When I awake at daybreak, I notice you and I are already in the middle
of a conversation about the battle between good and evil. In my
own life, I've noticed that battle's been going on for a long time,
arguably for as long as I can remember. And I'm pretty sure it's been
going on for longer than that even. It's not a battle I asked for.
It's not something I initiated. Based on what I've read, it's been
going on for as long as history's been recorded. It's just
there, it's always just there, going on all by
itself in an amphitheater as old as time itself. But I've got a feeling
it's even been going on for much longer than that. In all likelihood
it's been going on for all eternity.
It's always been a long, strange, incorrigible battle. Our side is
good. Your side is evil. Yet that's just what we say.
You say your side is good and our side is evil. And both
of us say
on our side. Whether I'm in it or whether I'm
observing it, it's patently clear how powerful it is, how
pervasive it is, how destructive it is, and how it just
plain doesn't work. But that's Life. Or is it? Do I have no
choice but to be in it because it overpowers me, sweeps me in,
overwhelms me and demands I react? ... orwhat? There's no respite, all through the night,
all through all nights.
But now it's dawn. I'm wide awake sitting bolt upright listening to
you. I'm listening to everything you say and through it
all I keep on hearing who you are.
When I hear you, something buried deep in me is activated. I'm reminded
of what's possible. With that, I become reticent to continue
living by the distinction good as opposed to the
distinction evil. They're both conceptual, they're both
They're useful, to a certain degree, for creating a context for living,
for creating a certain moral framework at least. Yet moral
frameworks bring in another set of distinctions: the
distinction right as opposed to the distinction
wrong, both of which are also conceptual, both of which are also
Now, I'm not against distinguishing good from evil and right from wrong
any more than I'm against distinguishing green traffic lights from red.
In order to get along in society, in order to get along in the world,
it's essential we're able to make and respect such
distinctions. We label people who don't sociopathic, even
psychopathic. Sometimes we incarcerate them, such is our
intolerance, such is our abhorrence of people who are unable to make
and respect such distinctions.
The trouble, however, with living from the "good / evil", "right /
wrong" set of distinctions as if they're absolute and not
simply concepts and
is twofold. Firstly, good defines evil just as right
defines wrong. This dragon of
is inherent in all forms of righteousness.
Interpretinggood calls forth and brings evil into being.
Interpretingright calls forth and brings wrong into
being. The back of the hand begets the palm. Heads begets
tails. Secondly, living from concepts and
relegates the miracle of
who we really are
to the background. There's
with that. It simply makes
who we really are
harder to locate. And when we can't locate
who we really are,
we do battle for things we aren't. It's very pernicious.
As you and I speak, I reinvent an old distinction. It's a distinction
that lives in experience rather than in concepts, rather
It's a very, very ancient distinction. It's been around as long as
human being's been around. In all likelihood it's been around longer
than that - I just don't know whom to ask for verification of whether
it has or hasn't been around longer than that. It's the distinction
as opposed to the distinction identity. It's
who we really are
as opposed to who we think we are ie what we identify with
that we are. True
doesn't negate concepts and
any more than identity causes them. True
does, however, provide the context in which I can see I've falsely
identified with my concepts and with my
That's its value. That's what comes forth in our conversation.
But wait! Something else comes forth in our conversation.
There's something else here, and it's a privilege to be
with it. It's something greater than I. It doesn't require a
to be acknowledged. It doesn't need an
to say it's appreciated. It doesn't require a nomination to the
hall of fame
to authenticate it. It's that which becomes possible when you and I are
in relationship. It's a privilege afforded by Life Itself. And
all that's required to have it is to declare it, to
As the sun rises ever higher in the sky, the battle still rages.
Despite it, I walk on, not
not defending, not drawn in, inventing being this way as a potent new
possibility for living the rest of my life with you.