In contrast to these occult philosophies, absolute good and evil is a spiritual teaching of the Hebrew Scriptures and of the New Testament. God is absolutely good: "And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all."35 God is described in 1 Timothy 6:16 as the one "who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light." The Psalmist urges us to "taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him."36
Satan, the fallen angel, is in total rebellion against God, and is evil. Referring to Satan as a personal being, Jesus said, "there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies,"37 and he "comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy."38 But Satan disguises himself as something beautiful, as someone who offers man wisdom, enlightenment, power. As the angel of light, he is more deadly since he is not recognized as easily: "...for Satan himself masquerades an angel of light."39 Satan in the Garden of Eden was not man's protector, but twisted God's words and by directly contradicting God, urged Eve to disobey God.40 By disobeying God and yielding to the serpent's temptation, Adam and Eve made it possible for sin and death to enter the world.41
Neither is Satan part of a dualism with God. Satan is not an opposing god, equal in power and authority to God. Satan is not a necessary being. Satan is a created being, limited in his knowledge and abilities. Satan is never spoken of in the Bible as someone who now rules or will rule hell, but as one who will be cast into a lake of fire: "And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet were also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever."42
Evil is not necessary for good, nor should we seek balance between light and darkness: "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."43 While current culture denies absolute good and evil, God's word is clear that there is a line between good and evil: "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter."44
Evil is not a force, but an action against God: "And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed."45
Evil is also a part of our own fallen nature. When sin entered the world through Adam and Eve, the rebellion against God became part of human nature -- the desire to exert our own will over God's will. This tendency to sin, that is, to defy God's goodness and serve ourselves, imprisons us and separates us from a just and holy God. So what is the answer? A restoration of society to traditional moral values, whatever those might be? Is the answer going back to the Garden, as Joni Mitchell sang in her song, "Woodstock" to an idealistic and troubled generation? Working on ourselves through meditation and mantras?
We cannot go back and erase that line in the sand that was crossed in the Garden; we cannot build a new Garden; we cannot please God by trying to live a moral life. In fact, trying to be moral or spiritual feeds the same human pride that the serpent fueled in Eve; we want recognition and reward for it. There is no action we can take, no matter how good or noble it may appear, to overcome the sin nature. It is for that very reason that Christ came to bridge the gap between God and humanity by paying the penalty for our sins on the cross:
"Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. "46
Evil is not ultimately transcended through a spiritual occult path. Rather, the evil one, Satan, will be destroyed by Christ:
"And then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming."47
The world will be redeemed and made anew.48 Light and good will prevail over darkness and evil: "And there shall no longer be any night; and they shall not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God shall illumine them..."49
In the midst of the darkness of crime, war, conflict, poverty, illness, oppression, and abuse, Jesus said, "I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."50 Individually, today, one can recognize the huge gap between God's perfection and goodness, and one's own fallen nature, and turn to Christ, the promised Messiah, the light of the world. Just as society cannot restore the Garden, neither can a person redeem him/herself. Jesus is the Redeemer, the one who came and lived a perfect life so that he could atone for our sins on the cross, then rise again the third day with power over death. Thus, both sin and death, which entered the Garden upon Adam and Eve's disobedience, are crushed under the feet of Christ.51
When we trust Christ, we are not left to manage on our own. We are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, who regenerates us and begins our inner transformation.52 In contrast to the sophisticated complexities of occult philosophies, those layers upon layers of metaphysical mazes, it is with simple childlike trust that we turn to Christ, letting the burden fall from us, and depending totally on him.
"I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."53
The dark side, evil as a force, Satan, a god who contains both good and evil -- all wither before the shining goodness of God and the redemption offered us through Christ: "And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life." 1 John 5: 11, 12
1Jean Yolen, Wizardry Hall (NY: Magic Carpet Books/Harcourt, Inc., 1999), 83.
2Deepak Chopra, How to Know God (NY, NY: Harmony Books/Random House, 2000), 151. This book has endorsements from several people including the Dalai Lama, Dr. Andrew Weil (alternative healing), Larry King, Mikhail Gorbachev, James Redfield (author of The Celestine Prophecy), Rabbi S. Boteach (author of Kosher Sex), Marianne Williamson (author of A Return to Love), Father J. Francis Stroud, S.J. at Fordham University, Dr. Bernie S. Siegel (alternative healing), Dr. Dean Ornish, Wayne W. Dyer (author of several New Age self-help books), Uri Geller (psychic), Dr. Larry Dossey (who states that the book is about "who we really are: infinite, immortal, eternal"), Arianna Huffington, and Neale Donald Walsch (author of Conversations with God, who states that we will recall this as a time in history "when the final veil was lifted from the face of God").
3Rabbi David A. Cooper, God is A Verb (NY, NY: Riverhead Books/Penguin Putnam, 1997), 159.
7The writer of this article knew Mark Lerner when she was an astrologer. Lerner published an astrological/New Age magazine, "Welcome to Planet Earth," for which the writer wrote for three years. She also participated as a workshop leader at Lerner's conferences in Eugene, OR in August of 1988 and 1990.
8Isha and Mark Lerner, Inner Child Cards (Santa Fe: Bear & Company, 1992), 104.
10Janet and Stewart Farrar, A Witches' Bible, Part 2, (Custer, WA: Phoenix Publishing, Inc., 1996), 107.
12Cooper, 157. This was also a view this writer was taught in the psychic development classes taken at the now defunct Foundation of Truth in Atlanta, Georgia.
13Classes taken at the Foundation of Truth (not longer extant) in Atlanta, GA, in 1980 and 1981.
14Sylvia Browne, The Other Side and Back (Signet, 2000), 180-1.
15Paul Ferrini, Reflections of the Christ Mind (NY, NY: Doubleday/Random House, 2000), 248. Note: the Foreword is by Neale Donald Walsch.
17Ibid., 172, 173.
23Alison Drake, Black Moon (NY: Ballantine Books/Random House, 1989), 288.
25John Blofield, The Tantric Mysticism of Tibet (George Allen and Unwin Ltd., 1970/NY, NY: Arkana/Penguin Group, 1992), 32.
28"Magician" here does not mean a stage magician doing tricks, but one who is practicing magick or sorcery.
29Arthur Edward Waite, The Book of Ceremonial Magick (NY, NY: Citatdel Press Book/Carol Publishing Group, 1994), xxiv.
30Chang Chung-Yuan, Creativity and Taoism (NY: Harper & Row, 1970), pp. 131, 157, 159, as quoted in Perle Epstien, Kabbalah (Barnes & Noble, Inc. in arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Inc., 1998), 69.
31Daniel C. Matt, The Essential Kabbalah (HarperCollins/HarperSanFrancisco, 1995), 153.
34Adam and Eve were equally culpable: "When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it," Genesis 3:6; see also Romans 5:12, 18, and 19.
35First John 1:5
39Second Corinthians 11:14
40Compare Genesis 3:1 and 4 to 2:16, 17
41Genesis 3:14-24; Romans 5:12-19
45John 3:19, 20
46Romans 5:18 2
511 Corinthians 15:20-22, 55-57
52John 14:26; Romans 15:13; 1 Corinthians 6:19, 12:13; Galatians 5:22; 1 Thessalonians 4:7, 8; 2 Timothy 1:14
Blofield, John. The Tantric Mysticism of Tibet. NY, NY: Arkana/Penguin Group, 1992.
Browne, Sylvia. The Other Side and Back. Signet, 2000.
Chopra, Deepak. How to Know God. NY, NY: Harmony Books/Random House, 2000.
Chung-Yuan, Chang. Creativity and Taoism. NY: Harper & Row, 1970. Quoted in Perle Epstien, Kabbalah, Barnes & Noble, Inc., in arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Inc., 1998.
Cooper, Rabbi David A. God is A Verb. NY, NY: Riverhead Books/Penguin Putnam, 1997.
Drake, Alison Drake. Black Moon. NY: Ballantine Books/Random House, 1989.
Farrar, Janet and Stewart. A Witches' Bible. Custer, WA: Phoenix Publishing, Inc., 1996.
Ferrini, Paul. Reflections of the Christ Mind. Foreword by Neale Donald Walsch.NY, NY: Doubleday/Random House, 2000,
Lerner, Isha and Mark. Inner Child Cards. Santa Fe: Bear & Company, 1992.
Matt, Daniel C. The Essential Kabbalah. HarperCollins/HarperSanFrancisco, 1995.
Waite, Arthur Edward. The Book of Ceremonial Magick. NY, NY: Citatdel Press Book/Carol Publishing Group, 1994.
Yolen, Jean. Wizardry Hall. NY, NY: Magic Carpet Books/Harcourt, Inc., 1999.