The Knowledge of Good and Evil


Reaching beyond even the infinite idea to pure abstract infinite identity, we approach the source of infinite conception and elimination as one. Our realization that the opposite of the infinite idea is inconceivable provides the safe place and time for the infinite idea's conception. When the infinite idea is seen, it is seen filling space and time.

The opposite of any infinite idea of good is twice inconceivable. It is first inconceivable as defining empty space, and it is second inconceivable because, where the idea of good is conceived, there is no place left for an opposite conception. Infinite conception is preceded and followed by infinite elimination. In that sense infinite evil's nothingness has a double meaning. The door of the infinite has two locks on it, and they are both really big.

Every problem solved, everything accomplished, involves action of conception and elimination. If you are looking for a needle in a haystack, you can either figure out where the needle is or get rid of all the hay. Either way will work. In the spiritual realm, conception and elimination performed to completion work in tandem. Ultimately, they are one.

When you look closely at a picture in a newspaper, you see lots of little dots. The lighter parts of the picture are made of tiny little black dots on white, and the darker parts look like tiny little white dots on black. The patterns of black on white and white on black convey to your eyes the form and outline of the picture.

Black ink appears dark to your eyes because it absorbs light. When we see black, we are not really seeing something; we are not-seeing something. This experience we call seeing black. The white parts of the newspaper picture reflect ambient light back to our eyes, so our seeing white results from the arrival of light to our eyes. Seeing white is seeing something. Our perception of the newspaper picture, made up of white and black dots, is the result of our simultaneously seeing and not seeing, our awareness of the reflection and absorption of light. Were the picture entirely white, we would in a sense be seeing all content and no form. Were the picture all black, we would in a similar way be seeing all form and no content. Both such pictures would not be pictures at all.

We experience a world whose presentation to us is an intricately woven combination of seeing and not seeing, of being and not being. There is a relation between the white and black, between knowledge of what is real and unreal, that gives form and texture to our world. In the infinite idea of these we find permanent harmony.

In the finite case of the newspaper picture, it is easy to see how light and dark come together to constitute a picture. What may be a subtler point is that infinite truth is comprised of the simultaneous recognition of the truth of what infinity is and what it is not. At the level of infinite consciousness, these two do not form a combination of light and dark in any normal sense. They do not form gray or alternate speckles like in the newspaper picture. To infinite sense, spiritual light fills darkness. Infinity has one sense that is the congruence of light and dark, of what is and what is not. These two form into something that is not sensibly two elements combined but a single element that is distinctly one.

Black and white dots are used here to suggest affirmative and negative aspects of infinite identity making up our idea of the whole in spiritual logic. The infinite negative provides conceptual containers that define logical space in the infinite, disembodied, and abstract realm of pure mind.

At the standpoint of infinity, being and not-being is one. To be and not to be, that is the answer. The oneness of being is both what it forever and always is, and what it has never and can never be. This oneness is experienced as a combination, an interweaving, an integration of sensible and insensible infinity. Oneness includes the allness and onliness of good, and it naturally includes knowledge of the nothingness, the inconceivability of evil. As with black dots in the newspaper picture, knowledge of the inconceivability of evil defines what is not and helps give form to reality. It defines boundaries and gives edges to infinity.

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Because of oneness, the primary viewpoint of infinity is to think as the infinite first person. The first person infinite includes the knowledge of the positive infinity that "I am" and the negative infinity that "I am not" as one infinite "I." This recognition that "I am" is a transfinite recognition. Infinity's recognition of "I am" includes its knowledge that what the I am is, is what we are, what you are, what he or she is, what and who they are, and so forth. These aspects of the I am, aspects of the I that are conceivable, are entirely good. They are pure infinite goodness.

Infinity experiences and senses all that exists and does not exist as oneness. Here infinity's viewpoint departs from a human picture of things. There is no outside to infinity's sense of oneness. Infinity shows forth an infinite kaleidoscope of individuality and identity. In trying to reconcile our human picture of things to infinity's viewpoint, what may appear to be outside our individual spheres is either something good reflected from inside or a sense of that which is properly unreal, which can be correctly found to be inconceivable.

When infinity is alone, it is alone with all and as all, with everything and everyone conceivable within it. Infinity finds infinite companionship when it is one. Infinity knows that, when it is one, no one it loves is outside of it. Infinity peoples its own soul with infinite ideas of strength and loveliness. A correct standpoint from which to think is not simply to consider what good is, but what I am, not to consider what love is, but what I am. This is meant in the sense that true consciousness knows, "I am love." Love is the principle of reality. A correct apprehension of what "I" means could have one declare, "Love am."

Having introduced the theme of reflecting the infinite first person as our thinking, we need to make two important distinctions. These are needed so we don't mistake a disappearing finite sense of selfhood for our emerging reflection of true identity.

First, it is important to keep straight about cause and effect. While we may reflect the infinite I as our own, it would be silly to think that we were personally the source of the infinite idea, in any human or personal sense. The infinite I we reflect is not to be confused with a finite concept of human mentality or personality. The infinite I am is not the finite personal self-concept, although it is expressing itself as your true identity. This first person I am is pure infinite goodness. It is important to keep clear about the difference between infinite words of identification and human beliefs of self, will, and ego. The primary attribute of the latter is that when exalted they come to naught. In this regard, be bold, but keep the ideas straight.

Second, it is important to remember that spiritual truth is universal. Whatever of infinite spiritual goodness you declare, claim, assert, or believe for yourself about your true spiritual nature, you should also declare for everyone else, for all of humanity. Because infinity is universal, every thought by which it identifies itself has universal application and validity. Human concepts of manifestation are not linked to the infinite ego in any private or privileged way that could exclude other individuals. Giving specific attention to the universal aspect of spiritual and infinite identity can unleash wonderful new views of reality. Ignoring the universal nature of truth or trying to have some private claim to it is a sure way to stop one's progress in its tracks.

Keeping these guidelines in mind is important if you are going to push on infinite spiritual thoughts. The easy tendency for human aberrations will be curbed. Maybe these two points are a contemporary statement of issues addressed in the two great commandments.

The description of the idea of infinite goodness in an earlier chapter was presented primarily in the third person, only occasionally touching on the second. In considering the idea of an infinite spiritual principle, statements were made about what the idea of pure infinite goodness is and what it does. These statements were written that way to be relatively more easily grasped. You may eventually want to consider such statements as if reflecting the infinite first person. Beginning with the first person view as idea, and growing to include the view from the principle itself, and then from the union of them, the first person view is the standpoint of right reflection.

One might find an initial reluctance to associate with spiritual or infinite ideas in the first person, to work with the idea that infinity is the source and substance of individual identity. Such reluctance would most likely come from superstitious fears or from unwillingness to part with a finite sense of self. If we find ourselves unwilling to progress, let us simply be infinitely unwilling.

When you subvocalize in the name of the infinite I, be mindful of the reflection and the original. The infinite I always understands infinity. That is what it is and what it does. Any sense of I that is unable to declare and accept that it understands infinity is not the I. It is not your real actual I, but a limited and temporary belief of i. Any conception of such a little i is not your real identity. The I that understands infinity is your rightful I. When you claim it, exercise it, get it up to speed, so to speak, you will realize it is yours, and you will see its self-conception revealing your true selfhood.

The infinite individual is the embodied knowledge of infinity. To the I, knowledge of infinity is self-knowledge. To have knowledge of infinity is to be at-one with infinity. It is to reflect infinity's knowledge of itself as your knowledge of yourself. Infinity conceives of its idea, it sees its likeness, it senses its reflection in its knowledge of the oneness of infinite good and the sweetness of infinite evil's inconceivability. This one whole infinite idea shows forth the male and female of God's creation. Infinity brings all good things together and reveals infinite fullness in infinite empty places.

Infinity's expression appears faintly in us as our still too limited conception of everyday life experience. From time to time, expressions of goodness can touch our lives in ways we do not humanly comprehend. When the wholeness of the infinite idea comes into focus however briefly in the here and now, it can sometimes seem like having five pounds of light in a four pound bag. Such an occurrence is a close relative of oneness and wholeness, but it is an idea whose essence is that it is bigger than human dimensions. Because it does not fit within the bounds of rational humanhood, it is not well understood. It is an idea sometimes remotely regarded with superstition or approximated through affectation. This special idea of wholeness represents an integrated sense of things, combining seed and soil in balance. It makes things happen when it occurs in the human realm, because it is defiant of human limitations. It results in the appearance of the transcendent in the immediate realm, a divine coincidence between the finite and the infinite. It may not be able to exist in any permanently conceivable way or in any fixed form of expression on the human scene. When this sense of wholeness appears to us in the human realm, we experience holiness.

It is not useful to affect a sense of holiness humanly. Such efforts usually result in silly parodies of the true idea. Holiness appears through right identification, through right thinking, loving, and living. It unfolds itself to us in the union of being and not being, knowing and not knowing, where they fit together as one. Then it appears and transforms all our surroundings into holy places.

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We have talked about how infinite something dwells in infinite nothing, for all things to fit. In the same way, infinite conception exists concurrently with infinite elimination. At this point, however, when these two fit together, a third element is present. Conception represents the awareness of what is. Elimination represents the awareness of what is not. Sensible and supersensible wholeness, holiness, represents the singular awareness that these two cover the whole ground as one idea. The congruence or union of these two transfinites emerges when our perception of the infinite idea is not of two pieces, or of three pieces, but when it is one.

Whole relationships throughout human life are often reflected in three views. In the relationship of father, mother, and child, the child evidences the oneness of the father and mother. In the relationship of parent, child, and observer, the observer witnesses the fundamental relationship of parent and child. We are usually most aware of the two opposites or complementary views indicating a whole relationship. The third viewpoint, often that of stranger or observer, is not at first so obvious, but it serves as the witness to wholeness.

Relating this concept to the infinite idea, the third party view is not only seen as holiness, but it is seen by holiness, for holiness is the one watching, as if as an apparition. When infinite conception and infinite elimination are seen together, which is the way they occur naturally, their distinctness is almost eclipsed by their union. When you think in terms of the oneness of infinite cause and effect, parent mind and spiritual offspring, spiritual principle and idea, your viewpoint is as the third party, the observer of wholeness.

The three points of view could be illustrated in these three voices: the parent says, I am the parent mind and I love my idea, created perfect in my likeness; the child says, I am the idea of mind, held in mind, perfect as my father-mother mind; the observer of wholeness says, I see the lovely union of perfect mind and idea, forever one.

From moment to moment, the mental standpoint of the "I" can be any or all of these three points of view. We can see ourselves as the manifestation of the infinite word; we can stand as the infinite word that looks out at its reflection; or we can be the observer and consider the relationship, the oneness, of the infinite word and its expression. Because of the wholeness of infinity, these are all one. One whole I.

Copyright 1994, Jim Chapman

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