Art By Richard Johnson
On good and Evil
Autumn Breath-Amazing music violin and piano)
Of the good in you I can speak, but not of the evil.
For what is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst?
Verily when good is hungry it seeks food even in dark caves,
and when it thirsts it drinks even of dead waters.
You are good when you are one with yourself.
Yet when you are not one with yourself you are not evil.
For a divided house is not a den of thieves; it is only
a divided house.And a ship without rudder may wander aimlessly
among perilous isles yet sink not to the bottom.
You are good when you strive to give of yourself.
Yet you are not evil when you seek gain for yourself.
For when you strive for gain you are but a root that clings
to the earth and sucks at her breast.
Surely the fruit cannot say to the root, "Be like me, ripe and
full and ever giving of your abundance."
For to the fruit giving is a need, as receiving is a need to the root.
You are good when you are fully awake in your speech,
Yet you are not evil when you sleep while your tongue staggers
And even stumbling speech may strengthen a weak tongue.
You are good when you walk to your goal firmly and with bold steps.
Yet you are not evil when you go thither limping.
Even those who limp go not backward. But you who are strong
and swift,see that you do not limp before the lame, deeming
You are good in countless ways, and you are not evil when
you are not good,You are only loitering and sluggard.
Pity that the stags cannot teach swiftness to the turtles.
In your longing for your giant self lies your goodness:
and that longing is in all of you.
But in some of you that longing is a torrent rushing with might
to the sea, carrying the secrets of the hillsides and the songs
of the forest.
And in others it is a flat stream that loses itself in angles and
bends and lingers before it reaches the shore.
But let not him who longs much say to him who longs little,
"Wherefore are you slow and halting?"
For the truly good ask not the naked, "Where is your garment?
" nor the houseless, "What has befallen your house?"
Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we
get a heartache when we read those lines written by the hand
of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender
shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe
in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty.
Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately
honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths.
We all derive from the same source.
there is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part
of creation, all kings, all poets,all musicians; we have only
to open up, only to discover what is already there.”
The line separating good and evil passes not through states,
nor between classes,nor between political parties either,
but right through every human heart, and through all human
hearts.This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years.
Even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead
of good is retained;and even in the best of all hearts, there
remains a small corner of evil. It is impossible to expel evil
from the world in its entirety, but it is possible to constrict
it within each person.
art by Tahirih Goffic
In this life
Be kinder than necessary,
for everyone you meet is
fighting some kind of battle.