Before diving into the purpose of evil, I must first share a story. This is a conversation I had with my daughter when she was somewhere around the ripe old age of 14:
Me: “I wish all the evil and bad in the world would just go away.”
Daughter: “But mom, if that happened, there would be no anime.”
Daughter: “You know, no heroes’ journey! What fun would that be?”
Me: “Sigh. You’re completely right! Out of the mouths of babes!”
This was not the first time I was bested by my wise daughter! At the young age of 14, my anime-loving daughter was able to clearly see what I could not:
We need evil in our lives! Evil has a reason and a purpose.
The purpose of evil is ultimately for our benefit.
As my daughter so cleverly pointed out, if there wasn’t evil in the world, how would we ever be challenged to grow? In referring to the classic archetype of the heroes’ journey, my wise daughter said it all:
Evil provides the resistance we need to grow.
Human beings are not unlike plants in this regard. As a germinating plant needs the resistance provided by the seed to grow and is then further strengthened by the resistance provided by the rock and soil through which it must climb to reach the sun, so do we need resistance to grow. Being confronted by evil and the other difficulties and struggles of the human condition, we are being provided with an opportunity for this growth.
Unlike a plant which has no choice but to push through (or die), facing evil also gives us the opportunity to cultivate our will and our power to choose. Struggling with the evils of the human condition supports us in honing our conscience and our consciousness. Who do we want to be and how to we want to live and act? Continually, we are given an opportunity to succumb to evil, be led by evil, or alternatively to make the choice for love. When we choose evil, we suffer the consequences of that choice and are given one opportunity after another to choose otherwise. When we choose love, our path takes on a greater sense of ease as we flow gently toward the next opportunity for our growth. Then we have another opportunity to choose.
Evil is always working for our highest good – continually providing us with opportunities to choose and to grow. Our invitation is not to run from evil, but to face it head on, welcoming its lesson, and accepting the opportunity for growth. In welcoming evil as a teacher, we are fully participating in our own heroes’ journey, and in doing so, writing our own anime adventure!
What kind of hero are you choosing to be?
Courses in support of your own heroes’ journey. Click on the images below to learn more!
Uchiha Image credit: https://wallpaperaccess.com/sasuke-and-itachi-uchiha#google_vignette