“On the other hand, all those doubts which I had felt before I entered the cottage as to whether these creatures were friend of foe, and whether Ransom were a pioneer or a dupe, had for the moment vanished. My fear was now of another kind. I felt sure that he creature was what we called ‘good’, but I wasn’t sure whether I liked ‘goodness’ so much as I had supposed. This is a very terrible experience. As long as what you are afraid of is something evil, you may still hope that the good may come to your rescue. But suppose you struggle through to the good and find that it also is dreadful? How if food itself turns out to be the very thing you can’t eat, and home the very place you can’t live, and your very comforter the person who makes you uncomfortable? Then, indeed, there is no rescue possible: the last card has been played.” – C.S. Lewis, Perelandra
Faulty concepts held by organized religions have given goodness a bad name. The state known as “good” is often referred to as a static state, one that is essentially devoid of most if not all of life’s pleasures.
Paradise, heaven, the land of the “good” or whatever you call it is frequently depicted as being free from the temptations of sex, a vague and airy-fairy place where nothing really ever comes to point, a bubble that is free of creative tension, decisions and drama. Most egregiously, organized religions paint paradise as being attainable only in the afterlife; likewise, hell is seen as somewhere you go if you fail to accept the various tenets of “goodness” in your lifetime.
These concepts couldn’t be farther from the truth. Goodness is a plastic state, one that is constantly being renewed by the ever-flowing current of life which animates all living forms. Goodness results whenever the power of love takes shape according to the principles of truth, but be not mistaken, goodness is not the same as niceness.
It seems to me that many people who have sought to be “good” end up in the situation described by C.S. Lewis. The reason for this is that the “good” and “evil” propped up by many religions is a misleading set off alternatives which have little to nothing to do with that which is created when the one power, the power of love, is shaped by the design of truth.
When you look at the matter from the standpoint I am suggesting, you see that there is no need to judge good versus evil. If you feel as though the last card has been turned, that so-called good is as flimsy and disappointing as the relative ease of so-called evil is unfulfilling, then you are ready to rise above the limited state of being that inevitably comes when you are bound up in this struggle.