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Man is evil in his nature. That is the ALL of it. We can attempt to rationalize our evil in some way or even try to excuse it, but the ultimate truth is we are not entirely clear what it is that causes us to be inherently evil in nature. The levels of evil varies with each man, with respect to his nature and nurture. Since we can not really pinpoint the causality, how about the when? When can we say that man first showed the evil in him. All cultures disagree in the time-line of this event, but all cultures seem to agree that it was not long after his creation that man showed his evil.
How did he show this? By acting disobediently towards the Holy One. Shortly thereafter he committed murder. A slippery slope of descent it became. I want to attack this issue on the intrinsic scale. So we have to begin at the point of definition. So we must ask, What is Evil?
According to the English dictionary, Evil is: Profound immorality, wickedness, and depravity, esp. when regarded as a supernatural force. As the per definition, the subject is defined with reference to the another. This 'another' is what we term Good. What does Good, mean? Again according to the dictionary, Good is: That which is morally right; righteousness. From the definitions alone one can discern that there exists an inter-dependency between Good and Evil. Why is this?
To further illustrate this inter-dependency, let us look at some typical human actions:
Tom has the skill to bake bread, and he is the only one with that skill in the neighbourhood. He then decides to open a bakery to cater to the needs of the community. We classify this as a good action. In his practice of business Tom has to calculate the cost of making and delivering the bread, as any normal person would do. Then Tom goes on further, and says to himself i must obtain profit from this venture. Which is also normal. But, What does profit mean? Profit means that Tom will charge his customers more that the cost he had to pay to make the bread. Effectively Tom will cheat and squander. There creeps in the Evil.
As Tom's situation puts forth, there exists a duality in the actions and thoughts of Man. let us then look at another situation:
Pat is a young scout who likes to help the elderly cross the street. His actions facilitates safety and some ease to the less able. On the flip side, his actions may induce jealousy in some onlookers. So, while he embarks on a path of good, he creates evil alongside it. Even without intent.
If our mandate is to do good, then how do we escape this duality? Or are we meant to achieve equilibrium instead? Even then, how do we achieve such a feat? I believe we must start at a place we call the Mind. I say this because I have yet to meet a man who can control the formation of his own Thought. And since your actions result from a thought, then we can safely assume that therein lies the well of Good and Evil, within each man. It is an interesting task to approach your mind from without. For in order to achieve it, we would have to say that there is a you who exists beyond the scope of your mind. Can man really exist outside of his mind?