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Is there an evil spirit (e.g. Satan) opposite to the good spirit?


Question & Answer

Q: By Albert

My daughter and I had a very good conversation regarding my Progressive beliefs. When it came to the Good God she insisted there must be a Bad Spirit. When we draw nearer to the Precious Spirit through meditation or whatever she insists we are going further away from darkness or evil. So here’s my question: Is there an evil spirit (e.g. Satan) opposite to the good spirit?

A: By Deshna Ubeda

Dear Albert,

For me, evil and suffering are each simply one point of reference along the human spectrum of experience that show up on the spiral of time in our lives. It comes along with everything else that we are offered to learn through. Darkness lives in each of us. Our ego’s keep us alive and protect our identity so that we do not go insane in an ordered world. They also lead humans to do horrible things. Fear fuels evil action. Fear that is born in the ego’s attachment to the little human self. The darkness within each of us feeds on fear. We come into the world having already experienced suffering as each human life is a training ground for the evolution of the soul. And so we come into the world with wounding at some level, in my opinion. It is easy to see why humans are afraid and why that fear leads to evil action. For some reason, it is simply part of the human experience. Likely to teach us how to release fear and surrender into Spirit. It is an opportunity, an invitation.

The human world and our human experience can not be divided into to two seemingly opposite categories – “good” and “evil.” They do not exist apart from each other. They both arise in human beings and are therefore born of the same matter. They are each parts of our complex design.

Source, or the energy that exists around this Universe and within it, cannot be described in the duality of “all good” or “good and bad.” Those are human terms and reflect an understanding that is informed by our human narrative. This indescribable Mystery is a container, not a director or punisher. God is an experience, a space that is always waiting for us to enter. It is the realm of no boundaries. Darkness exists in the world and in each of us, but it would be narrow to assume that there is a God or a “Bad Spirit” that can fit into the box of human understanding. The challenge for humans is learning how to exist in both realms and to be aware of both energies within us. For it is here on the realm of human existence that we can dance, eat, grow food, love, sing and laugh, and where we can celebrate the offering of Planet Earth. But it is also where darkness can be manifested and harnessed to do evil things. Rather than point to a God or Spirit that is responsible, we must shine the light on the darkness that exists within us and around us to, hopefully, transform it.

I would love to dive deeper into this topic in one of my upcoming columns. Thank you for asking this question. This is just my perspective and there are other authors here who would have a different one. I encourage you and your daughter to explore your own theology and become more and more comfortable trusting your own inner wisdom. That is the journey toward an authentic faith that we are called to.

~ Deshna Ubeda

This Q&A was originally published on Progressing Spirit – As a member of this online community, you’ll receive insightful weekly essays, access to all of the essay archives (including all of Bishop John Shelby Spong), and answers to your questions in our free weekly Q&A. Click here to see free sample essays.

About the Author

Deshna Ubeda is Director of and Progressing Spirit and is an ordained Interfaith Minister. She is an author, international speaker, and a visionary.  She grew up in a thriving progressive Christian church and has worked in the field for over 13 years. She graduated from UCSB with a major in Religious Studies and a minor in Global Peace and Security. She is a lead author and editor on the children’s curriculum: A Joyful Path, Spiritual Curriculum. She co-authored the novel, Missing Mothers. She is the Executive Producer of Embrace Festival. She is passionate about sacred community, nourishing children spiritually, and transforming Christianity through a radically inclusive lens.

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