their views from time to time on this contentious issue.According to Hegel, each disaster or human tragedy has its role to play in bringing about the greater good which the Absolute has in store. Evils are instrumentalities used by God to increase good. These incidents have gradually brought about greater humanity's consciousness of freedom. Hence the consciousness of freedom has progressed with the passage of time. Human failures are thus the successes of the Absolute . And thus God is vindicated against the charge that He has permitted these evils to exist in the world.
I feel that God must have made the choice of giving 'free will' to humans so they can exercise free and responsible choice keeping in the mind the greater good of freely choosing and influencing our future. This is perhaps the meaning and purpose of life that we lead on this earth.

Anonymous said...


Well put Kislay..

Even though all these stuff makes a good read,when one is personally sad and unhappy,he doesn't remember any of these phlosophies..

When I am in good mood,I think of being strong when some problem comes..But in real time,I am a stupid crazy emotional buff and no philosophy makes sense to me then...

Zivana said...

I looked up about the Aghori sect and I happened to see a video highlighting their customs. It was highly disturbing. While I wasn't covering my eyes :D
I did manage to see them sit upon a corpse and meditate,down lots of alcohol,smoke marijuana and fish out a corpse from the Ganges to eat.

One of them said," If you digest all that is evil, you will not fear it again."

During the puja, they draw a circle around themselves to keep off evil spirits. If evil and good are illusions of the mind, then why would they do that?

They're fascinating people. Personally, I think they are on another level altogether, nowhere near us. However, they will always be condemned for now.

You've done a good job bringing this concept in a simple, scientific way. So we may understand the purpose of evil. We may sympathize with 'evil-doers'. But we can't really condone it, can we?

Solilo said...

Very well written thoughts, Kislay.

Last few posts from you really give fodder to ponder on but even when we agree with it, times when we don't really follow it due to many circumstances.

Chrysalis said...

Kislay: Well written and what a coincidence.. I was reading something on Avtaarvaad and there was a line there that it is only natural and almost desirable that there be a constant struggle between 'Sat' and 'Asat' forces. So you are right on Mister.

Anonymous said...


That's it, there's nothing else to be said. You've said it all. Now we just need to think.


Quirky Indian

Winnie the poohi said...

Shadows are needed
So that light is heeded
For without the pain
Won’t happiness be in vain?

This is what I wrote for someone some time back.. seemed apt here :)

Beautiful post.. but then thats expected from you now :)

Anonymous said...

Profound! And here I sat thinking Kislay is best at humour! Very deep post, this. No opinion on the matter, though. Need to think it over.

Anonymous said...

well written....I always ask god like, y can't he wipe out evil completely.... at least from our minds ....nyways nice post

Ashwathy said...

true... nice post!
it's like the concept of yin and yang. to recognize the good, u need the evil. as simple as that. i've always believed it.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the post you wrote about religion and god, why they are needed... It's obvious that you think a lot about these things Kislay... I agree that both evil and good are inevitable and both coexist... that it is almost impossible for either to be totally vanquished. But I still dream of a day when evil will not be as evil as it is today...

Anonymous said...

You are right. We can apply the same logic to happiness and misery to realize how much we need to experience misery for making happiness meaningful. Nicely written article!

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