The Knowledge of Good and Evil


The problem of good and evil is solved as they are infinite and one fits in the other, so the meaning of every infinite word is good. This can begin to make some sense when you think of evil as the absence of good. Solving the problem of good and evil answers theological questions about our ultimate origin and nature. Insights from this solution can be applied to solve problems in everyday life.

The way to deal more effectively with evil is to begin by reaching out to learn more about good. One way to do this is to spend time thinking about pure goodness as spiritual and infinite. Before getting into this, however, it may be useful to consider what it means to think about things that are spiritual and infinite, and how that differs from thinking about other things.

The reason for thinking about infinite spiritual things is very practical, although it might at first seem impractical. Infinite spiritual ideas are uniquely valuable. In addition to providing a new vantage point from which to solve specific problems, thinking about spiritual and infinite things can be very useful meditation. It can expand thought and provide a powerful impetus for mental and spiritual growth.

In thinking about this subject, we will be hoping occasionally to glimpse the infinite's point of view. The theory is that reflecting the thoughts of the infinite can lead the individual to view some of its perspectives. If the infinite idea provides a theoretical basis for solving the problem of good and evil, perhaps something in perceiving this solution can be applied to whatever challenges we might face.

I have had many experiences where I have struggled to think my way through a problem of some sort. Every once in a while my thinking process, or praying process, has resulted in a glimpse of the idea that my problem is already solved. Whenever I get this view, my problem is solved. This idea, of the thing we seek being already done, is a very special and exciting point of view. It breaks through limitations, as if short-circuiting time and utterly defying problems asserting themselves in the human dimension. That is one reason we are interested in thinking about infinite ideas. In the world of infinite ideas our work is already done.

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This book is about religion, but not in any conventional or traditional sense. In the discussion here, we will be considering different types of beliefs and making observations about how they evolve and differ from one another. These distinctions are primarily to provide an orderly and logical framework for understanding a subject area that might initially seem amorphous.

This following discussion of infinite spiritual ideas is not intended to be scholarly or philosophical. Appreciating the subject may require deep spiritual thinking but not purely intellectual reasoning. Your best thoughts on the subject may not come from explicit statements found on the printed page, but from thinking and reflection, from reading between the lines, and from having the subject revealed to you from within.

While this book will include analysis of issues often addressed by religions, it will try to avoid explicit references to known religions or belief systems. In this field, distinctions may provide more clarity than comparisons. Looking at the spectrum of all human beliefs will lay the groundwork for considering the subject of infinite spiritual ideas. As if to illustrate a principle, it may be as helpful to know what this subject is not as to know what it is.

Infinite spiritual ideas show us how the problem of good and evil is solved, and we will look at the wholeness of that solution. Having attained a new mental standpoint, we will be enabled to look out on our world as if created anew. To get this view, we will begin by exploring some new ways of thinking. The first steps will be to go over some definitions and distinctions, to become familiar with a few of the concepts involved, and to develop a sense of order and perspective in the world of infinite spiritual words and ideas.

As you may know, physicists have been striving over the last decades to develop a theory to link the four physical forces of nature: gravity, electromagnetism, the weak nuclear force, and the strong. This search for a unified field theory, or theory of everything, has intended to arrive at an orderly concept of the whole. I suppose this quest has been motivated by an aesthetic inkling or hope, or perhaps just by the tantalizing possibility, that the underlying conceptual engine of reality might be reducible to a single principle. Maybe we seek such things because, even while our mental tendencies make us relish differentiating among ideas, we still feel the impulse to integrate them.

Understanding the patterns in which human beliefs form, the levels of spiritual ideals we might reach for, and the special attributes of infinite ideas reveals a kind of unified theory for a larger world, a world whose substance and form spring from transcendent identity. Our inquiry here will uncover a comprehensive theory of the whole, a theory to give a sense of order and structure to the vast world of spiritual thought. This structure will be used as a context for understanding the peculiar differences between infinite ideas and human beliefs. Considering infinite ideas always leads to an orderly concept of the whole, because infinite ideas are all-encompassing and uniquely unifying.

Copyright 1994, Jim Chapman

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