Sunday, 11 October 2009

Evil and error are not forms of reality

There such things as "sick souls"--souls that are unsound, evil,
are perverse-as opposed to "souls" that are "healthy"?

This was the question raised by BENEDETTO CROCE (1866-1954) an Italian Critic, Philosopher and best known author of Aesthetics of Twentieth century. He has some interesting insights about goodness and evil. Following is a passage from his book THE CONDUCT OF LIFE:

Evil and error are not "forms of reality," as people sometimes doggedly
assert, but nothing more nor less than the transition from one form of
reality to another, and from one form of the Spirit to another of its
forms--the Spirit, in its effort to attain the higher coming to regard
the lower as irrational, erroneous, evil. We have evidence of this in
the fact that wrong-doing is always attended by a consciousness of doing
wrong, by an effort, that is--it may be a faint one--to overcome evil;
and this effort constitutes the true definition of "good." In accepting
this point of view we are in no danger of slipping into a crass
optimism, or worse still, into brute determinism; for here we are
denying the reality of evil by making it implicit in the good, an
aspect, therefore, a constituent, of the good, as eternal as the good
itself; and the process we affirm is a process of liberation, of


  1. Now this one, like your other posts and Faraz' recent posts require quiet, meditation...LOTS...just one quick one...there is a wonderful passage that would corroborate the above - maybe you can find it on your bookshelf before I find mine:

    The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran as a passage around the middle to this same effect. Let me know if you can't find....

    I'd also like to know what may have been the "triggering event or thought" for you in choosing this particular topic?

    Thanx for your good work and as before your choice of photo is right on.

  2. St. Augustine: What else is darkness except absence of light.

  3. Apt quote for plenty of reflection.

  4. The Kahlil Gibran Quote from p. 39 of
    -The Prophet-:

    "One of the judges of the city stood forth and said, Speak to us of Crime and Punishment.

    And he answered saying:

    It is when your spirit goes wandering upon the wind, That you alone and unguarded, commit a wrong unto others and therefore unto yourself...

    Like the ocean is your god-self: It remains forever undefiled...

    Oft..I hear you speak of one who commits a wrong as tho he were not one of you, but a stranger...and intruder..

    But I say that even as the holy and the righteous cannot rise beyond the highest which is in each one of you,

    So the wicked and the weak cannot fall lower than the lowest which is in you also...

    So the wrong-doer cannot do wrong without the hidden will of you all..

    Like a procession you walk together towards your god-self...

    (there's ever so much more in this master's understanding)