In this world, we see varying levels of what we traditionally call good and evil. We have ways to measure them with our religious notions, but if we see the world through a materialists eyes, what is good or evil? Some may say that good and evil are behaviors that are infringements on the survival of the group, or plan in which the participant is a part of; practically saying, evil is an acting out of animalistic nature that hurts the herd and nothing more. This does not work in all cases though, for there are things people do to themselves that are harmful and therefore seen as bad. The religious crowd sees morality as having come from God: a set of guidelines fraught with consequence and reward if obeyed or rejected, but why are certain things deemed sin? There are things that only seem to hurt us, so how can those things fit with the materialist view? Why would God care if we stole a cookie from the cookie jar?
I once had a psychedelic experience in which my faults were shown to me and I saw myself as the universe saw me. Though I was bathed in love at this moment, I was also shown in a clearer than clear manner what I had done. I was not being judged, but redirected. There was no hammer of God falling upon me for my errors. It was implied that my errors were not expedient for my growth as an eternal part of the universe. In other words, my less than careful deeds were not useful. It was plain as day, they were impractical roadblocks that I had carelessly set in front of myself. I had impeded my own progress and slowed my contribution to the universal creative evolution that is ever taking place. My decision to do so made me a slowing force rather than an expediting force.
From this vantage point, the universe shows its egalitarian understanding and amorality as the highest virtue. Sin in the traditional sense is an archaic illusion meant to trap you, forcing you to police yourself and others. It is a method of control used by ill-willed authorities to enslave you without you even realizing it. Accepting sin and salvation is acceptance of a mental prison that you hold yourself in, while the counterintuitive forces of the universe revel in the slowing of your progress.
But what about these ill-willed people who exude evil? Surely they are proof that evil exists? In my experience, these people who behave in ways like this have embraced the most base and primal ways, succumbing to blood lust and every other form that brings opposition to human progress as a universal body. Again, a psychedelic view of the other side shows us that these occurrences are woven together in the creative process with the complexity and order that could only be made by the collection of all minds that have ever carried out thought, combined into one mind. These people who are traditionally called evil are the human forms of earthquakes, forest fires and hurricanes; Because they are base, they are nearly elemental. They are brilliant, yet animalistic. Because they are conscious individuals, they are impeding themselves by volunteering to be nearly elemental in their destructive path. One does not say that an earthquake is sinning when it kills thousands. The earthquake is indiscriminate in its destruction. These individuals have traded enlightenment for a short lived orgy of power.
There is a cop-out given when bad things happen: God has a plan we don’t understand. It’s always from the standpoint of clinging to the prisoner mindset, trying to understand why something horrible has happened when the answer is much bigger, complex and longer than our non-eternal selves can comprehend. The karmic resonance of a happening may have been thousands of years in the making and it may have just been our turn to be the participant in the cosmic process to experience it.
We have been raised to fear the death of our bodies, either because of fear that we will go to hell or because we only see a yawning void waiting for us. But if we see ourselves as eternal, then our mind realizes that our bodies are simply the crafts that we are steering for the moment on a roiling and ever-expanding vision of self-realization and collective unification.
Once we see ourselves from the grander perspective, the idea of sin becomes silly and rudimentary. We are merely impeding ourselves in our process of transcendence while contributing to the base slowing forces that fight progress and enslave us in fear.
The universe is amoral: It does not do you wrong. To think of if that way is to not realize that you are the universe. Your physical body is literally made from the particles of stars. We are blessed to be able to take part of this process and feel what it’s like to have the pleasure and pain of physical existence. With that in mind, let’s choose to be the positive forces in our present world and pull as much learning as we can from the things we used to see as good and evil. Let’s leave those prison doors swinging open and show others how it’s done. We’re in this together, let’s embrace that idea and act accordingly.
Gabriel writes for VICE Magazine, Disinfo.com and Realitysandwich.com and is the author of three books. He is continuing his research at the University of Washington in his hometown of Tacoma, WA.