Proverbs on Good and Evil

Music: Art of the Fugue, Contrapunctus 1.
By J.S. Bach. Sequencer unknown. Modified by David Grossman.

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Nicholas Gordon

1. Good and evil are like unstable elements that bond immediately to form a single molecule. A jolt of electricity, however, can temporarily separate them again.

2. The innocent are guilty of not knowing they are guilty, whereas the guilty are innocent of not knowing they are guilty.

3. The most common justification for evil is cynicism. The second most common justification for evil is idealism. However, idealism tends to justify the greater evil.

4. One often perceives someone as evil because one perceives oneself as good. This error is the cause of a great deal of confusion and suffering.

5. The reward for goodness is self-satisfaction, wherein also lies great danger.

6. How, then, is one to know good from evil? That which springs from love is good. That which springs from greed, lust, or hatred is evil. That which is beautiful is good. That which is ugly is evil. That which you yourself would want from another is good. That which you yourself would not want from another is evil.

7. There are those who cast aside all restraints and are willingly evil. There are those who live perpetually restrained and become self-righteous. There are those who are aware of the evil in their hearts, words, and acts, yet are able to love themselves and others.

8. Evil must sometimes be met with violence, but the only antidote is love.

9. Thus to be good one must love those who are evil, among whom one must include oneself. That is, to be good one must know one is evil, both at war and at peace with oneself.

10. In the war between good and evil, the major battleground is in the hearts of children, and the weapons are the lives of adults.

Copyright by Nicholas Gordon

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