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GOD > Pathway to GOD > PART I : INTELLECTUAL SADHANA > World
(1) The World Is One Body
God has so ordered this world that no one can keep his goodness or badness exclusively to himself. The whole world is like the human body with its various members. Pain in one member is felt in the whole body. Rot in one part must inevitably poison the whole system. Let us, therefore, cease to think in terms of the whole country. We must put faith in God and be careful for nothing. We hold our destiny in our own hands and no one but ourselves can make or mar it.
(2) Universe—A Family of Nations
Nations cohere because there is mutual regard among the individuals composing them. Some day we must extend the nation law to the universe, even as we have extended the family law to form nations —a larger family. God has ordained that India should be such a nation.
Indeed, Hinduism teaches us to regard the whole humanity as one indivisible undivided family.
(3) The Problem of Evil
Why is there evil in the world, is a difficult question to answer. I can only give what I may call a villager's answer. If there is good, there must also be evil, just as where there is light there is also darkness. But it is true only so far as we human mortals are concerned. Before God there is nothing good, nothing evil. We may talk of His dispensation in human terms, but our language is not God's.
I cannot account for the existence of evil by any rational method. To want to do so is to be coequal with God. I am therefore, humble enough to recognize evil as such. And I call God long suffering and patient, precisely because He permits evil in the world. I know that there is no evil in Him and yet if there is evil, He is the author of it and yet untouched by it.
(4) Pair of Opposite Forces
The distinction between good and evil thoughts is not unimportant. Nor do these thoughts come haphazard. They follow some law, which the scriptures have tried to enunciate. There are certain problems in mathematics, for the solution of which some workable assumptions have to be made. They help the solution of the problem. But they are purely imaginary, and have no other practical use. Similarly, psychologists have proceeded upon the assumption that a pair of opposite forces is warring against each other in the universe, of which one is divine and the other is devilish. The distinction is made by all the scriptures of the world. I say this distinction is imaginary. God is one, without a second. He alone is. He is indefinable. In reality there is no war between God and Satan.
(5) God's Hand Behind Good and Evil
In strictly scientific sense, God is at the bottom of both good and evil. He directs the assassin's dagger no less than the surgeon's knife. But for all that, good and evil are, for human purposes, from each other, distinct and incompatible, being symbolical of Light and Darkness, God and Satan . . . respectively.
God's hand is behind good, but in God's hand it is not mere good. His hand is behind evil also but there it is no longer evil. 'Good' and 'Evil' is our own imperfect language. God is above both good and evil.
It is we who entertain thoughts, and it is we ourselves who repulse them. We have, thus, to strive against ourselves. The scriptures have, therefore, said that there is duel in the world. This duel is imaginary, not real. We can, however, sustain ourselves in the world by assuming the existence of the imaginary duel to be real.
(6) Blessings of Calamity
It is the universal experience that every calamity brings a sensible man down on his knees. He thinks that it is God's answer to his sins and that he must henceforth behave better. His sins have left him hopelessly weak, and in his weakness he cried out to God for help. Thus millions of human beings used their personal calamities for self-improvement. Nations too have been known to invoke the assistance of God when calamities have overtaken them. They have abased themselves before God and appointed days of humiliation, prayer and purification.