A Meaningful Chat – a Bitter Pill

Vijay Shankar, the noted author, poet, journalist and a fellow humanist, sent me a short message, about the term Evil, on 30 September 2020:

God neither destroys nor punishes Evil. We will become a Mature, Realistic people when we realize this.

I replied: “Greetings, Vijay. Verily, I have also come to realise this reality, which is rather awkward and a little difficult to swallow, like a bitter medicine that must be swallowed if you want to treat your illness.

I have often wondered how so could so many well-known humans succeed in throwing dust in the eyes of most other people – as if they get mesmerised – and then easily get away after committing atrocities on many innocent humans. It seems our story books – of lessons and morals – were (are) perhaps wrong.

It seems Good and Evil both reside in us. As per the law of Nature, they also rise and fall – like day and night – like spring and neap tides – like summer and winter days – like freezing and thawing – like spring and autumn – like disease and health – like life and death. Movement is the law of Nature.

It seems Nature is beyond Good and Evil, both. Why would otherwise Nature unleash such a lethal range of catastrophes on us earthlings – floods and drought, earthquakes and volcanoes, cloud bursts and lightning, cyclones and Tsunamis etc.? After all, these terms – ‘Good’ and ‘Evil’ – are coined by humans and are, therefore, extremely subjective. An act that may appear to be ‘Evil’ to one person may appear as an act of piety and great fortitude to another.”

Vijay agreed and added:

Fantasy and myth had their uses. But they held us back from realising the truths of real life. We dreamt of heaven when the only thing we have is LIFE. Exactly – only life. You must read the last para of war and peace. Tolstoy writes LIFE IS GOD.

Suddenly, he changed the topic said: “Hi Bill, great work, this is an important book from you. My congratulations! I read the full preview and the excerpt, and have no doubt that this will go far as it is hugely timely and says what needed to be said. Great concept and a thought provoking writing – Yaar, tum toh chhupe rustom nikale, though not really! All of this quality is in your thought. My regards, mate.”

I replied: “When it started, I almost thought it was going to be my swan song. Perhaps, it may still be … Lots of love and best regards to you too. You have taught me to be brave and honest – accountable only to the humanity and the history.”

Vijay added:

Not a swan song. I think you have come into your own as an important contemporary writer. Ah yes, to be brave and honest, at all costs!

I replied: “I am thinking of publishing our chat about Evil.”

Vijay agreed and said:

Sure, this needs to be done. We have had too much of the fantasy of a just and benign and moral god. Man is responsible for all he does. I mean think of the idea that YOU ARE NOT THE DOER, GOD IS THE DOER. How silly! So, we make god responsible for the killing and the rapes and the Evil. The same applies to the theory THAT ALL IS GOD’S WILL. That again is rubbish. We have always made god the fall guy, the red herring in our murder of humanity!

With this, Vijay shared his post of 1 October 2020:

Pir, Paighambar came but man remains what he is. For we seek gods at altars. Outside! We, in our perfection, are Gods who destroy ourselves with our Evil.

I concluded the conversation: “Exactly, self-defeating. I have just composed a poem in Urdu with a similar theme. I shall publish it over the weekend. Regards and cheers for now.”

… Bill Koul (Perth, 2 October 2020)

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