Good VS Evil
by Silvia Hartmann
An essay on decisions, living neither in eternal darkness nor the searing light
and on re-uniting with the true experience of this world.
I remember, a long time ago when I was still a small child, I
made a very conscious and very precise decision to be evil.
It was a decision, make no mistake.
It was weighed in my mind, I contemplated the pro’s and con’s of the entire
situation, all the evidence that was at my disposal one way or the other and
then I made the decision.
It was an enormous relief, mixed with some sadness too and some anger, but the
sheer relief that such decisions bring with themselves was enormous.
It’s nice to know where you belong. It makes you feel a lot less lost, a lot
But, as is so often the case with such decisions, there is a price to pay.
It seems to me that this price is a loss of individuality, of freedom, of choice
and in the end, of ability to be, have and do certain things.
You could call it a kind of slavery but we will come to this later.
Now, you may wonder, why a four year old child would make such a rather life
setting and determining decision and what such a choice may be based upon.
This first came to my attention in consciousness some years back during an EFT
intervention for what alone, I can’t remember. I was really struck by something
though and have since mentioned it numerous times to my friends in the course of
a conversation, because the question as to what actually is good and what is
evil, and where you stand in the “War of the Heavens” has a great deal of
bearing on how you conduct many aspects of your life, as well as what you might
expect as overall profits, when the final reckoning is made.
What is Evil?
There are two very divergent philosophical starting points for what evil is and
how a human gets to be evil.
One tends to talk of evil as you would talk of a mountain, say, or a certain
type of weather – it’s an existing reality in the universe and it’s just there,
not a lot we can do about it other than hoping it doesn’t happen where we happen
to stand at any given time.
This worldview also includes the possibility of being born evil; indeed, the
more radical types tend to take this for granted – being born evil by the very
virtue of being born at all, that is – and that one must strive to overcome this
evil and get to be good.
The slightly more modern way of thinking about this also includes evil as an
existing force but here, we’re basically born good but then something evil comes
along and it can make you evil by touching it, interacting with it, inviting it
in and so forth.
So, if we take our none-too-hypothetical four year old girl, we could start by
wondering if she was born evil and failed to have this driven from her in time
through lack of care by her supervisors, or we could wonder if she had been a
“good little girl” but something happened to take her down into the inevitable
pits of hell.
I was quite fascinated by her decision, so I endeavoured to gain her trust and
talk to her, find out just what her evidence procedure was before she arrived at
her decision to “walk the shadow path” – even the fact that there actually was
DECISION and THOUGHT in the picture at all was indeed, most intriguing to me.
One piece of evidence was the fact that she was regularly referred to by her
supervisors and caretakers as “Satan’s daughter”. Now we, looking across this
time span from the now and here to the there and then, might begin a discussion
on whether these people were qualified to make such a pronouncement or whether
they simply knew more about her than we ever will; for the girl in question it
is quite possible that she would have not thought in such a way and simply
accepted the fact as a given.
There is a scene in the movie, The Omen II, when a disciple reveals to the young
boy that he is the Anti-Christ whilst he is at boarding school. The boy is
understandably somewhat disturbed and traumatised by this announcement, having
thought until then that he was just a child, more or less like the other
children around him. However, he comes to accept the fact and when he does, his
turmoil ceases and he resigns himself to his new career.
One could set to musing at this point how often this happens in real life, in
real terms. How many Anti-Christs walk amongst us for this very reason, for such
an occurrence (or two, or three, or four, or five ...) and who, just like the
little girl back then, found a great deal of relief and cessation of fear, doubt
and insanity their final submission to their own “inherent evil”.
However, this would not help us in this case, so let us return to our real life
case history and ask this little girl, “What exactly does it mean to you, being
evil? What do you mean by that?”
She would look straight back at you with her serious brown eyes and tell you a
big list of evil things that she had done, if she would trust you to just listen
and take her at her word’s value, which is not something that grown ups do a lot
of amongst themselves, not to mention when they are communing with children.
She would tell you that she had stolen chocolate, lied about it afterwards so
she wouldn’t get beaten, climbed a tree in a brand new dress, taken a bite from
an apple and thrown the rest away, crossed a road when the little red man was
showing, held her pen in the wrong hand, deliberately drew outside the lines of
a colouring in picture, spat out her spinach, cried when she should have been
silent, and as she speaks on and on and on, you really begin to wonder just how
much crime there can be in such a young life, and you have the notion that there
may be some things she’s not telling you about that are even worse than what
she’s confessing here at such speed and rate.
Now, you would ask her, “And did you not know what you were doing was bad,
And she would tell you that she did.
“Why did you do it then?”, you might ask in astonishment, and the little girl
says, “It felt good at the time. I liked it.”
And here’s the next piece of evidence.
Bad is bad when it’s bad, but when you actually like bad, things get nasty,
slimy and tricky. When you are asked to show remorse but you don’t feel it. Or
you just say you do just so it’ll stop – so THEY will finally stop and leave you
alone. You lie and that’s good then. Only it’s bad ...
Ah, but this is all getting far too complicated. Good and Bad, Right and Wrong,
it’s easy right? God or the Devil, simple enough choice. Let’s go at this the
other way around.
Ask her what “Being Good” means.
This is what she said.
“There was this girl called Susie. She was horrible. She punched and kicked me
and broke my toys and said bad things to me when no-one was watching. When the
grown ups came, she stopped and smiled at them. They liked her. Her clothes were
always clean. Her hair was always combed. They told me that Susie was good and I
was bad and I should be good like Susie. I hated her. I didn’t want to be like
What else does it mean, being good?
“It means you don’t talk and you don’t say anything. It means to be silent. It
means to sit still and never move. To never make your clothes dirty. To do as
you’re told. Not get angry.”
Who else is “good”?
“My mother and father. And Mr Smith. He beats his wife and steals from work. His
children are afraid of him, especially at night when he is drunk. He is a good
man. My father says so.”
Well, there we have it. Bad feels good and good feels bad. Perhaps a few more
beatings to really drive the devil out of this child?
Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. The exorcism did not occur, and there’s this
moment in space and time where a four year old decides that she is evil.
What happens next?
Well, now you can lie in peace.
When asked if you are sorry, you can look them straight in the eye and say, “Oh
yes, I’m very sorry. I’ll never do it again.” and sound entirely convincing if
you want to avoid the beatings.
Or, of course, you can just proudly look them in the eye and say, “Fuck off,
I’ll do it again given half a chance!” and at least stay true to yourself or
should I say, your decision, and this time when you get the beating, at least
there’s a sense of justice about it because you really did it yourself, it was
your decision, your doing, your just deserts and even in the pain, there is now
a sense of control.
It is, indeed, an interesting procedure.
It creates some very interesting, very dangerous people.
When you are evil and you know it, you can walk in places where “the angels fear
You can challenge, you can question and you can say, “No. Not like that.”
You can start to paint outside the prescribed lines in earnest.
You can discover new things and you can be creative. Really creative. Scarely
creative. The kind of creative that Susie would never dare present her teachers
and her masters with because it would make them feel uncomfortable, threatened
and it would rock the boat that keeps them all afloat on the icy black seas of
But, as I observed earlier, there’s a price to be paid.
The Cost Of Being Evil
I have observed a number of people deciding certain things which are
structurally quite similar, and in some fields it’s called “Coming out of the
I love that term to bits. I’ve been wanting to come out of various closets for
ages but I’m not sure just which one to come out of!
See, if I was to “realise” or read, “decide” that I was a lesbian, life would
interestingly become a lot easier all of a sudden.
There would be a whole host, a cascade of ready-made hand-me-downs instantly at
my disposal, to help me decide what clothes I should be wearing, what music I
should like, what friends I’ll have, what pubs and clubs I will go to (and which
to avoid), special housing associations to welcome me and even poetry awards I
could apply for.
There would be this invisible MASTER that I can turn to in moments of crisis –
the “Who the hell am I???” types of crisis – to tell me how to decorate my home
and what books I should or should not be reading, what political persuasion I
would like to engage in and anything else really I might need to worry about.
As it is, I haven’t really decided such a thing.
Nor have I decided to be a “classic heterosexual sex kitten” or a “raving ugly
old feminist” for that matter. “Mother Superior” also doesn’t hold much appeal
for me, and neither does “elegant vampiric salon hostess”.
Hey. One day I might find a closet to come out of, but you know, the older I’m
getting, the harder this is becoming. Perhaps I’ve played with my self concept a
little too much, made it too elastic, found that I can be all of those things
and essentially remain none of them, and now I’m finding myself a masterless
slave, thrown back upon just what I’m not sure to help me decide what things I
like, what I should wear and how I should behave.
This “lifestyle MASTER” of any kind of ready made category is quite well known
amongst teenagers and ugly feminists; we shake our heads sadly at the Ku Klux
Clan or fundamentalist Muslims who take the lifestyle master to the extreme but
it’s there alright, and the worst part about it is just as in BDSM, the intense
“relief” someone experiences when they give up the daily struggle to make up
their own minds and instead, experience the true bliss of servitude and knowing
just where you stand, and who you are.
A choice between being “good Susie” or “evil Silvi” is just such a lifestyle
choice, if only we would know it.
Like any other category decision, fashion-, political-, or religious based, it
creates a kind of fortress landscape within our own self concepts and whatever
we get to do, be, think, eat and create becomes defined by and within it.
There are certain things that Susie can never do, and there are others that
Silvi cannot – areas out of bounds, like a shadow divide between a land of day
and night, where half creatures live in each and neither can enter each other’s
realms in eternity.
It is a very unhappy state of being for all concerned, for Susie longs for some
of the things, events, manifestations that can only take place on the shadow
side or, should we say, in shadow time; some of things, events, manifestations,
emotions can only be had for Silvi on the sunny side of the street and both may
stand and stare, their noses pressed up hard against the glass, the grass always
being somewhat greener on the other side for one, and for the other, what you
cannot have seeming so much more precious than that which is in easy reach and
always available, just for the asking, just for the wanting.
Stepping Across The Divide
Now, something happened to our little girl who decided that she was evil.
Evilly, she decided at some point to find out if, when you put your mind to it,
you can do more good as an evil person than a good person doing good, and found
that you could.
This caused some chaos in the simple order of things and some big problems with
the lifestyle master which ceases to function when you start to rock the
definitive foundations just a little.
How can you do good if you are evil?
How does that work?
How can you do evil if you are good?
How does THAT work?
There are a number of ways to process such a stalemate.
The simplest way is to just STOP trying to define what exactly good and evil
After all, one man’s evil is another man’s good and vice versa, so how can any
man EVER know what’s what and be sure they are right about this?
Every mass murderer, from Pontius Pilate to Adolf Hitler, was convinced they
were doing good.
The guys running the killing fields in Korea were doing it for the good of the
unborn children, so that they might have a better life.
Their victims didn’t think them good, to be sure.
Victims usually don’t, may they be the Christians who were eaten by the lions or
the witches burned by the Christians.
Thou shallt not kill.
(Apart from, if you’re a soldier and you were ordered to; in self defense; if
it’s an accident; if the person you’re killing is generally disliked, feared or
hated; if they are an aristocrat/jew/German/Muslim/Christian/Apache/etc.; if
you’re insane with PMT at the time; if it’s for the “greater good” ...)
Think too much about these things off your own bat (as opposed to not thinking
at all and following a lifestyle Master who prescribes such things to you and
relieves you of this unpleasant murkiness), and soon enough you begin to really
lose a sense of just what is good, and what is evil, in the now, in the long
run, who decides this, how it’s measured, how it works.
When you take out what is good or evil, you’re kind of left with “what is”.
And what is?
What is this?
What are we doing here, what’s the point of being here at all, how do we conduct
ourselves, how do we make decisions, based on what?
Based on WHAT?
Discovering The World
As I’ve said, in the simple good vs evil decision a landscape is created, an
entirely artificial distinction that exists nowhere but inside our own minds, as
to where you can go and what you can do.
This becomes a person’s own personal prison and in a way, their own personal
“hell” – whether it be a bright hell or a dark hell, it matters not really, in
the end. (*little word game there – hell means “bright” in German from which the
term derives, one of those strange things related to the fact that Lucifer means
“bringer of the light” in Latin and originally referred to the Morning Star).
A bright hell or a dark hell, it matters not.
After wandering about in both for a while, carefully cloaked against the fall
out of those dimensions, I must have made a decision at some point to stop this
and to get out of hell and into the real world.
There’s this amazing planet, this fantastic eco system. Of which people are a
part, as are their very strange neurologies, a totally undiscovered country in
every sense of the word, metaphorically and otherwise.
There’s the sun in the sky and at night, the moon, the stars, the milky way.
Rains, ice, heat.
Seasons that change. Comets that come.
Thunderstorms and hails of frogs.
It is a most amazing place.
Perhaps, I thought, perhaps it’s time to get out of our mindgames and stop
trying to think that we know what’s what at all, stop listening to musty books
and aged scholars repeating the Chinese whispers of the ones who went before
them, knowingly, unknowingly, who cares in the end, and start making a personal
contact with this world in which I find myself.
To learn about it, not second hand through anyone else, but just to learn with
my own eyes and ears, my skin and my other senses, to just watch it like you
would watch a troupe of strange creatures in their habitat you stumbled upon
To learn about the world, not so I can teach others or tell them this, that or
the other, but just for me.
So I find out some things that make sense for me, for MY OWN RELATIONSHIP WITH
THIS MY LIFE ON THIS PLANET.
Who can teach me about the sunset?
Oh, but for sure, I can spend years and years studying available descriptions of
sunsets, astronomy, astrology, umpteemology for all I care, but in the end, who
gives a toss?
Who can teach me about the sunset?
No-one can teach you, either.
It’s your sunset.
Indeed, it’s your sun. Your moon and your wind, your pain and your body, your
feelings entirely, this is your world.
Totally, and exactly at the same time as it is mine – no shortage, no division,
no loss, no matter how many of the 6 billion stare up at the sky and stand
there, staring up at it and it being THEIR OWN SUN as the planet turns through a
single rotation on it’s axis.
It is your world and whether you know this or not, your decision and your
creation as to whether you want to be in hell until you die, or whether you want
to start coming out of hell and carefully, slowly, cautiously if you will at
first, make this world your own again.
This world is not about anything other than your own experience and your own
life. When your life ends, the world ends too, truly and profoundly.
This your world will end when you are no longer there to observe it.
That is very true and no matter what “other people” say.
When a small child holds up a hand in front their eyes and says, “I’m gone.” –
What has this to do with good and evil, you might wonder.
It has everything to do with it.
Understanding that you are neither and both REUNITES you and gives you the
ability to see the world again for what it is – see it, feel it, touch it, and
experience it with all your senses, all your neurology and all you are, not with
half of what you are, or that half you decided you were going to be.
Choose good and strive for good, and you will lose the dark side.
Choose the evil and strive for evil, and you will lose the bright side.
Neither can exist and be anything other than true damnation and less than half
of the truth.
Susie and Silvi aren’t good or evil respectively.
They are human.
That is the resolution and not the end, but the beginning, the awakening to a
real life, the one and only real life YOU can ever have, in direct communication
with all-there-is, learning directly from the all-there-is, and being
Next time, you help an old lady across the street, don’t think you did something
You did something human.
Next time, you hurt another with a cutting remark or the lash of your whip,
don’t think you did something evil.
You did something human.
Know it, remember it, and hold it clearly in mind should you ever be called upon
to judge yourself, or another.
Herein lies freedom.
© Silvia Hartmann 2002