Why Do People Pursue Evil?

From Inner Culture Magazine, June 1934

People do not intentionally love to be evil. They are evil because they do not know the greater charm of good habits and are unable to compare and select the best. Most people become evil due to the influence of opinion, and most people are unconsciously led to evil. People are evil due to the precedence of evil in their environment in early life, and people are evil because they do not know any better.

People are evil because they wrongly think that through evil they will get happiness easily. People love evil because they falsely magnify the dread and torture supposed to be involved in self-control. People are evil because they are compelled to become so by the compelling influence of evil instincts or wrong determinations.

Take away the compelling instincts of anger, fear, temptation, selfishness, and greed that are planted in man by the unseen Cosmic evil force, and the world will be entirely free from evil. If these evil mental traits did not exist, man’s reason, or will, could not be influenced to become evil. People become easily influenced by evil due to the predominance of evil instincts from early childhood.

Q. Is there ultimate good or evil?

A. We have seen that good can be evil and evil can be good, but God can be nothing but good.

Hate the sin as much as you can, with all your mental and physical strength, but love the sinners so that you may heal them by that only lasting panacea. When you meet people who lie, gossip, create inharmony, and deal evil for good, forgive them, for they are acting under the intoxication of evil. No matter how intelligent they are, their will and reason are enslaved only to do evil. Great criminals consciously do evil, knowing its harmful consequences, yet they cannot help it. So, with Thomas
a Kempis, as he once said when seeing a man condemned to death, "But for the grace of God, there goes myself."

Why the Good Are Few

To be good is more charming and beneficial than to be evil. Though many people are evil, yet a few good people, by their qualitative worthwhileness, counterbalance the influence of evil. One moon gives more light than all the stars. The little sun drives away the darkness from a space millions of times larger than itself. A good man, whether he preaches or not, by his very presence in the world sets in motion invisible vibrations, which counteract the vast volumes of vibrations of myriad of evil people.

Therefore, we must say that there is more good in the Cosmos, for all the greater influence of good people must be conjoined with the highest permanent goodness of God. The Cosmic evil force, with all his evil psychological agencies of anger, fear, et cetera, is only relatively existing and is impermanent.

In reality, there is more good than evil in the world. Therefore, an increasing number of people become good, and it is wrong to say that a greater number become evil. In the end, evil becomes a tool of God. Since evil does not keep its promises and deceitfully administers the poison of sorrow with a sugar coating of promised or temporary happiness to those who follow it, its followers, sooner or later, become disillusioned by it and turn to good, or God, which alone can offer lasting, true, ever-new happiness.

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