In the Image of God and the Shadow of Demons: A Metaphysical Study of Good and Evil
As Americans, we have long considered ourselves to be members of a literate and secular society that prides itself on the triumph of logic and reason. We have long minimized the reality of evil and distanced ourselves from beliefs in Satan and demonic forces. The events of September 11, 2001, however, brought Americans face to face with personal evil, and served as a wake-up call that demonstrated the devastating effects that the power and influence of evil can cause. Since that fateful day, many Americans have reexamined their beliefs and sought for a clearer understanding of the what, how, and why of evil.
The primary purpose of this book is to help readers come to a more complete understanding of the nature of good and evil (the what), the origin of evil and its place in the universe (the how), and the role evil may play in our spiritual development (the why). The study of good and evil, however, is a complex issue at best, infused with emotion, and often obscured by a relative subjectivity based on personal beliefs, religion, and morality. In order to overcome the relative aspects of such a study, the author uses a cross-cultural approach that seeks to examine good and evil from a traditional viewpoint as well as through the interpretive lens of metaphysics.
The combination of cross-cultural comparison with metaphysical interpretation provides a holistic framework from which to study the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of good and evil. It enables the reader to move beyond a limited, egocentric view and understand good and evil from a universal or divine perspective.
The material presented in Part One focuses on the "what" of good and evil. It is thus drawn from a wide selection of philosophies, mythologies, and religious doctrines. It includes a survey of the ways good and evil have been defined throughout history, both as abstract principles and as personalized expressions of the divine. The material is drawn from the works of Taoism, Plato, Stoicism, Hinduism, Zoroaster, Buddhism, and the Judaic-Christian tradition. There are discussions of gods, demons, and angels, and a thorough examination of the historic development of Satan. The ideas of secular thinkers and their thoughts on good and evil in human nature are also examined.
In Part Two, the focus turns to the "how" and "why" of evil. As the book shifts focus, the author explains that before we can understand the how and why of evil, we must first understand ourselves—who we are, why we were created, and our place in the universe. This examination is done from a metaphysical perspective by using the material contained in the Edgar Cayce readings. Following this, the author discusses the expression of good and evil as universal forces, and explores the origin of evil in the spiritual dimension and in the physical world. The author also considers the unique idea that Satan is a soul who played a key role in bringing evil into the spiritual and physical planes. The author addresses the reality and power of evil as well as the idea that evil may indeed serve a positive function in our spiritual development. The book concludes with suggestion on to how to apply the lessons learned a means to make the right choices that will help humanity oppose evil and overcome it.
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Traditional Views of Good and Evil
A Metaphysical View
Appendix A Archetypes of Good and Evil
Edgar Cayces Life and Work
The Root Races
ABOUT THE AUTHOR