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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Good, Evil and Man


I just finished reading a book called The Devil And Miss Prym by one of my favorite author, Paulo Coelho. The story revolves around a very interesting question in which at the end the answer was quite surprising.

The question is COULD YOU BE TEMPTED INTO EVIL? The answer seemed to be so easy, and I believe your answer would be YES.
Since time immemorial, when the serpent tempted Eve to taste the forbidden fruit,which history tells us an apple (which is so available today that the old adage "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" sounds scary!), anyway, since Eve took a bite of the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, we can be easily persuaded to commit and do evil at a quick snap of a finger. It is so easy, men are so naive and gullible that the mere offer of wealth, fame and power overthrows their sense of divinity and compassion that pride, greed and envy comes and rules hearts and minds to a point men don't even think twice on deciding whether what they're doing will eventually lead them to despair.

Evil has many faces, but only one heart, which is despair. An evil person will succumb to despair when there is no more guilt left in his soul. He is like a rogue wolf running wild in the forest, will kill and devour any living thing that might cross his path without mercy.

The story is simple, a stranger with a sack of gold bars looking for salvation by offering his wealth to anyone who could commit the ultimate evil, a young and beautiful woman who longs to be free from cowardice and do whatever she wanted to do but keep putting it off for fear of failure, a tiny village where people are simple and onto one another, and an offer that even a priest would not resist, and all these characters will be put to the test, their faith and their goodness will be shaken and stirred (sounds like a drink?) to the brink of falling in the snares of temptation and evil.

They say each person has a guardian angel, and when there's an angel, of course there's the devil. We are told that angels reside on the right side of our personality and the devil on the left. They are in a constant battle as to whom will rule the mind and the heart of the person, the heart will be the battlefield and the mind is the vessel to which the idea would grow and will lead to action. Eventually one would rule over the other and whoever is victorius will merit the right to control the persons actions from the words the person would say to how the person would execute an act. In the story the two leads the Stranger and the Young Woman both have unseen devils and angels that argues and debates to which one of them would be heard and heeded by.

Confronted by temptation, men will always fall. "Given the right circumstances, every human being on this earth would be willing to commit evil," as the line goes from the book.

But no matter how far deep we fall into doing things that are bad, we are still, God's likeness and therefore I believe there will always be that spark of good in each and every one of us. Thus, the story is interestingly enough a good read, for I myself had questioned my own personal being, you see, whenever I am about to commit something that I know is bad, I would almost always think of choosing the "lesser evil" to which I justify everything. I keep believing that doing bad things "lightly" will spare me from guilt, but it did not, my conscience always reminds me that choosing to do evil, regardless, still is evil and there are consequences. More often evil presents itself as something that is logical, true, acknowledging, practical and safe, it cannot bring me peace.

Doing good, even in the smallest way, but done with heart and sincerity brings joy that is indescribable and real. In the end, the story tells me that in the midst of darkness the tiniest spark from even a lighted match can overcome that darkness. That deep inside every human being is the power to be good if we only choose to be.

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