I’ve just been reading ‘C.S. Lewis’ “The Problem of Pain” published in 1962.
Although dated, being written fifty years ago, what struck me was how the man from the Anglican Church of England was so imbued with the fundamentalist beliefs of that doctrine of Christianity.
One of his premises which he discusses is the notion that “pain is evil” and a manifestation of Satan.
And that one should pursue life in the effort to avoid pain.
I found no search for enlightenment or for deeper understanding in his syllogisms, but found a man wrapped in historical and biblical fear and doubt, not a man living the present moment and anticipating wonder and awe in every choice.
He is very articulate and sometimes complicated in his syntax making it necessary to re-read him to get the gist of his meaning.
The notion that “pain is evil” is one which he makes and bases his arguments mostly on bibilical references.
His arguments are immersed in dualistic non-evolutionary rhetoric and moralizes pain within the realm of goodness and evil.There is no reason to argue that physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual pain derive from the absence of Goodness, but every reason to believe that pain is a reality of being hostage within a physical shell which is innervated.
Our nervous system is our alarm system to alert us to injury in our bodies. The resulting pain which is emitted is but an alarm to there being injury there and makes no pretense of predicting goodness or evil.
Individuals are injured constantly and experience pain physically, and suffering emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
This doesn’t convict them for enduring pain and suffering to being any better or worse because of it. It is not a measure of their goodness or evil potential?
Lewis spends a whole section of the book arguing the ‘goodness of God’ and concludes that ‘evil’ cannot proceed from God who is all ‘Goodness’ and ‘Omnipotence’. However there is a contradiction in his attempting to claim God’s omnipotence and at the same time stating that God has no control over Evil because of the principle of ‘Free Will’ which was granted to ‘Creation’: that somehow God missed the consequence of ‘Free Will’ and that as a consequence Evil would ensue over which he would have no control or power?
He rejects the Pantheistic beliefs that God is found in every being which is sentient, and regresses into literal interpretations of the Bible and other written texts to support his ideology of literalism and metaphysical fundamentalism.
Good things happen to bad people, and bad things happen to good people.
We hear this often when individuals discuss the nature of good and evil and attempt to explain why there appears to be no direct relationship between behaviour and outcome.
People forget the ‘law of karma’ which indicates that ‘one reaps what one sows’.
It may not occur within this incarnation but will manifest in the future.
Bad people eventually get their just desserts, and good people also get rewarded in the future.
This is the premise of the law of karma and explains why good things happen to bad people and why bad things happen to good people.
Here I define good and bad as being positive and negative outcomes and make no reference at all to evil.
The presence of evil in the world is a function of Humanity possessing an ‘ego’ which allows the false perception of individualism or separatism and permits the desire for ‘selfish’ attachments and the pursuit of pleasures without consideration of others’ interests also. This presence of ‘ego’ is a consequence of ‘The Fall’ according to Lewis who takes his reference from Genesis in the Bible.
My understanding of the creation of the ‘ego’ is that some 10,000-15,000 years ago, by some angelic or natural evolutionary source, Humanity was given the evolution in consciousness from having a mass social consciousness to possessing the ability to see one’s Self as individual, hence the formation of the ‘ego’. There evolved a social need for Humanity to move from being a mythic agrarian society towards a rational industrial social structure where women and men became more individuated; were recognized as having different qualities and abilities and allowing for individuation in division of tasks: women attending to child-rearing and husbandry duties while men attended to the arduous tasks of plowing the land into arable fields. The division of labour became more specialized as gender differentiation became less dominant a consideration in the achievement of education and career orientations.
it would take another 1,000 years for Humanity to evolve from an industrial manufacturing society where competition and rational empiricism would completely overtake cooperative structures of the mythic agrarian superstitious society.
(source: Ken Wilber- Brief History of Everything)
It would only take 100 years for Humanity to evolve into the post-modern spiral dynamics paradigm embracing a pantheistic model of connectedness with the pyramid pointing up meeting the pyramid pointing down creating the five pointed star.
This evolution was necessary before Humanity could evolve beyond ‘ego’ into a ‘soul-based’ and oriented direction allowing free will to choose the ‘spiritual connectedness pathway’.
Humanity had to evolve to the place of ‘I Am’ before Humanity could evolve towards the place of ‘We are One’.
There will always be continual disagreement between ‘ego’ and ‘soul’ , between individuation and collective good, between the selfish desires and attachments and the altruistic evolution of Oneness.