Can you provide a spiritual explanation of sin and evil?
The Guide: Your world on Earth, as you all know from the lectures and teachings you have received, is a world of unreality. You may term it a temporary reality. The things you experience, the deductions you make with the surface logic of the intellect, which ignores spiritual and absolute truth, are faulty.
They have a limited value and truth, like the wrong conclusions of the soul made by the child, which apply correctly to a particular situation. They are not without their own peculiar logic, limited as it may be. Nevertheless, these conclusions are wrong and unrealistic if applied as a general truth of life.
The same relationship exists between the conclusions and deductions the intellect forms correctly, as applied to the temporary circumstances of certain conditions in this life on the earth plane, and the spiritual laws of absolute reality where these same deductions and conclusions are wrong.
Sin, as you all know, is nothing but ignorance. It is distortion. No one is wicked or bad or malicious because he enjoys it for its own sake. A person may be all those because he mistakenly thinks it serves him as a protection. The more you analyze and understand yourself, the more you will find this to be true in your own case, and therefore it must hold true also for others.
So when people behave negatively, you will no longer feel frightened or personally involved. It will no longer cause you hardship. This may sound impossible, but it is true. When a person has raised his or her consciousness and perceives inklings of absolute truth, he or she then realizes that there is no such thing as evil, badness, sin, malice. All this prevails only as long as you live in this earth sphere, with the limited outlook caused by your own distortions.
Once you raise yourself above this state of error, you will see that all evil on this plane is nothing but a defensive weapon, or rather a pseudo-defensive weapon, for in reality it has the very opposite effect. Once you understand the motive of evil and sin, you no longer fear it, you no longer feel personally at stake, and therefore you lose the sense of its reality. You are all on the way toward experiencing this truth, at least to some degree.
When you find and dissolve your own wrong conclusions, nothing will any longer prevent you from loving and being free. You then remove the part in you that was in darkness, that was selfish and unloving because of the wrong conclusions. Where you have found and removed the error, you have a true concept of reality, you can love without fear, and therefore you live without sin, if you want to use this expression.
Evil and sin are products of an illusory world that exists only while you live in the illusion, but they have no absolute reality. The moment you raise your consciousness, you are free of the illusion; it no longer has any reality whatsoever. Even when you see error in others, with this raised consciousness you will see through it, you will understand its significance and its origin, and so you will realize its very temporary effect. Actually, error, or sin, has no effect on reality at all; it only affects those who still live in unreality, while they live in it.
Why is it that all spiritual teachings in the past speak of sin instead of sickness or neurosis?
The Guide: Because it does not make any difference. It is the same. Just look back on history and you will see how people despised the sick person as much as the sinner. Sick people were ostracized. It is only rather recently that this has changed. Only since this change has taken place has it become important not to stress sin and evil as much in order to discourage contempt and arrogance.
Until only very recently, insane people were considered the same as criminals. And it may take some time yet before people stop looking down on others because they are troubled, sick, neurotic, or spiritually less developed. So this is a matter of the general development of humanity and its outlook, and not a question of semantics.
It is a question of judging and despising others, rather than understanding, loving and helping. Although sickness and sin are the same, the person with limited perception will look down on both, while the person with a higher capacity of perception will understand and help and not feel superior.
Sin and sickness are the same, but what counts is how you react to them, not what word you use. No matter what word you use, it will be distorted if your inner perception is limited. And when your inner perception reaches its highest potential, according to your own capacity, then the word will not be misused. Or rather, regardless of what word you use, the feeling will be right.
Is evil a condition which results from an actual fall from grace? And what is its relationship to Lucifer in the Old and New Testaments?
The Guide: I have discussed many factors of what constitutes evil. The word “grace” can, of course, be interpreted in many ways. The way I would interpret it would be that grace is the true state of being in which all the universal good, all the forces and powers in the most abundant of ways are each individual’s property.
Falling from grace means no more and no less than not knowing this, ignoring this fact, and searching for the solution and for salvation in a faraway manner, while the truth is there all the time.
The blindness lies in making it more complicated and ignoring the truth, which is: it is all yours; you do not have to beg for it; you do not have even to struggle for it. All you have to struggle against is your own blindness and your own distortions, which make you afraid of the truth and make you cling to unhappiness and untruth. This would be the falling from grace. Once this is clearly understood, many further errors can be avoided.
As to your question of Luciferic powers and personification and the allegory and all that. This, of course, is entirely a matter of comprehension and consciousness. He who is still deeply involved in his separateness, in a dualistic concept of life, cannot conceive of the unity of being, which means that everything is in him. This means, not only what I said before – namely, that all the good is in man – but it also means that the bad that befalls on man from the outside is also in him.
The more man is on such a path, the more he comprehends this fact. You, for instance, my friends, learn gradually, and little by little, that what disturbs you from the outside is really a reflection of something that is within you. You have no more difficulty with anything else but with this, for no matter how much you hear these words, you always and continuously forget them, and ascribe misery and strife to factors outside yourself, to something that is wrong outside of you.
Nothing could ever disturb you, no matter how much it appears to come from the outside, other than what is in you. The outside is only a reflection activated by your own corresponding powers. The same applies to the pleasurable. Man’s inability to understand that, separates himself from the universe, from life, from Creation, from events and experience. Therefore he personalizes outer factors and even gives these outer factors a name. The more he develops, the less man will be tempted to do such a thing.