The Origin of Evil

The Voice of the Holy Spirit does not command, because It is incapable of arrogance. It does not demand, because It does not seek control. It does not overcome, because It does not attack. It merely reminds.
–A Course in Miracles

The origin of “evil” is the attempt to separate oneself from God, to be autonomous and independent of the rest of creation, and to have power and control over other parts of God’s creation. However, the desire to be independent of and separate from the Whole only results in self-harm and illusions. We cannot be separate from the Whole, for our life comes from the Whole. The Holy Spirit knows that we are united with the Whole, and that we can never be separate from the Whole. The Holy Spirit simply reminds us of this fact so that we will regain our sanity and our peace. In the universe, there is only one Will, and this is good because that means that there is no real conflict in God’s creation. The wish to oppose God’s will is the wish to oppose our own will, or to be double-minded and conflicted. While we oppose the one will of the universe, we feel like we are in prison because we cannot exercise our own will. This bondage can become very painful, and take away all of our joy. Our joy comes only from doing the will of God because God’s will is our own.

When we try to control others and try to will apart from God, we are really trying to create conflict in the world. This conflict obstructs the life-flow and takes away our happiness and peace. And when our happiness is gone, we become jealous of those who do have happiness. As a result, we try to destroy as much happiness around us as possible so that we won’t feel jealous or inferior. All of these thoughts and actions result from the insane belief that we can be autonomous, or that we can be independent of God and the Whole of creation. It is very simple to correct this mistake in thinking, but sometimes our pride gets in the way. We believe that to join the will of the Whole is to give up our identity. However, the opposite is true. When we join the Whole, our identity becomes infinitely greater (we come to know our real Self), our will becomes free, our life flows freely, and joy and peace return to our mind. It is only a matter of time before we all return to the Whole, but we can delay this moment for thousands of years. But how long do we want to be imprisoned? How long will we cling to the idea that “evil” gives us something of value? How long will we believe that humility means loss? How long will we believe that God is an enemy that wants to destroy us? We will believe these things as long as we believe that separateness is our natural state and that autonomy is meaningful.

“I choose the second place to gain the first.”
What seems to be the second place is first, for all things we perceive are upside down until we listen to the Voice for God. It seems that we will gain autonomy but by our striving to be separate, and that our independence from the rest of God’s creation is the way in which salvation is obtained. Yet all we find is sickness, suffering and loss and death. This is not what our Father wills for us, nor is there any second to His Will. To join with His is but to find our own. And since our will is His, it is to Him that we must go to recognize our will.
–A Course in Miracles