Common Ground: The Kinship of Metaphysicians

A syncretic approach to esoteric teachings - the golden threads that connect Pagans, Yogis, Rosicrucians and Masons.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs

It appeals to logic, to think that evil might be a virus. Viruses infect millions of people every year, making them contagious to others. Many of those infected refuse to admit that they are sick until it's too late, and sometimes stay in denial even after the diagnosis is made. They think the test results must be wrong! 

Another interesting fact about viruses is that a few people in each generation are immune to them, or else have an inborn resistance that renders their infection relatively mild. Physicians seek the secret of such immunities with the same fervor that the Knights of the Round Table sought the Holy Grail. 

Like a virus, evil mutates over time—finding new ways to insinuate itself and destroy. And, exactly like a contagious virus, evil teaches its patterns to those who have suffered it. 

European pilgrims to the American colonies, having been infected with the virus of oppression back home, quickly learned how to oppress Native Americans and Black slaves. The great grandchildren of colonists who had come here to practice their chosen religion free of persecution found it perfectly logical to persecute the Mormons. 

As in Europe, so it was in Asia. Perhaps the most terrible acts ever committed by one supposedly civilized nation against another were those of the Japanese against the Chinese in World War II, in Harbin and Nanking. (When Bruce Lee released his 1970's movie showing him bare-handedly decimating an entire Japanese karate dojo, including its master of the samurai sword, his Chinese audience saw a symbolism that was lost on Americans. They knew it was emotional revenge for the helpless men, women and babies who had been cut in half by such swords in Nanking.) 

But the victims were infected with the disease! Through the experience of this horrible torture, the Chinese learned how to invade Tibet, raping and killing Buddhist nuns and monks.  

In World War II the Jews of Europe were almost exterminated by the Nazis, who treated them only slightly less horribly than the Japanese were treating the Chinese.  Yet, in recent years Israel has perpetrated atrocities against Palestinian women and children that would have made the Nazis proud. How could this be—unless evil really is a virus? 

Yet, all through history and despite their cultural myths and stereotypes, there have been a few human beings who seemed immune to the virus of evil—though God knows they were exposed to it—Socrates, Jesus Christ, Gautama Buddha, Rumi, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela. A Catholic priest in Auschwitz gave his life to save a Jew. I still have no idea how he convinced their captors to allow him to starve to death in that man's place. In 2001 a Jew refused to leave the side of his wheelchair-bound Christian friend while the World Trade Towers came down on top of them. 

At the outset of World War II, the Japanese military asked Reiki Master Hayashi Sensei to divulge the location of American warehouses and other military targets in Honolulu. But he refused. Although he had been a decorated Navy physician in the First World War, Dr. Hayashi had devoted the last years of his life to saving people, not killing them. He knew in his heart that he could not serve a cause that he believed to be evil; however, in order to save face for both his family and his Emperor, he committed seppuku on May 11, 1940. Reiki tradition holds that he did this by using his awesome mastery of Reiki to methodically burst major vessels inside his body, in sequence—believing that his own death was the only one that he had any right to control. (Their tradition also holds that after the devastating bombing of Tokyo, the Reiki Institute was the only building left untouched in that part of the city. I hope it’s true, because it would be a triumph of good over evil and a sign of hope for future generations.) 

Entire groups of people have shown immunity to evil; Tibetan Buddhist monks who survived twenty or more years of torture in Chinese prisons seem to have spent the bulk of their time in meditational practices of compassion for their jailers! 

So the question is, what makes some people immune to the virus of evil? What can we learn from them, and how can we increase our own resistance to it? 

When faced with such overwhelming cruelty of humans against humans, and the unbelievably clear vision of those few who refused to be brought down to the barbaric level of their captors despite pain and torture, words fail us. Trying to intellectually explain either side will only take us around in circles. We must look objectively at what actually happened, and what its aftermath was. 

Study the unvarnished facts. Ponder it all in your heart. See how the oppressors acted. See how the victims responded from the depths of their deepest spiritual convictions. Observe how the world judges both sets of participants, now. 

And then ask yourself this:  Looking back on this bloody and shameful episode with the perspective of time and the judgment of history, which person would you have rather been? Which behavior would you rather be remembered for—the cruelty that goes beyond anything known in the animal kingdom, or the potential for divine self-sacrifice that shows what the human race as a whole might someday be able to achieve? 

Perhaps we can strengthen our minds with goodness, as we currently employ antibiotics to strengthen our bodies. Better yet, perhaps goodness will be found to be the equivalent of new stem cells, which promise to make future generations invulnerable to the ills that affect us now. 

Perhaps when enough people have restructured themselves with the stem cells of goodness, the virus of evil will no longer find any place to lodge.



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A student of esoteric traditions since the age of 16, Ted Czukor (Theo the Green) taught Yoga for 37 years until retiring in 2013. For 26 years he was adjunct faculty for the Maricopa, AZ Community Colleges, teaching Gentle Yoga and Meditation & Wellness. Raised in the Methodist Church but drawn to Rosicrucianism, Hinduism and Buddhist philosophy, he is a devotee of the Goddess in all Her forms. Ted has been a Shakespearean actor, a Masonic ritualist and an Interfaith wedding officiant. He is the author of several books, none of which made any money and two of which are available as .pdf files. He lives with his wife Ravyn-Morgayne in Sun City, Arizona. Their shared dream is to someday relocate to Glastonbury, England.


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