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Both are concerned with good and evil, but Right and Wrong is concerned with its place in man's observation of the
in the personal
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development of the individual man.
deals with the apparent contradiction
holds sway in destiny, the second above
which holds sway in the
sought to the question,
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Thus one can describe Images
an interpretation because
proceeds from several Old
the two books are to be regarded an ontological as a contribution to the foundation of ethics. 1952 . December 31. MARTIN BUBER Jerusalem. These myths portray in great images the twofold prehistorical origin of that which we call evil and thereby enable the modern thinker to point out what corresponds to this twofold- ness in that biographical reality of present-day man which is known to us. Right and Wrong is interpre- tation in another sense. Here several Psalms are examgradually arising and grow- ined to discover how the ing insight into the relation between wrongdoing and true existence is expressed in them.FOBEWORD Israelitic and Old Persian myths. Taken together.
LIE Psalm 12 7 THE RIFT Psdm 14 15 HI. III. v 3 AGAINST THE GENERATION OF THE II. THE HEART DETERMINES Psdm 73 31 V.CONTENTS FOREWORD BIGHT AND WRONG PREFACE I. THE WAYS Psdml IMAGES OF GOOD AND EVIL 51 PREFACE Port I. JUDGEMENT ON THE JUDGES Psdm 82 20 IV. IMAGINATION AND IMPULSE 90 . 63 One 67 81 THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE KAIN II.
Two 99 107 THE PRIMAL PRINCIPLES II. OUR POINT OF DEPARTURE THE FIRST STAGE THE SECOND STAGE EVIL III. AND GOOD . THE LIE AGAINST BEING Part Three I. THE TRUTH OF THE MYTHS 115 121 II.CONTENTS IMAGES OF GOOD AND EVIL Part I. 125 133 139 IV. V.
RIGHT AND An WRONG Some Interpretation of Psdm .
Translated by RONALD GREGOR SMITH .
and up to every This 3 . namely. by unscrupulous falsehood. undoubtedly are the work of different authors. between the rightdoers and the wrongdoers on earth. all of which treat of the relation between right doing and wrong doing. when these psalms are set in attitude that one may the right sequence they complete one another like the stages of a personal way a way leading through moving and transforming experiences insight. figure. as can be seen from the many stylistic differences. but the men who speak in them are so near to one another in their basic view and see in their place a single is simply multiplied in them.PREFACE IN THIS BOOK I discuss five psalms. who *the Psalmist*. In fact. These psalms. to one great way begins (in Psalm 12) with the Psalmist confronted by a world dominated by the 'smooth tongue*. and so of the world struggle between good and evil.
the state of the human gives race. Yet still : seems to become only a remnant. the psalmist feels to be liis But the speaker does not even lose his assurance of divine test. and noone did right any more. counted as the and violence Where there a hiding-place for loyalty? The Psalmist is certain: God will now 'arise'. he knows. does not simply from above. take opis pressed loyalty to Himself. the downfall of evil: He and prepare the loyal remnant again and again the favour of His presence. and set up the reign of truth on it earth. whom now people'. God. false appear and be acas right order. no-one dared to do right. support. persists in righteousness. The Psalmist . The speaker (Psalm 82) can only explain increasingly strange situation by saying that God has given the rule over the earth to angels in order that they might do aright but that they. But the psalmist's confidence deceived. as is No great turning-point appears is and it is though the 'shameless one* right in his teach- ing that God does not trouble about the world of this men. worse (Psalm 14) it seems as though everything were rotten. like the first men.RIGHT AND WRONG trick which makes the true. are false to their orders.
he dares to carry it on God to 'arise' and out. In vain he seeks another relation to God's omni- potence and man's destiny. there takes place in him a change which leads him on the way of God. as the only irrefragable happiness. and only then. Psalmist recognises. Everything depends on the inner change. while the righteous as man suffers.PBEFACE does not yet lose hope. however: in a vision his assurance is renewed. Then unexpectedly. like the first men. towards His presence. He is about to a prey to despair. the world changes. condemn them. one that might open out a prospect from this ambiguous existence into a future fall life filled with meaning. when this has taken place. the happiness The . All around him the mean and vulgar flourish. God will judge the bad judges and mortality. With the change of heart there is a change of eye. and to his new view there is meaning in what for long was meaningless. under the influence of an unprecedented illumination. and praises (Psalm 1). And now it seems to him though it could never be different upon earth. to And when the judgment is still not percall formed. But again he is disillusioned (Psalm 73).
It true existence as the may therefore be described as an essay in existential exegesis. 6 . interpretation of the five psalms which is given in this book is intended to make clear what they have to say to us about the difference between The mere conscious being and nearness of God.EIGHT AND WEONG of the man who to is walking in the way of God and drawing near Him.
but it appears only as a prohibition of the lying witness. man. But the lie is our very own invention. For the Decalogue is concerned with the establish- ment and securing of the inner bonds of a com- 7 . In a against It itself. different in kind from every deceit that the animals can produce. A lie was possible only after a creature. It is prohibited.I. AGAINST THE GENERATION OF THE LIE Psalm 12 f I ^HE the specific evil which man has introduced into nature. It was possible only as directed against the conceived truth. was capable of conceiving the being of truth. lie the spirit practises treason has been asked why there is no prohibition of lying in the Decalogue. All our deeds of lie is violence and our misdeeds are only as it were a highly-bred development of what this and that creature of nature is -JL able to achieve in its own way.
But the Psalmist not content to utter his suffering and brand those who caused it. lip'. 'speak*. as injury done itself. sketch the outlines of the subject. 'sayings'. he also sees (for this is Psalm one of those prophetic Psalms which are built up round a vision) the beginning of die counter-action from above. 'tongue'. longer suffers The speaker no merely from liars. to the neighbour's sphere of life.EIGHT AND WBONG munity. done to the structure of gence in the course of historical But the more decisive the person's emerdevelopment from the association of the community. a Psalm in which this feeling felt is at once heightened and differentiated. and the lie in this generation has reached the highest level of perfection as an ingeniously controlled means of supremacy. is The key-words 'children of men'. the lie as more is the suffering from the such both is This and expressed. and therefore every injustice is considered from its social aspect (in the widest sense). 'smooth'. but from a generation of the lie. This subject is the negative influence exercised in this hour by a certain kind 8 . and the more personal the individual's perception of himself and his fellow-men. which recur twice or thrice in the Psalm. 'free/freedom*. as injury and the not in spirit.
to its and its purpose. in relation structure. What He is to is free from. of the undivided seriousness of the human person common life has been removed. the readiness to fulfil for the other what he may expect of me in our relation with one another and loyalty or reliability that is. the word of truth proceedthis. from a vain delusion and express 9 but with . with himself and all his manifestations.AGAINST THE LIE of lips' ( 'smooth*) and 'tongue on human com- munication by means of speech. The liberating act of God and His 'sayings'. The two on which men's common life rests. First. that is. of human truth. the subject is the disintegration of human speech as a result of this influence. lie Of to this element of the which now dominates human intercourse three things axe said. They have disso completely that the basis of men's appeared and my The lie has taken the place. the present state of affairs which follows. ing from Him. 'delusion* those the Psalmist has in mind speak which of course does suffer not mean they themselves it. basic qualwell-wish- ing or the good will that is. its effect. characterised in ities. are opposed to God is called is upon what to 'set free*. as a form of life. a responsible accord between explicit my actions mind have gone. More precisely.
the liars as it were manufacture a special heart. and thus falsify the relations of his soul to being. they spin illusions for them. Third. The duplicity is not just between heart and mouth. then is stirring in them 10 . They 'speak great and by the speaking bind their bondslaves things* still more to them. In order that the lie may bear the stamp of truth. And if they guess that rebellion the minds of the oppressed and the hope awakening that 'the Lord is with us!'. but actually between heart and heart. This expression must be grasped in all its depth. in particular they spin a way of thinking for them which they themselves do not follow. Their tongues mainin their superiority. they speak with a double heart. as is required by men's common thinking and knowing. in order to render tractable by their deceits those whom tain they have oppressed. from which lies well up to the "smooth lips* like spontaneous utterances of experience and insight. literally 'with heart and heart*. they introduce falsified material into his knowledge of the world and of life. all this is the work of the mighty. Instead of completing their fellow- man's experience and insight with the help of their own.EIGHT AND WRONG their speech they breed 'delusion' in their hearers. Second. an apparatus which functions with the greatest appearance of naturalness.
Our Psalm is specially emphatic that this judgement and one. Psalmists. With this 'now* there breaks out in the midst of extreme trouble the manifestation of a salvation which is not just bound to come some time. but 1 set him in freedom. for the Psalmist. lips are with us. The often prove themselves to be the heirs of this vision. The 'day of the Lord'. 76. He says of the oppressed whom they puff*. and hearing the sighing of the needy. at God. who That is the moment of vision. this freeing are not two events. but is always present and needs only to become effective. which was the hidden meaning of creation from the beginning. God says that seetion.AGAINST THE LIE they answer themselves 'Our is lord over us?*. He ing the oppression of the poor. 10). and at the same moment he hears God speaking. know that the 'arising* means both judgement and of the prophetic vision. or rather of audi- hears the presumption whispering in their secret hearts. He will 'now* arise. says man. that smooth lips puff with their 11 . at whom the much speaking. on which the enthroned One 'arises*. who here as 'the freeing of all the oppressed of the earth* (Ps. is. in the power this very present day. 'now' is and for terror and for rapture reveals his kingdom. This the decisive prophetic category.
from now on this the world of salvation. with the most emphatic images Psalmist he can command. in perdition. and more deeply than tion is before. What the speaker says here of the words of God. is needed: it is not said. this world of is ours. are 'pure/ that is. have been revealed in their nothingness by the working of salvation.EIGHT AND WBONG He is will set him in the freedom of God. Where they are or will unveiled as nothing. like all God's words and like them alone. Once more. He is not set in a different world. Those who walk about in in wickedness in is this hour of the world which ( as is said in the conclusion of the Psalm) Vileness among the sons of men'. that the generation of the lie be set. exalted the only being they have is their nothingness. free of the dross of untruth which clings to every word of man. The is no longer thinking only of the word he has heard. which 'now' revealed as God's world. not opposed to we feel that this generaGod as speaking lies but as 12 . goes beyond the occasion. but God's truth is opposed in a grand antithesis to the lie of the wicked. He knows and bears witness that these words. The Psalmist has heard the sentence of God. to be said. and that is all. is No judgement beyond and does not need is set. their nothingness has become their reality. rather.
periods of human history a reappearance of die is generation of the lie existence to the but that the word of again and again to be feared. but there is a human truth. for only the future history of the human race which is involved here. Thou keepest the truth. how this 'for the time of the world* is to be reconciled with the fact The question that the Psalmist has apparently been talking of a namely that contemporary with himself. God for ever guarantees his is man who deceived and misused by this ever-recurring generation. to be devoted to the truth. Thou so the Psalmist addresses God Thou keepest Thy words. each one of us poor and oppressed ones. The truth is God*s alone.AGAINST THE LIE being a so lie. by setting in freedom and salvation him who is devoted to the truth. as each time of need comes. The lie is from time and will 13 . God will preserve him. The answer can only be that also for future single generation. forced upon us. and not eternity which is over all history and over is all time. from the power of the lie. For the time of the world in our language we say *for ever*. but the biblical language it is is far more correct. namely. Thou wilt preserve from the generation of the lie 'for the time of the world* Turn* of whom Thou hast said Thou wouldst set him in freedom that is.
14 . which partakes of eternity. is from eternity and in eternity. the truth. and this devotion to the truth. the divine truth. we call human truth.EIGHT AND WBONG be swallowed up by time.
The nations are 'shameless' and godless. The speaker it is supposedspeaking of Israel and the nations. among them. THE RIFT Psalm 14 A HASTY BEADING this Psalm seems (apart ON is from some doubtful passages) to be sim- ple enough.II. none asks after God and His rule. none understands any more what God desires of man. the people of Israel. There have certainly been not a few among the Jews who thought that this Psalm. tion. there is none that does good. as is repeatedly said. understood in 15 .* like tainted food. their habits are 'corrupt' and 'abominable*. they are altogether 'decaying.* is and 'eaten up* by this society of evil- apparently described as a 'proven genera- whose refuge is God and whom God will free from the others and restore to their former glory. In contrast. which is 'oppressed* doers. they are all 'gone aside* from their original humanity as willed in the creation.
or men who are spoken men in the little the home of the biblical speaker. intended of the heathen in distinction from the Jew. 'the shameless*. nothing is it.EIGHT AND WRONG crude generalisation. especially. gives. put there as an 'assayer' to examine the extent to which pathetic confession of the lips enters the reality of important biblical speaker 16 . Nowhere do the words 'the children of men' indicate foreign nations in is contrast to Israel. like Jeremiah. In spite of everything there is a pitiable self-righteousness in understanding the great picture of God. always simply land which men is in the world. In our more understandable in Scrip- than this view. looking down from heaven to earth and spying out a single man who enquires after Him. in the Psalms or in Nowhere ture is any place such a general expression as the one used here. which. though unjust. Nor does it help to single out confession to God as the distinctive mark: every is. nevertheless contains truth. in its which the Jewish people had and have in time. whereas the nations only serve as the dark foil of such brilliant beams. as meaning that the Lord is perfectly satisfied with all His Jews and therefore needs to have no review of them. a picture of the historical human world and of the place this way. and nothing is more wrong-headed. It of.
the Psalmist accuses the evildoers of 'eating up' his expressly people. But the view of the others too. those is who are "decayed'. 7 to him to be 'all The falling away of the corrupt . of the people the shameless. holy remnant which is the true people. prophetic: it is as a whole. press which is directed towards things to come. God's people. saw the greater part of Israel which ruption. namely. is here concentrated in the consideration of the present. He no longer counts as part of his who opthe righteous. will at once be objected. therefore they must be outside this people. 17 . which includes the righteous That and oppressed. is whereas for the Psalmist the proven generation the real people.THE RIFT personal life. but what he calls his people is only a of the people which bears the name of Israel part that part. had fallen into cor'this him they were and the remnant was just the 'remnant*. it is so. and the others are but they are so many that they seem just the others. full of talk about God and going against Him in his life. none o them could have preferred a Jew. Thus the prophetic conception. that the same Isaiah who saw the holy remnant for what it was. It is true that for people*. But. to one who was silent about God but fallowed Him. those gone aside.
There are the oppressors and there are the oppressed. the rotting sub- The Psalmist describes the Israel which is thus torn in two. and (this is the readiest explanation of the difficult text of verse 4) this fice is not a food like the animal sacriover which Psalmist which is called the Thread of God* one may call upon the name of God. to contest the existence of God. the arrogant and the humble. but suddenly they are filled with terror: there. in the midst of those who they thought were aban- 18 . Even in their heart they do not mean.EIGHT AND WKONG means Israel's falling asunder. it does not rise from the heart to the with their lips they confess him. What wardly to be a unified nation is two but of the two parts only one to appears outin truth torn in is still truly is be called Israel. a God so long as He does not bother Himself with on earth! what men are doing But the truth is that God watches what His creatures are making of themselves. They do not say it aloud. Why should there not be lips. the other tissue. Those say in their heart There is no God*. by what they say. nothing but decomposed stance of a people. a living organism. The gazes in prophetic vision upon what is to come: those who have fallen away rush again on their prey. He sees how men *eat up' men.
The Zion of righteousis ness fulfilled in the land of Israel what must be meant. Israel's liberation and salvation can only come 'out of Zion*. and it does not make sense to understand this 'out of Zion' topographically. with a simple division of Israel. but also through every group in a nation. as with such a division of the human world. which has now truly be- come the people draws near. For the 'remnant'. And His word thunders upon them. and even through every soul. 19 . the rift between those who are true to God and the apostate element. the Presence of God God who from men and their they thought was far but who is in truth the doings. of God. just as I could not be satisfied satisfied. even that fate. Only in times of great crisis does the hidden rift in a people become apparent.THE EIFT doned to an arbitrary appears. refuge of the oppressed. the to rift We see between those who do violence and those violence is whom done. At this point the prophetic Psalmist unites his Messianic prayer and his Messianic promise. the great turning-point A late interpreter of the Psalms like myself cannot be the Psalmist was. running not merely through every nation.
my which is so variously interpreted end is so simple. does not express an emotion but presents a visionary event. more than by itself. uttered at two different stages of the event. while the third. indeed. limely The structure is determined by the fact that the Psalm. the more thoroughly do I understand this Psalm. JUDGEMENT ON THE JUDGES Psdm 82 fr '^HE DEEPER I . The first saying tells us about the circumstances of the event. It other Psalm be considered any First and yet must. which is subsevere and consistent. In the midst of this event are two speeches of God. unlike most.III. leaves the event which has been contemplated. as it were inferring from 20 . These speeches are enclosed within three sayings of the Psalmist. and. we must survey its structure.~JL in the experience of life. the second leads from the first to the second stage of the event. with which the Psalmist concludes.
twice. of which he is the head. The gathered together either by appointment or by a summons (in this case by a summons). and do justice. the 'gods'. So Samuel presides over the band of prophets. a community of beings gregation'. the wretched and needy (the synonyms serve to strengthen the essential point) and the concern is that these receive justice in face of the wicked. in respect of their judging. the afflicted. God judges justice. 'weak'. God here stands in judgement upon gods. and within this human world with the weak. The secondary key-words are 'earth*. recurring four or five times. as leader of the choir (I Sam. calls directly it. gods'. 19.JUDGEMENT ON THE JUDGES it. There are five such words. recurring only The primary words are 'God. the earth of man. and 'wicked'. "judge. and three secondary. upon the God Who has been at work on The message of the Psalm is once again made clear by the recurring key-words. two of them primary. judgement'. because in their function as judges they do not let the weak of the earth receive picture of the situation with which the Psalmist opens is that God presides over a 'conmore precisely. 20) 21 . The Psalmist's concern is not with heaven but with the earth.
. 'gods* which pronounces the judgement on the that they must die like men'. that as a company of beings endowed with power of divine a company of beings whose power has been origin. first Who pass judgement on those who are then are these? Their company is is. lent to them by God. cowering of those round about him (as we can emphasised. still see today among the dervishes ) is And further. This is the Bible speaks of powerful mountains or of the fixed stars. in order to point to the divine their majesty springs. we must look at some of the turning-points in the relation of Biblical religion to the history of the nations. whereas in the picture of the Psalm God clearly towers over those who stand in a circle around Him. how dunamis from which But then those beings are themselves called It is sufficiently clear from the second 'gods'. speech of God. described as an 'El'-company. In order to grasp the nature and range of influence of those beings. that this de- scription of as a them as gods is not to be understood metaphor for human authority. The that God's presiding signifies a judgement. 22 . gathering has been summoned by God in order He may assembled. the only giver of power.KIGHT AND WRONG in contrast to the except that his upright position.
7) that it was He who had led the other na- tions. opposed by the ex- perience of history that even in times when Israel was loyal to its covenantal relation with God. in settling. to give His immediate all company the gods of the nations were characterised as being masks or caricatures of the one true Liberator of the nations. their history-making Israel alone did wandering and whereas to God condescend (Amos 3. from time to time YHWH 23 . This means that the God But now of history to whom Israel pays this exclusive faith is homage. as He had led Israel. how are these traditions to be reconciled with the basic factor of Israel's election. one of those neighbouring nations which had been led to that place by Himself. The question which faced of tribes the prophets was. which presupposes the sovereignty of YHWH over the nations from which He had made His choice? We find the prophets' answer in the words of Amos (9.JUDGEMENT ON THE JUDGES writing prophets were faced with the fact that other nations possessed similar earliest Even the wandering and their settlement to those of Israel. and that each of these nations traditions of their worshipped its tribal god as the leader of those marches by means of which the tribe or association had grown to be a nation and had entered the history of the nations. 2).
however. especially in its most sensitive form under Josiah. and here YHWH is seen as being on the same plane as the other national gods. which were laid down for each people by its God. and 24 . Who possesses to the inalienable right of decision as is which of them right and which is wrong. but the Sovereign over the world of the nations. First Jephthah proposes that the frontiers of territory. torical A notable thah's witness to this view to the is the text of Jeph- message King of the Ammonites each which presumably originates in the time of Josiah. should be respected by the other people. Their his- ent existence and with power was. 'May the Judge judge today between the sons of Israel and the sons of Ammon*. excited very serious doubts and produced many different answers. continually limited by the power of YHWH. then.EIGHT AND WRONG defeated Israel in battle an experience which. Here Israel's God is no longer one among the gods of the nations. If this. which was paramount over them all and in the last resort was alone decisive. One it of these answers was that the national gods were allowed a kind of independ- independence of historical action. so the message continues. so that the defeats of an Israel true to its Covenant could be ascribed to them. is not YHWH granted. however.
like Persia and Greece. possesses its angel and so no longer has its direct relation to the Lord of the nations. but historical. such as surrounds the supreme throne in the prophet's vision (I Kings 22. 19).JUDGEMENT ON THE JUDGES Who gives judgement in accordance with His decision: that is. He is the Judge. powers are not cosmic in nature. and Israel too. This is not the cosmic circle of a heavenly host. from the first speech of God. which He has summoned. The chief func- tion with which they are entrusted is that of judging the earth and they have clearly not to judge alongside one another. where each land and nation is represented by an angel prince. He determines the history of the nations. as human rulers The assembled That is we know them from clear the Book of Daniel. From this point a way leads to the historical perspective of the Book of Daniel. The most important stage on this way is our Psalm. but the earth is divided 25 . In the course of the mes- sage we move from the realm of relative historical powers into that of the absolute historical power. and from which cosmic powers are commissioned to lead astray in foolish historical actions. In order to pass judgement on the heavenly princes of the nations God the Judge has entered their assembly.
EIGHT AND WRONG
among them; to each a land and a nation is specially allotted. Each of them is a governor for God, and
each, like the 'judges* of the early period of Israel, is clearly called to dispense justice to his people,
both outwardly and inwardly. Outwardly they may have fulfilled their office honourably, and each
of them may have adequately represented the cause of his nation in so far as that cause
does not speak
of this. It is unjust rule of
to act against social injustice. Instead of fulfilling
their task of helping the powerless
and the unpro-
tected to obtain justice in face of the oppresser,
they have adjudged to this man, just because he had the power, all that he coveted.
sounds forth here from the mouth of
translated into myth, the
demand made by the
prophets upon the kings of Israel and their accusation of these kings. From the very beginning of the time of the State the prophets regarded their
anointing of the longs as the sacramental seal upon the commission of the kings to build up, as God's
Psalmists give a personal expression to this content. They address the king (45, 7): TThou hast loved
and hated wickedness: therefore
JUDGEMENT ON THE JUDGES
God, thy God, hath anointed thee
ments, that he
(72, If.) to give the king His judgemay rule the people with righteous-
His saving righteousness towards the 'needy* here depicted in the same speech in which God's
righteousness in other ways is described: the function of God's representative has as its inner meaning an imitation of the Lord of the world. God's
must manifest God's
do so he has become unis
rendered justice to his people outwardly for the prophetic insight teaches that a human community
can only truly
exist in so far as it
becomes a true
so in our
community of human beings. As God has set the king over
Psalm he has
the intermediary beings here called 'gods' and elsewhere called 'sons of God', over
the nations of the earth, each over one of the nations, in
order to manifest in
justice of the
Judge of the world. In
them of having judged accordance with his order and regulation, the manner of what is false and evil: for
they have confirmed and substantiated in their power those who have acted wickedly against God's
EIGHT AND WEONG
of justice, instead
depriving evil of
power by which has been
is still granted given to them. But a secret respite to them; after the accusation comes the warning.
Once more they
judgements must be
for the weak,
the good cause of the oppressed prevail in the world, they are to save the persecuted from the
high-handed persecutors. But now a terrible thing comes to pass: the governors do not obey the warning of the Ruler either.
We learn of this passive rebellion of the angels in the form of an intermediate speech of the Psalmist. He does not say, however, that they refuse to obey.
says rather that they do not
know and cannot do not understand the essence They
and the intention of God's word. To
history of the
of speech, they wish to conduct the
race as a continuation of the
persist in the delusion
history of nature
can be determined from the
general customs of the animals. It is this delusion which makes possible the self-glorification in which
is only as biological powers that can regard themselves as sovereigns in the they world of men: as soon as they acknowledge the
they indulge. It
and way that 'all the foundations of the earth is For with God there no division is between sentence and execution. Lord. but now. and yet saying said. in only still a few words. have seen how Thou dost bring to destruction the rule over history of Thy rebellious governors. are The sentence no longer to live gods. the real Psalm all is heard. In my vision*. So be it. that has to to be The speaker turns away from us 'I God. I made you to be gods. sons of God. sentence upon them. Since those who were succumbed entrusted with the office of judge to injustice. Once. says God that they to those re- bellious ones. for the first time. This is righteousness. But his song not ended. Then God pronounces in such a stagger'. he says to him. since and with me in my eternity. do Thou abolish the inter- 29 . you have like human princes failed to keep the command of my human death. Rather now. I sentence you to the end of God's speech and the end with only a hint of the fall of the 'gods' of the visionary event of which the Psalmist has is to in- form us. In the 'darkness' of this delusion the intermediary beings walk to and fro beneath the word of the Judge and disregard it.JUDGEMENT ON THE JUDGES authority of a divine justice they are not more than ruling subjects.
EIGHT AND WBONG mediary rule. lead them as thine own! Close the history of to delusion man which is a prey A Jew of our time. renounce the useless work of underlings and Thyself judge the world immediately in Thy justice. Kafka describes the human world given over to the intermediary beings. has in his writ- ings provided a commentar^-to the presuppositions of this Psalm. What has not entered into the view of Kafka. to its presuppositions. with which they play their confused game. I say. 30 . open his true history!' Franz Kafka. From the unknown One who gave this world into is one which impure hands. is to be found in this Psalm. and wickedness. no message of comfort or promise penetrates to us. Thine are the nations. of the man of our time. not to the Psalm as itself. He is. but he is not their present.
What is it that teaches us to penetrate to their heart? Deeper experience. we express it. First we accept what they seem to offer us. But we come to see that what we look on in this For the most part view only an appearance.IV. and then think we are aware of our world. of a story composed v T and of confessions is that a man tells how he reached the true meaning of his and that this experience borders directly on meaning the eternal. The man who speaks in this Psalm tells us how 31 . we weave it into a 'view*. without penetrating to their heart. we understand only gradually the decisive experiences which we have in our relation with the world. THE HEART DETERMINES Psalm 73 "IT" % f\ I of life. Nat that our experiences have deceived us. But we had turned them is to our use. this poem "Jf "TTHAT IS REMARKABLE about of descriptions.
1 ) : 'Why does the way of the wicked prosper?* Nevertheless. expressed ( in Jeremiah 12. but with the happiness or unhappiness of Israel. its obverse. then. It is true that the Psalmist is here concerned not with the happiness or unhappiness of the person. is itself not but is the experience of Israel's merely personal. Surely God is good to Israel: To the pure in heart. Job. suffering both in the catastrophe which led to the Babylonian itself. the Psalm begins with a prefatory sentence in which. Apparently. the foreword to the Psalm. is This sentence. as evident in exile and in the beginning of the exile Certainly only one who had plumbed the depths of personal suffering could speak in this 32 . as we find it most and probably for the first time.BIGHT AND WKONG he penetrated to the heart of a weighty group o experiences those experiences which show that the wicked prosper. But the experience behind the speeches of is many of them. rightly considered. the question is not what was the real question for Job why the good do not prosper but rather precisely. Job's question may be found hidden.
*to the pure in heart'. by way of explanation. On glance this seems to mean that it is only to the impure in Israel that God is not good. He is good to the pure in Israel. so that what he now has to suffer he suffers as Israel. would be no The answer. The queshad drawn from the fact that things go ill with Israel the conclusion that therefore God is not 33 . they are the Tioly first remnant'. and only now be- comes truly manifest. understood in this way. to that would this good. whose theme is the fate of the person. the true Israel. We tioner must go deeper in this sentence. 'Surely. with Israel. In the destiny of an authentic person the destiny of his people is gathered up. Thus the Psalmist. and in his personal suffering the suffering of Israel has been concentrated. and the questioner had taken as his starting-point the experience that things went ill not excepting indeed this part of it. Israel?* And first he an- God is good to Israel'.THE HEART DETERMINES way. But lead to the assertion that things go well whom He is with remnant. and then he adds. But the speaker is a man of Israel in Israel's bitter hour of need. also begins with the fate of Israel Behind his opening sentence lies the question *Why do things go badly with swers. answer.
One who is pure in heart. The state of the heart determines whether a man which God's goodness is experienced. where the fact that it 'goes ill* with him is confused with the lives in the truth. but between those who are pure in heart and those who are impure in heart. or in the semblance of truth.EIGHT AND WBONG good to Israel But only one who is not pure in heart draws such a conclusion. It means. in illusion that God is not good to him. one who becomes pure in heart. In so far as Israel is pure in heart. It is its heart. that God's goodness is revealed to him who is pure in heart: he experiences this goodness. But this does not mean that God rewards him with his goodness. it ex- from this standpoint that said in the Psalm about 'the wicked* is to everything that is be un- derstood. 34 . becomes pure in heart. whose heart becomes pure. cannot draw any such conclusion. The 'wicked* are those who deliberately persist in impurity of heart. experiences God's goodness. Even the sinner. experiences God's goodness as it is revealed to him. Thus the essential dividing line is not between it men who sin and men who do not sin. As Israel purifies periences that God is good to it. For he experiences that God is good to him. rather.
of the false ways in his Seeing the prosperity of 'the wicked" daily and hearing their braggart speech has brought him very near to the abyss of despairing unbelief. that their privileged position. the speaker begins to experience of life. and when one looks in their eyes. is proved to him by their being sheltered from destiny. rectors six times. after this basic tell theme has been stated. tarn instead of lemotam. It is it is by God. a little more and my feet had turned aside. faces. which protrude from the fatness of their 1 In one lamo what follows I read.THE HEART DETERMINES The which state of the heart determines. it is jealousy. 'they are never in the trouble of man*. That this is why lieart* is the dominant key-word in Psalm. of the inability to believe any more in a living God active in life. who the others. 35 . And so they deem themselves as for all 1 superior to all. and stalk around with their 'sound and fat bellies*. as is almost universally accepted.* goes so far as to be jealous of 'the wicked* for not envy which he feels. 'But I. And now. a He mere nothing and my steps had stumbled. those constraining and confining Tbands* of destiny. That it is indeed they. For them there are they are manifestly preferred not.
the wish-images of their pride and their cruelty. meaning 'therefore they say' ) they make merry over familiar. 17f. flitting world of their across. God's relation to Tiis people*. people from exile. apparently in Palestine as and scoff at the prospective return of the landless Those who speak are owners of great farms. craftiness and exploitation. but the God of heaven has other things to do than to concern Himself with such earthly matters: in the 'How does God know? Is there knowledge Most High?' And God's 36 attitude confirms . the Psalmist quotes two be characteristic sayings which were supposed In the one (introduced by 'therefore'.).EIGHT AND WKONG sees 'the paintings of the heart'. in accordance with the prophecies: the prophet of the Exile has promised them water (Isa. they will certainly not find much more here unless they become subject to the speakers. 41. From what is uttered by to mouth set to the heavens. 'They speak oppression from above* and 'set their mouth this to the heavens'. In the second saying they are apparently replying to the reproaches levelled against them: they were warned that God sees and knows the wrongs they have done. is Their arro- relation to the fellow-men gance and cunning. and 'they may drink their fill of water*.
But now he goes on to explain understanding of this experience has undergone a fundamental change. the torment continued. those 'they men living in comfortable security: have reached power'. heart is not And he proceeded to purify In vain. Since he had again and again to endure. so each morning. That was the first section of the Psalm. the prosperity of the wicked. sec- ond and higher purity which is won by a great struggle of the soul). but the genuine. side by side. in which the speaker depicted his grievous experience. his how his own suffering and their 'grinning' wellfitting being. Even when he succeeded in being able 'to wash his hands in innocence' (which does not mean an action or feeling of self-righteousness. and now is a leprosy to him. it came over the Psalmist *It is a chastisement why am I chastised?' And once again there arose the contrast between the horrible enigma of the happiness of the wicked and his suffering. and as leprosy understood in the Bible as a punishment for the it was like disturbed relation between heaven and earth. after each pain-torn night. 37 . theirs is the power. as my own it.THE HEART DETERMINES them. he is overcome: 'it is not that I should make such pure/ comparisons.
The story of this conquest follows in the most vigorous Job did. and this perception itself seemed to him now to be a part of that 'trouble* which lies on all save those 'wicked* men 38 .EIGHT AND WKONG At this point he was tempted to accuse God as c himself urged to teU how it is'. He in order to penetrate the darkness which hid the meaning from him. as an appeal to God. He felt form which the speaker has at his disposal. But he fought and conquered the temptation. was silent even in the hours when the conflict of the his purified heart. the Psalmist. 1 should have betrayed the generation of thy sons*. The generation of the sons of God! Then he did not know that the pure in heart are the children of God. human world burned into But now he summoned every Toiow* the meaning strained the eyes of the spirit to energy of thought in order of this conflict. He. But he always perceived only the same conflict ever anew. now he does know. the complaining 'servant of God*. For they continue in suffering and do not complain. The words sound to arisen us as though the speaker contrasted these 'children of God* with Job. If I had followed my inner impulse. He interrupts his objectivised account and addresses God. He would have betrayed them if he had and accused God. he says to Him.
yet he still did not recognise that 'God is good to Israel*. experiences does not experience it consequence of the purification of his heart.THE HEART DETERMINES even on the pure in heart. for the 'pure in heart'. the holy mysteries of God. This does not mean the Temple precincts in Jerusalem. is not as the reader of the following words is only too easily misled into thinkingthat the present state of affairs is replaced by a future state of affairs of a quite different kind. in which 'in the end' things go well with the good and badly with the bad. He said. in the language of modern thought the meaning is that the bad do not truly exist. the 'wicked*. as he expressed it in the opening words for the right side. He had become one of these. I that as a God is good to him. but because only as one who is pure in heart is he able to come to the sanctuaries. which the Psalmist expresses here only for the other side. and their 'end' 39 . The man who is pure in heart. But the true meaning of the conflict. but the sphere of God's holiness. 'Until I came into the sanctuaries of God/ Here life is the real turning-point in this exemplary reached. Only to him who draws near to these is the true mean- ing of the conflict revealed.
is not expressed in the con*his text of his story. the great terror Their upon them and they are consumed with terror.EIGHT AND WRONG brings about only this change. life has been a shadow structure in a dream of God's. which he obtained the conflict resolved. nothingness. he drew near to the holy mysteries of God. that they picion of which they now in- escapably experience their non-existence. and I was my reins. that at the same time the till error in which he had lived then and from which he had suffered so much was revealed to him: *When pricked in I my heart rose up in me. God awakes. where is shadow image. it dispelling. the sus- ceeded in places*. and when a moment'. but in an address to Lord*. had again and again sucTheir life was 'set in slippery as to slide into the was so arranged knowledge of their this finally falls own 'in happens. And in the same address he confesses. brutish was I and ignorant. shakes off the dream. and disdainfully watches the dissolving as This insight of the Psalmist. and at the end of line of the last section (after the descrip- and the story comes the confession) the words 40 . as a beast before have been Thee/ With Psalm the tion first this ^before Thee* the middle section of the significantly concludes. with harsh state of self-criticism.
THE HEART DETERMINES
are significantly taken up. The words 'And I am* at the beginning of the verse are to be understood
emphatically: 'Nevertheless I am*, 'Nevertheless I am continually with Thee'. God does not count it
against the heart
which has become pure that
up*. Certainly even the erring and struggling man was 'with Him*, for the man who struggles for God is near Him even
when he imagines
driven far from God.
the reality which we learn from the revelation to Job out of the storm, in the hour of Job's
utter despair ( 30, 20-22 )
and utter readiness
But what the Psalmist wishes
to teach us, in
contrast to the
that the fact of his
being with God is revealed to the struggling man in the hour whennot led astray by doubt and
despair into treason, and become pure in heartTie comes to the sanctuaries of God*. Here he receives the revelation of the 'continually*.
draws near with a pure heart to the divine mystery, learns that he is continually with God.
would be a misunderstand-
ing of the whole situation to look on this as a pious there is no continuity, feeling. From man*s side
only from God*s side.
The Psalmist has
God and he
are continually with
one another. But
EIGHT AND WRONG
he cannot express
his experience as a
word of God.
to the fathers
the primitive stories made God say to the first leaders of the people:
and the word
unmistakably heard as well. Thereafter, this was no longer reported and we hear it again only in
say to God: 'Thou art with me.' But
(29, 5) speaks of God's having
his youth, the
been with him in
fundamental word, the
speaker in our
and only one to insert it expressly. He no longer
with me*, but
thee*. It is not,
however, from his
and feeling that he can say
man is able to be continually turned to the presence
God: he can say
only in the strength of the is continually with him.
longer dares to express the central experience as a word of God; but he expresses it by a gesture of God. God has taken his right hand
as a father, so
The Psalmist no
we may add,
harmony with that
expression 'the generation of thy children*, takes his little son by the hand in order to lead him. More
precisely, as in the
dark a father takes his
son by the hand, certainly in order to lead him,
THE HEAET DETERMINES
but primarily in order to make present to him, in the warm touch of coursing blood, the fact that he,
continually with him. true that immediately after this the leadis
expressed: 'Thou dost guide me with thy counsel/ But ought this to be understood as meaning that the speaker expects God to recomitself is
changing situations of his life what he should do and what he should refrain from
doing? That would
mean that the Psalmist believes
now possesses a constant oracle, who would
exonerate him from the duty of weighing up and deciding what he must do. Just because I take this
so seriously I cannot understand the matter
way. The guiding counsel of God seems to be simply the divine Presence communicat-
to the pure in heart. He who is aware of this Presence acts in the changing situaitself direct
tions of his life differently
perceive this Presence. The Presence acts as counsel: God counsels by making known that He is present. He has led his son out of darkness into the
and now he can walk in the light. He is not relieved of taking and directing his own steps.
revealing insight has changed life itself, as well as the meaning of the experience of life. It also
But now it has become the event in which the continually Present One. the One who grasps the man's hand. me with thy seems to contradict this. in the 'Old It is And. the Good One 'takes* a God man. 'Thou shalt guide counsel'. For the 'oppressed* man death was only the mouth towards which the sluggish stream of suffering and trouble flows. There is nothing here about being able to go after death into heaven. But not only that mythical there is nothing left of heaven either. It once seemed 44 . the forty-ninth. when He me/ There is nothing left here of the idea of a translation. The Psalmists transferred the description from the realm of miracle to that of personal piety and is its Psalm which most personal expression. The to tellers of the legends taken'. there are these words: 'But God will redeem takes my soul from the power of Sheol.RIGHT AND WRONG changes the perspective of death. In a related to our Psalm not only in language and style but also in content and feeling. so far as I see. true that the sentence in our Psalm which follows the words. a had described the living Elijah translation of the living Enoch and the heaven as *a being being taken away by God Himself. there is nowhere Testament' anything about this.
For us who the conceptual world of a later doctrine of immortality it is almost self-evident that in we should understand 'Thou shalt take me* as 'Thou shalt take me up*. 18) : 'All the kings of the nations. not contradict this interpretation? Does it not say whither I shall be taken. there are these all words them. is unambiguous 'After thou hast guided me with thy counsel through the remainder of my life'.THE HEAKT DETERMINES to me to be indeed so. In the original text there are three words. This is not the only passage in the scriptures where death and kabod meet. when tliis I translated it as 'And afterwards thou dost take me up to glory*. of lie in kabod. kabod. it does not are led astray into this reading by understanding 'taking up* instead of 'taking*. 'Thou shalt take me away*. We to lionour* or 'glory*? No. The second word needs more have grown up careful examination. 'afterwards'. In the song of Isaiah on the dead king of Babylon. But I can no longer maintain interpretation. but thou wert cast forth away from thy sepulchre/ He is refused an honourable grave be- 45 . that is. every one in his own house. in glory. namely say this. The first. The hearer or reader of that time understood simply. ( 14. who once wanted to ascend into heaven like the day star. But does the third word. 'at the end of my life*.
'Whom have I in heaven!* He does not aspire to enter heaven after death. Kabod in death is granted to the others. 9. But he knows that in death he will cherish no desire to remain on earth. Tor*. 'Thou wilt not leave my soul to SheoF.BIGHT AND WEONG cause he has destroyed his land and slain his people. belongs to the earthly side of death. This sense of being taken is now expressed by the Psalmist in the unsurpassably clear cry. in which. The 'wicked' have in the end a direct experience of their non-being. as a later text explains (Eccl. but thy hand will grasp is said in another Psalm related in kind to this one. Kabod. the sixteenth. because they have uprightly fulfilled the task of their life. whose root meaning is the radiation of the inner 'weight' of a person. there is neither activity nor consciousness. for God's home is not in heaven. so that heaven is empty. ment of my existence. is not contrasted with a kingdom of heavenly bliss. as embrace me. But over against the realm of nothing there is God. In my death the coils of Sheol will not me. When Psalmist to God. the realm of nothingness. Sheol. the 'pure in heart' have in the end a direct experience of the Being of God. says our I shall die in kabod. in the fulfilI have lived my life.10). for 46 .
THE HEABT DETEBMIXES
be wholly 'with Thee* here the the third time-with Him who *has
But he does not mean by this what we are accustomed to call personal immortality, that
continuation in the dimension of time so familiar
to us in this our mortal
death *being with Him* will no longer mean, as it does in this life, *being separated from Him*. The
now says with the strictest clarity what must now be said: it is not merely his flesh which
vanishes in death, but also his heart, that inmost
personal organ of the soul, which formerly 'rose up* in rebellion against the human fate and which
personal soul also true part and true fate of this person, the 'rock* of this heart, God, is eternal. It is into His eternity
he became pure in heart this vanishes. But He who was the
this eternity is
pure in heart moves in death, and something absolutely different from
Psalmist looks back at the
any kind of time.
Once again the
'wicked*, the thought of whom had once so stirred him. Now he does not call them the wicked, but
'they that are far
In the simplest manner he expresses what he has
learned: since they are far from God, from Being,
EIGHT AND WRONG
they are lost. And once more the positive follows the negative, once more, for the third and last time,
that 'and T, 'and for me*,
which here means "never-
theless for me'. 'Nevertheless for
to draw near to God/ Here, in this conception of the good, the circle is closed. To him who may draw near to God, the good is given. To an Israel which is pure in heart the good is given, because
near to God. Surely,
The speaker here ends
does not yet break off. He gathers everything together. He has made his refuge, his 'safety', 'in his
Him. And now,
God, he speaks which is joined to
word about the
and which he has
which God has
Formerly he was provoked to tell of the appearance, and he resisted. Now he knows, he has the reality to tell of: the works of God. The first
of his telling, the tale of the
work which God has
performed with him, in this Psalm. In this Psalm two kinds of men seem to be contrasted with
one another, the 'pure in heart* and
true, are clearly
one kind of men, but the others
THE HEART DETERMINES as a *beast' and purifies his heart, are not. A man
and behold, God holds him by the hand. That
not a kind of men. Purity of heart is a state of being. A man is not pure in kind, but he is able to be or
become pure, rather he is only essentially pure when he has become pure, and even then he does
not thereby belong to a kind of men. The 'wicked', that is, the bad, are not contrasted with good men.
says the Psalmist, is 'to draw near to does not say that those near to God are
good. But he does call the bad those who are far from God'. In the language of modern thought that
means that there are men who have no share
existence, but there are
no men who possess existence. Existence cannot be possessed, but only
does not rest in the lap of existence, but one draws near to it. 'Nearness' is nothing but such a drawing and coming near continually and
long as the
The dynamic of fairness and nearness is broken by death when it breaks the life of the person. With
death there vanishes the heart, that inwardness of
man, out of which arise the pictures' of the imagination, and which rises up in defiance, but which
can also be purified.
Separate souls vanish, separation vanishes.
Only the 'rock' in which the heart rock of human concealed. but existing man dies into eternity as into the perfect existence.SIGHT AND WBONG which has been lived by the soul vanishes with the soul. we know of no duration in time. The time of the world disappears before eternity. For it does is not stand in time. 50 . only the hearts does not vanish.
The right way. from the other. Those who continue on their own miss that way. THE WAYS Psalm 1 open the Psalms. behind that collection may have been to complete the Torah* or 'direction* (which means a book of teachings and laws edited at that time and ascribed Moses) by means of hymns and songs of a 'directing* kind. those who way again and again 51 . and means to teach the man to distinguish this way. The intention stood OFTEN. and refuse to go that way.V. wrong ways. are called 'the wicked*. is followed by 'the proven ones*. Here *to direct* means to show the to way which man that should 'choose' (Ps. I begin by looking at the first. 25. the right way. the way of God. which was early underI when as a proem to the Psalter. 12). I am inclined to think that even the oldest collection of Psalms (perhaps brought together under Hezekiah) was introduced by this Psalm.
songs we may explain the keywords of this Psalm. This law has a poetic significance rhythmical correspond- ence of sound values as well as a hermeneutical one: the Psalm provides its own interpretation. sinners in the way* (Ps. important to recognise (the Psalm emphasizes by this device) what the wicked are in relation to the way and the direction. as in the last part of this Psalm. by repetition of what is essential to its understanding. to the proven ones and It is the sinners. 'the wicked'. The recurrence of the key-words is a basic law of composition in the Psalms. 25. 'sinners'. But when I open the Psalms what moves 52 me to . 'the 'wicked* occurs as frequently as 'proven* and 'sinners* together. as here. These words are 'way*. that helps them to find the way back. often refuses. 8). This is why it expression of a certain subject. 'direc- By ing* hymns and these simple presuppositions of the 'direct- proven ones'. to vary the and is not afraid to repeat. whereas the 'good* and 'upright* God again and again 'directs is.EIGHT AND WRONG are called sinners. At the same time it becomes clear why the word tion*. the same leading description in three successive sentences. tion is The real struggle of the direc- therefore with the wicked.
It may be translated by which 'O happiness!*. hands of life itself. future a joyful this cry and a passionate statement liow happy man is!' The theme is happiness. it. wants to indicate a happiness which is not obvious to all eyes. In this Psalm it is 'O the happiness of /. true happiness. It is man earthly life or in another. since experience knows nothing of in the Psalm. *Lo. This cisely. This is not a wish and not a of the man promise. You do not see it. But of course the Psalmist. "truly*. the only true happiness/ That is why he can dare to explain. . 'true*. is indeed not explicit. and therefore the word with which the whole Psalter begins. which is perhaps not even properly credible. common though knowing something of the unhappiness of the man described The Psalmist obviously also wants to there is a secret happiness hidden by the say. . which balances and outbalances unhappiness. but it is true happiness.THE WAYS look at this one is something else the word with it begins. more prethe truly happy man. in face of everyday appearall 53 . as it of this Psalm might be in a philosophical study of the virtuous man which speaks of his having 'true* happiness. too. addition. It is not that the he may deserves happiness or that be certain of being happy whether in this life.
and what he means about his happiness has its home in another of the of man whom sphere from that of a man's self-satisfaction. For what he pher's saying were to completely untouched by what the philosopher could say to him about the 'self-enjoyment* of the moral man. by helping him to distinguish between apparent and true happiness. that everything done by this man succeeds. But what they have in common is not the thing that matters. Both are to be under- 54 .EIGHT AND TFBONG ances. It is true that the two sayings have some- thing in common. And yet the Psalmist has obviously another purpose than the philosopher. who tells us that virtue is its own reward. and if the philoso- be brought to the Psalmist's notice and explained to him he would be speechless and could only shake his head. Perhaps the Psalmist even intends to hearten the against the despairing moods of a Job. Both the conduct of the man's life and his happiness in their nature transcend the realm of ethics as well as that of self-consciousness. What he means about the really means is life he speaks cannot be grasped by means of moral values. and by teach- very man of whom he speaks ing him to penetrate into the profundities of true happiness and to feel it more passionately. which show the abundant failures of the good.
He says rather that God is TQQOWS' the way of the righteous. How should the fact that Gods knows the tors way who cling to the normal usage make vain efforts 55 correspond to the fact that of the wicked peters out? The commentathis way . that what they all the time had 'peters out'. that this alleged way leads nowhere. their life now is wayless. he would expect to hear now taken to be a the opposite about 'the way* of the proven ones that its character as a way becomes increasingly clear. till finally the goal which had hitherto been only glimpsed flashes with power upon the eyes of the man on the way. way is no way. which is the basic theme of the Book of Psalms. This becomes most clear at the end of the poem where with concluding precision the way of the proven ones and the way of the wicked are contrasted. it Of the way of the wicked it is said that That means that the men who go this way learn somewhere or other. Taken ac- cording to normal linguistic usage. this sentence not really intelligible. But this is not what the Psalmist says at this decisive point.THE WAYS stood only from a man's intercourse with God. If something of this kind were said to someone who had not read our Psalm. And now they can see neither before nor after. at some point in their journey.
belongs not to the sphere of reflection but to that of contact. in distinction from Western lan- guages. to the simple and loyal ply its preparing Hos. Hebrew is is not that one looks at an obit. 13. 37. but that one comes into touch with developed in the This basic difference realm of a refact is lation of the soul to other beings. 5). This Tcnowing* of His. Through His contact with them God draws them out of the abundance of living creatures in order to communicate with them. for commission (Amos 3. means that is lifted out. 33. 7. 12. this the man reaching out to touch and to grasp. intercourse. We can reach a clear if understanding of the point only we realise that the original meaning of the Hebrew verb 'to recognise. This theme of 'knowing* intercourse rises to a remarkable and incomparable height in the relation of God to those He has chosen -to the prophets whom He will send out (Ex. At the centre not a perceiving of one another. or simmen who trust in His He is protection alone (Nahum 1. Jer 1. but the contact of being. to know'. and it is as those who have lifted been out that they have intercourse with 56 . The decisive event for Icnowing* in biblical ject. Ps.EIGHT AND WRONG to get rid of the difficulty. 5). 31. 18). 8. to Israel which 2. where the of mutuality changes everything.
his disappointments and even of the success. the pious. however. Their contact afresh. which is said only here. 57 . the Torah. are man. he teaches us to distinguish between the true way and the false ways. O the happiness is man who goes the way which shown and Tmown* by God! The way is shown by God in his 'direction*. it is a genuinely biographical experience. The way. but that He knows their way. In the verse of the Psalm of which speaking. The Psalm does not say that God knows the proven ones. the way of life of these men is so created that at each of its stages they experience the divine And they experience it as befits a each stage they experience it in the way. just as every action of this his failures. that is. real at experience of the divine Tcnowing* is not like any experience of nature. His direction. However cruel ^knowing' it is 'success*. This God directs. his teaching of the distinction. there is I am something particular added. own per- sonal in destiny as it is lived through in each and contrary this destiny might appear when viewed apart from intercourse with God. that is. what is experienced in this man- ner is experienced in the course of one's life.THE WAYS Him. manner specifically appropriate to the stage. when it is irradiated by His particular occasion. and it is this.
Only his now can fruit. These. We we must cling to it with a pasall more exalted than is it wicked. It is essential to distin- guish these two classes from one another. *Wicked' here really describes a land of man. own being thrive. We must again and again 'mutter' its living word after it. it. ripen and bring forth and the law by which seasons of greenness and seasons of withering succeed one another in the life of the living being. The parallelism in the form means here.EIGHT AND WRONG is given to us. But 'delight' in it is must sion it. with our speaking we must repeat we must enter into the word's spokenness. not enough to accept it. a persistent 58 . stand two other classes of in contrast to those men. no longer holds for him his sap circulates continually in UP diminished freshness. not a mere correspondence but a completion. Nor the passions of the enough to learn it passively. so that it is spoken anew by us in our biographical situation of today and so on and on in his in eternal actuality. He who reveals own activity serves the God Who Himself even though he may by nature be sprung from a mean earthly realm is transplanted by the streams of water of the Direction. as so often. who are constant in the way of God. the sinners and the wicked.
And of the wicked as of the sinners that they do not stand'. In the 'judgement' it is existence which is at stake. Since the wicked man has negated his existence he ends in nothing.THE WAYS disposition. it is only a human community which any stability if it is is unable to offer them its not to make own stability questionable. The sinner does evil. while the sinners do not stand only 'in the congregation of the proven ones'. Sinners again and again miss God's way. But entry into this community is not closed to them. his way is his judgement. and not of sinners. there is a fundamental distinction. They need only to carry out that turning into God's way. That is why said only of the wicked. of which the Psalm permits us to divine that it is not merely open to them but that they themselves may desire it in the depths 59 . that their way peters out and that they are like the chaff when c it is said which a wind sweeps away. the wicked it is man is evil. the wicked oppose it in accordance with the basic attitude of their constitution. dition. But with sinners it is different: their 'not standing' does not refer to the decision of the supreme judgement. The wicked do not stand 'in the judgement*. a whereas 'sinners' describes rather a con- fit which from time to time attacks the man. without adhering to him.
or rather fancy they are not strong enough. For in distinction from the sinners they do not wish to be able to turn. there arises for us modern inter- preters of the Psalms the question to this which neither nor any other Psalm nor any human word knows the answer: how can an evil will exist. Is the way. whereas they do not feel themselves strong enough. to enter upon it. Before this abyss the interpreter of the Psalms stands silent. 60 . when God exists? The abyss which is opened by this tion stretches. even ques- more uncannily than the abyss of Job's question. closed to the wicked? It is not closed from God's side so we may it is continue the reflection of the Psalm but closed from the side of the wicked themselves. That is why their way peters out.BIGHT AND WBONG of their heart. Here. then. it is true. into the darkness of the divine mystery.
IMAGES OF GOOD AND EVIL .
.Translated by MICHAEL BULLOCK The translator wishes to acknowledge Professor Buber's kindness in checking the whole of the translation before it went to press and making a number of valuable suggestions.
particularly with Nicolai Berdyaeff and Ernesto Buonaiuti. and the lively exchange of ideas. I therefore took an active part in the discussion. who have now me to renewed reflection what Berdyaeff termed this 'paradoxical* probupon also passed on. In the Entretiens for the following year. but not until the year following the World War had I approached it independently. in ten days of discussion devoted to just this problem. in so doing.PREFACE IN the Entretiens de Pontigny. since then I had repeatedly dealt with it in my writings and lectures. led lem. 63 . and it was the subject first of my first lecture-course in the Science of Reli- gion at the University of Frankfurt am Main. the problem of evil. there was raised in the summer of 1935. founded and directed by my unforgettable friend Paul Desjardins. I had been preoccupied with this problem since my youth. in connection with a discussion of asceticism. I set out my conception in greater detail.
ni rneme de alors il poser de maniere rationelle. a chronicle. Impossible de le le resoudre. and so to assist in its understanding. cf. two strucat opposite poles. good and evil are not. the treatise 'What Man?' in my book Between Man and Man (1947).IMAGES OF GOOD AND EVIL I drew a comparison between two historical viewancient Iranian and the Hebrew. as they are usually thought to be. I was points. elaborated a few years already in Jerusalem. lem of reply to the question as to the point of attack for the struggle. upon this. the all to concerned above 1 show that in their anthropo- logical in reality. or more correctly. in the form of a novel. which I entitled a of is l use the word 'anthropological' here entirely in the sense modern philosophical anthropology. And in direct conjunction with this 'impossibility* he posed the question of the point of attack for the struggle against evil. it ran: The struggle must begin within one's own soul all else will follow This second answer I later. turally similar qualities situated but two qualities of totally different structure. that is. Berdyaeff had said. the factual context of the life of the human person. parcequ- disparate. In answer to this consideration I now attempted in my lecture to give. I was able to give a considerably briefer and more precise evil. 64 . in place of a 'solution' of the prob- a synthetic description of evil happening.
65 . Philadelphia 1945. January-October 1941. Jerusalem 1943. Heidelberg 1949. First printed in the workers' paper Davar. In order to make clear their meaning. and German. Elaboration of my reply to BerdyaefFs indication of the 'impossibility of solution* had to wait for another decade.PEEFACE 1 Gog and Magog. It is given in this book. he said in an almost failing voice. German edition. Its central theme is contained in the following words of a disciple: is the nature of this 'Rabbf. which transcends the later in 1 First written by me in Hebrew. It took so long to mature above all because it dawned on me only gradually that the Biblical myths of good and evil on the one hand. and the Avestic and postAvestic on the other correspond with two fundamentally different kinds and stages of evil. "The darkness out of which he was hewn needed to be taken from nowhere else than from our own slothful and malicious hearts. English translation of by Ludwig Lewisohn under the title For the Sake Heaven. Vhat Gog? He can exist in the outer world only because he exists within us?' He pointed to his own breast. printed as a book in Hebrew. It is our betrayal of God that has made Gog to grow so great/ recall the time at Fully to understand this passage the reader must which the novel was written.
a useful bridge between myth and reality. 66 . Its construction is indispensable. Everything conceptual in this connection is merely an aid. but he does not see the former and the latter together. with truths such as can be communicated adequately to anthropological. I the generality of mankind only in the form of myths. Man knows of chaos and creation in the cosmogonic myth and he learns that chaos and creation take place in himself. We are dealing here.IMAGES OF GOOD AND EVIL have preceded their description by an interpretation of the two groups of myths. as Plato already knew. he listens to the myth of Lucifer and hushes it up in his own life. He needs the bridge. The anthropological exposition shows the domain in which they materialize again and again.
THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE f i ^HE Biblical account of the so-called fall of man may well be founded upon a primeval myth of the envy and vengeance of gods. This God is the sole possessor of the power both of creation and of destiny. but all these are 67 . he is surrounded by other celestial beings. alien to the style of the is rest of the Bible. The divine being whose actions are here recorded tion of the dialogue woman) proper f.PART ONE I. which is compounded out of a interpreted elsewhere (Exodus 3. of whose contents we have no more than an inkling: the story that has been written down and preserved for us has acquired a very different meaning. 14 as He-is-there and a generic term which is name plural in form and corresponds most nearly to our 'Godhead 7 .) repeatedly referred to (with the excepbetween the serpent and the by an appellation.
Yet their transgression of the prohibition is not reported to evil. he does not compel him. us as a decision between good and but as something other. who was not created till after the prohibition had been pronounced. or rather forbids him. he only commands. The man and with him his woman. he does not impose his will upon man. talks. but who appears to have become cognizant of it in some peculiar manner whilst still a rib within the body of the man- give or withhold his obedience. Of course. . of whose otherness account. they are both may creator or to refuse themselves to him. of every tree of the garden off. for he is at at liberty to accede to their liberty. God obviously knows very prehas said: You shall not eat it . the last of his works. albeit under a severe threat. touch it not. but she too God's prohibition and adds to it words which he did not use: *. else you must die/ As becomes manifest subsequently. the serpent is both right and wrong in denying that this will be 68 . ." it says and breaks intensifies Now the woman . It speaks as though it knew very imprecisely what cisely. .IMAGES OF GOOD AND EVIL subject to him and without names or power of their own. we must take The terms of the dialogue with the serpent are already strange enough. 'Indeed.
the pathos . into the knowledge of death to played with it. but how could these qualities of the tree be perceived? It must be a contemplation that is meant.THE TBEE OF KNOWLEDGE the consequence: they do not have to die after eating. It is apparent: the two doers they can only do it. sunk in contemplation. a mysterious irony of the narrator. but it is a strange. and now he eats also. whose presence then been revealed to us by neither word nor gestureshe seems moved by dream-longing. dreamlike kind of contemplation. has till but seems to be truly in dream-lassitude that he takes and eats. it is irony. that spins it. She does not merely see that it is a delight to the eye. There is no room here for the pathos of the two principles. the woman plucks. they cannot know it. just as Eve is. eats and hands to the man. know not what they do. they merely plunge into human mortality. as this. more than we see it in the ancient Iranian religion. that come the serpent plays with the word of God. And now the incident itself begins: the woman regards the tree. she also sees in it that which cannot be and that it seen: how good gift of its fruit tastes bestows the understand- ing. The whole incident is spun out of it play and dream. And so. This seeing has been explained as a metaphorical expression for perceiving.
But nowhere is their meaning intimated. which the commentators stood as such and hence have not understood at all. when he subse- quently says that they have thereby become 'as one of us'. knowers and God seems to confirm good and evil. so does God himself also call it. And are to nevertheless both of them. immediately upon God's prohibition followed his dictum that it was 'not good* that man should be 70 . be found here but in The tree of whose forbidden fruit the first humans eat is called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. good and evil. they would become like God. or of delightful and and repulsive. to know good and evil. immediately after the serpent's speech the woman 'sees' that the tree is 'good to eat'. This is the repetitive style of the Bible.IMAGES OF GOOD AND EVIL of the choice made by the Two themselves and by the whole of mankind after them. a strange. The serpent promises that by partaking of of this it. the antitheses constantly re- appear in fresh relationships with one another: its purpose is to demonstrate with superclarity that it is they we are dealing with. The words may denote the ethical antithesis. but they may also denote that of beneficial and injurious. ironical have not undershape.
'evil' is equally In the main. now that he has acquired moral consciousness. There 71 no place in the . The other interpretation. no less contrary to the nature of this God: we have only to think of the declaration that in His mouth man. which refers to the acquisition of sexual desire. One. throughout the ages. relating to the acquisition of is moral consciousness. cogni- zance of the world. in which the antithesis good and used this But is denote 'anything*. three interpretations have repeatedly emerged in explanation of what the first humans acquired by partaking of the fruit. which is coupled with the lenowledge of good and evil': tion of this man and woman God is supra-sexual. must not be allowed to attain aeonian life as well! According to the third interpretation. the meaning of this ^knowledge of good and evil' is nothing else than: cognition in general. are. the favourite one to is today. also unfounded.THE TEEE OF KNOWLEDGE alone the adjective translated by indefinite. knowledge of all the good and line bad things there evil is often things'. is precluded both by the fact of the creaas sexually mature beings and by the concept of T^ecoming-like-God'. 'all kinds of interpretation. for this would be in with Biblical usage.
. 17). this refers specifically to the the wrong. so that knowledge of the right and and the innocent.. which the he may give is it practical realisation. the guilty earthly judge. evil or ill. inclusive of everything neutral. that he knows all things (II Samuel 14. if all those passages which are taken as having this significance are examined in relation to the concrete nature of the "all current situation and the current intention of the to refer in actual speaker. be it . . even though knowing bound up with knowing 'everything in the world/ Thus it is stated. v. . Psalms 82.IMAGES OF GOOD AND EVIL Scriptures thing' or where the antithesis meant simply 'any- kinds of things'. they are always found fact to an affirmation or a negation of both good and bad. but precisely to the opposites and to discrimination between them. like the heavenly who rules over the nations (cf. 2 and 58. for instance. 20). But added to this the fact that the word sequence 'good and 72 evil* (without . 2). as of the them is angel as the heavenly. but where it is said of him that he discerns the good and the evil (do.'. so of the king as the earthly representative of God. does not relate to the whole scale of that which is. The "be it . which ways found in this context. receives from his divine commissioner. of both favourable and unis al- favourable.
of which that being is now the master. In the terminology 73 . we longs. but before the bearer breath. ^Knowledge of good and evil' means nothing else than: cognizance of the opposites which the early literature of mankind designated by these two terms. and it is the same in those of the Bible which precede written prophecy and to which ours beof modern thought. as well as that which he causes. that does not permit us to suppose it a rhetorical flourish. he had manifestly bestowed of his own the abundance of knowledge contained in speech.THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE an which. the being upon whom. in a subsequent passage article) which 1. at the very hour of creation. apart from our tale. is 39) dependent upon this one ( Deuteronomy is given an emphasis in the story of Pararepetition dise. This is still the same in the early Avestic texts. only occurs on one other occasion. even before the creation of the woman. they still include the fortune and the misis fortune or the order and the disorder which experienced by a person. by and other stylistic means. God brings the beasts that he may give them their appointed names. Neither is it the case that 'cognition in general' only came to the first humans when they partook of the fruit: it is not before a creature without knowledge that.
and this in their For function as the opposite poles of the world's being. can only reach complete understanding if we remain fully aware that the basic conception the theo.IMAGES OF GOOD AND EVIL can transcribe what adequate awareness of the opposites inherent in all being within the world. from the viewpoint of the is meant as: Biblical creation-belief. means: adequate aware- ness of the opposites latent in creation. them.and anthropology of the Hebrews. irrespective of the primal fact of the latter's likeness* to and of the current fact of his 'nearness* to God Him (Psalm 73. which He encompasses untouched by them. God knows the opposites of being. namely the immutable difference and distance of all We which exists between God and man. as such He created them we this may late Biblical doctrine (Isaiah. also applies to the knowledge of good and evil. He is as absolutely them. familiar with them as he is absolutely superior to stem from His own act of creation. This knowledge as the primordial possession of God and the same knowledge as the magical attainment of man are worlds apart in their nature. He has direct intercourse with them (this is obviously the original meaning of the Hebrew verb Tcnow*: be in direct contact with). and that. 28). 45. 7) to impute our narra- 74 .
despite his likeness* to God. the yes-position and the no-position of existence. 'one of us' (Genesis 3. 2) by virtue of their share in the work of creation. The ^knowledge' acquired by man through an eating the miraculous fruit is of essentially different kind. has a part only in that which is created and not in creation. and that means de facto (since the yes can present itself to the experience and perception of man in the no-position. Thus He who is above all opposites has intercourse with the opposites of good tor. but not the no in the yes-position) in : he knows it directly from within that *eviT at times when he happens to be situated there. A superior-familiar en- compassing of opposites is denied to him who. only of begetting and giving birth. to have bestowed upon the 'sons of God* (6. in its and evil that are of His own making. more exa condition actly: he knows it when he recognises himself whenever he has transin which he finds gressed the command of God.THE TBEE OF KNOWLEDGE elementary fonn. as can be gathered from the words. and some- thing of this His primordial familiarity with them He appears. as the *eviT and the 75 . capable not of creating. but hrm they can never be temporally coexistent. 22). is Good and evil. enter into his living cognizance. He knows oppositeness only by his situation within it.
to be an ill or an evil. cannot be adequately explained on the basis of sexuality. although without the latter it is. Admittedly. tently present in creation break out into actual reality. because. not merely before one another. the only recorded consequence of the magical partaking. establish the of clothing. they before God (3. not merely without clothing.IMAGES OF GOOD AND EVIL one he has thereby being. as soon as they have eaten of the fruit. of course. but now since they see themselves so. in and more will besides. they feel the natural which they find themselves. they become existent. 'And the eyes of both of them were opened': they see themselves as they are. as the good. One is 'good' 76 . 10). overcome by the knowledge of oppositeness. but and as a countermeasure they conceive. and by this very feeling they make it so. but with one another able. for the time inaccessible to him. is lost and which. but 'naked*. Toiow' that they are naked. Recognition of this fact. inconceivfore had not been ashamed beone another and now they are ashamed. the opposites this point. or rather both at once state of unclothedness. In just this manner the first humans. But at the process in the human soul becomes a process in the world: through the recognition of which are always laoppositeness.
but this most extreme expression. is this pronouncement. Because man is now numbered amongst those who know good and evil. neither the concept of clothed. to know good and also which. but now it has really become a matter for shame. but is imposed upon by him by the theme which corresponds exactly to his suffering through the nature of man at this stage of its development. human 'recognition* of opposites alone brings with it the fact of their relatedness to good and evil.and unclothedness. nor that of man and woman before one another. does not emanate from an intention freely formed by the narrator. In themselves. it steeped in the ironic dialectic of the whole here shows most clearly. an irony suffering whose source was obviously great through the nature of man. naturally. In this lamentable effect of the great magic of the becoming-like-God the narrator's irony becomes apparent. ser- But does not God himself confirm that the pent's promise has been fulfilled? He does. God wishes to prevent him life from also eating of the tree of and living by 77 .THE TEEE OF KNOWLEDGE ashamed of being as one is because one now 'recognises* this so-being in its oppositional nature as an intended shall-be. is become still as one of us. have any- thing whatsoever to do with good and evil. 'Man evil*.
caused the latent opposites to break out at the most dangerous point. of the envy and vengeance of acquired through him a meaning fundamentally different from its original one.& UJB aeons'. Here there can no longer be any expression of fear that man might now become a match for the celestial is the nature beings: we have just seen how earthly knowledge of 'good and evil'. God. that of the world's closest proximity to 1 God. But man dream withdrew at once from both the will of though without properly understanding what he was doing. Thus Procksch in his Commentary on Genesis. wanted him to accept his continued guidance.JLJMt-AWL. he wanted to protect him from the opposites latent in existconstruction of dust. placed caught up in demonry. God and from theless with this deed. the only one. From that moment on. unrealised by his under- standing. which the narrator symbolizes for us with his web of play and ence. The narrator may have taken the motif from myth it the ancient gods: if so. The like one of us' can be uttered here only in the ironic of man's dialectic. neverhis protection and. 78 . who breathed his breath into the him in the garden of the four rivers and gave him a helpmate. 1 But now it is the irony of a 'divine com- passion'. as far as I see. to give the correct interpretation here.
THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE oppositeness takes hold of kirn. When she gives birth. for him as the being driven round amidst opposites it may become a haven. there is no question here but as the ever-recrudescent reaction to the no-position and its irredeemable perspective. if no end were Lest the thoughtless creature. This situation would inevitably set to demonry. for fig leaves with which to plait himself a girdle. woman shall suffer pains desire (cf. again without knowing what he is doing. and eat himself into aeons of sufto the garden God prevents his return (2. from as which he expelled him a 'living soul' 7) in punishment. the knowledge of which brings comfort. he will ever anew find himself naked and look around develop into full it. not indeed as a must-sin of that. such as no other creature suffers henceforth a price to must be paid for being human. for which she was prepared at the time of her creation. It announces that no radical alteration of which already exists. This stern benefaction is preceded by the passing of sentence. and hence of original sin. should long for the fruit of the other tree fering. For man known death is the threatening boundary. it is only that all things are drawn into the atmosphere of oppositeness. and the become once more one body with the man 79 .
80 . in his own way.IMAGES OF GOOD AND EVIL 2. affliction. his own. shall become an From the seat. 24) shall render her dependent upon him. which was fore him be- he was set in the garden. man is sent out upon a path. have been felt by the narrator. already planned for To the man work. the path into the world's history. which had been made ready for him. that only through it does the world have a history and this is That an historical goal must. the human path. But the curse conceals a blessing.
the latter a deed which is wrong by its very nature. is how accom- . in its present linguistic version. not of itself. but as disobedience. first and not the former of is the story of the it 'iniquity* (4. However it may have been fashioned and intended in its original and independent form. but which. we are now 81 told. The former describes an action which earns punishment. a brief. which has preserved archaic eleformer in its style ments within it. KAIN the tale of the tree of knowledge follows in the Scriptures that of fratricide. took place within the clan. would always be punished as such in every society known to us. is unmistakably linked It up with the former. 13) in the universal is human sense. as here. only its combination with the tale of the eating of the forbidden fruit drew out of it an immense significance: this.II. different from the UPON and the manner in which it is conveyed. without irony and without lingering. that one which if. dry report.
from that sundered polarity attached itself to the sexual act as such. once more against God as his guardian (II Samuel 12. enters into their ination so that something from this discrimknowing of each other. 13 ) The deed of the first humans belonged . repugnant 82 . Kain's deed to that of evil.IMAGES OF GOOD AND EVIL plished human ^knowledge out in the generations that as Original sin'. which only came into being through the We who have been born late and as such knowledge and at the same time to prevail over it. act of knowledge. not as if something Kain only ( w. know The his first thing we was driven out of Paradise learn about the couple that is that the man Tcaew* this prehistoric designate the sexual acts of Adam and genealogists woman (4. to the sphere of pre-evil. . 11). not indeed but as the specific only possible in relation to God. which alone makes possible general sin against the fellow-man and hence. of good and evil* works come after sin. With word the 17 and 25) it may be assumed that the designation is intended to keep us in the atmosphere of that first Toiowing*. but now it takes place between those who have known. A between unhallowed copulation. must stress the perspective founded on the combination of the two are concerned to that tales. of course.
KAIN to God in which. singular and unlike all other maternal pronouncements in the Bible. from this first post-Paradisal copuis lation that the first son of man springs. a pronouncement. there is no foundation here for distinctions of this kind. She says she has ^brought forth' a manchild with YHVH. but only by the selection of particular words. not directly. for that is the orig- inal meaning of the verb. in particular. But manner the Hebrew Bible has of expressing some things. in explanation of the name she gives him. from 83 . But it is just at his birth that the Scriptures put into the mouth of the child's mother. and that means exposed to the opposites inherent in It is precisely all exist- ence within the world. that it had become cognizant. the first humans* sin is to have consisted and that which is supposed hallowed and acceptable to God has been incorrectly ascribed to the tale of the *fall of man* by ancient and modern exegetists. and there is equally little to assume that marital relations between ground Adam and Eve only began after the in the expulsion. through awareness of them. and he the first man to become guilty in the exact human sense. it is hinted here that their post- Paradisal intimacy was no longer the same as the Paradisal. as can other passages in be seen both from the Bible and.
the husbandman. 18. that is (3. for which reason also every firstborn of man and beast. brings the fruits of the ground. used here by the mother of all living' 20). 34. But only indicated that God himself ashere is it directly sists a firstborn into the world. This is manifestly connected with the idea that the process of the first birth is only made possible by special divine intervention. where the is called by the same word. which is mother of the cognate with Hebrew. as the 'break- ing open of the womb* (Exodus 13. as their 'bringer gods forth*. 12. curse has been laid upon the 84 tilled soil can also . 12. 15). born is the first murderer. The belief. 15. and just this first- Numbers 3. Kain and his brother now face one another in a Kain. belongs to God. that God set man world as a primordially free being has here found its strangest and most fearful expression. Be- cause he is more favourably disposed towards the cattle-breeder than towards the man The of the soil? fact that a Nothing permits this assumption. 19.IMAGES OP GOOD AND EVIL the language of the North Syrian epic. but not the former. presumably at the time of the initial labour-pains. not formutill lated conceptually in the a late date. he is followed by the shepherd sacrificial rite. with the firstlings of the flock. God regards the lat- ter offering with favour.
1). and another such is the disregard of Kain's offering. but one which is not withstood. never to a clan or tribe. ( knew which makes . the author undoubtthe daily offering of the *bread of the its edly face*. whose countenance has 'fallen* 85 . What we have before me an example of that uncanny which the Scriptures themselves underoccurrence stand as divine temptation. to them. the come. but even more uncanny than they command The to Abraham to sacrifice his son (22. God now enters into conversation with the man inflamed with wrath.KAIN scarcely be determinant here. neither can this be regarded as the central motive here. also radically positive in outcontrary are. appearance at an early age I Samuel 21. since nothing points to it. This name is first given to the third of these actions of God. 7) A more likely consideration is the we frequently is fact that in Semitic religions self -offering find the which in decisive hours properly in- cumbent upon the head of the muted to an animal-. But with more important is connected. us here seems to 7). more radical and more positive than the two preceding it and. is settlement beside the forbidden tree also a temptation. comBut plant-sacrifice. The initial manifest implication is rather that God sees this Kain does not something yet 'purpose good* (v.
The whole the concluding residue is of God's speech can only ally. but prevail thou occurrence of the word. but if thou Why is dost not purpose good lying in wait. at times lurks on watch at the entrance to a soul that does not purpose good. the truest example within the world's early epic literature of a divine being's appeal to men to power him.IMAGES OF GOOD AND EVIL or 'sunken*. whereas patently intended to stress the connection with the tale of Paradise. bear it aloft. the most likely be translated conjecturversion being: Why art thou wroth? if thy countenance fallen? Is it not so: thou purposest good. to over- whose power it still lies If the passage may be so understood. a beast unto thee his is over him*. This the first desire. by nature a *beast that lies in wait*. to see that soul within if it will fall prey to him. which 'sin'. it is 86 . he did with the first humans after such dialogues are the great respirations of Biblical narration. as corrupt stems for the most an earlier part (ten words out of fifteen) from tradition and bears an archaic character. the it is word and here apparently the name of a demon who. is absent from the tale of the Fall. as it is by many commentators. of What he says to Kain consists an introductory question and a pronouncement which apparently if it is not regarded. sin before the door. as their sin.
a static opposition. embracing good as good and ill and good and bad.KAIN decide for the 'good*. fundamental importance to comprehension to differentiate precisely between the two stages or strata which are here involved. o Our initial it so to speak. as position is. we have arrived at the circumscribed area peculiar to man. Here. do dynamic of the soul as it is given by the Icnowledge of good and evil*. but between a disposition to good and its absence. that means to set out in the direction of the divine. not between it which a good and an ungood 'disposition*. with the lack of direction towards we penetrate to the chamber of the soul at whose entrance we encounter the demon. there is. It is. but now in its ethical mould. Not until we deal with this second state. and by man's self-exposure to the opposites inherent in existence within the world. were. however. Not till then are we dealing with the true God. in which only good and evil still confront each other. It is 87 . reminiscent of the Avestic opposition of 'goodness of mind* and 'badness of mind*: a distinction of the soul in is made between a state which it purposes good and one in does not. in the forecourt of the soul. in fact therefore. From quite and evil as well general opposites. with absolute clarity.
must now be fought out. he refuses to ac- He refuses to face the delivers himself demon up at the threshold. a strange Here also. are not told He speaks to his brother. the struggle In contradistinction to the does not reply to count to him for this deed. as a woman's towards a man to arouse this association in the reader. there is of course no further room for disposition. everyhe gives this name is merely self-perception mirrored illusion. he goes with him into 88 . but and self-rela- the irruption of tionship are the peculiarly human. the inner lot of man. Here. first humans. one of the phrases God to addressed to Eve is first is incorporated in his speech directly. Intensification is and con- firmation of indecision decision to evil.IMAGES OF GOOD AND EVIL peculiar to it man so may we late-comers formulate because it can only be perceived introspectively. we what he says. Kain to be encountered from becomes accessible and demthis point too onstrable to us in the world. Kain God's address. he thus to the latter's 'desire'. then. can only be recognised in the conduct of the soul towards itself: a man only knows factually what *eviT is insofar as thing else to which he knows about himself. element into nature. So Kain murders. the demoniac. at the inner it first threshold. whose desire is is to- wards us.
In the vortex of indecision Kain strikes out. It is not a motive that is decisive. Why? No mothe is not even jealousy. that if one strikes a person hard enough one strikes him dead.KAIN the tive. he has murdered. first We must remember that it the murder: Kain does not yet know that such a thing exists. . sufficient to explain monstrous deed. God's curse again in words which refer back to the cursing of the first humans and lead over and beyond it sends him forth from the ploughed fields to be *a fugitive and a vagabond on earth*. field. at the point of greatest provocation and least resistance. that one can murder. He does not yet know what death and killing are. is . When what took place within 89 . he is allotting him a destiny which is the incarnate representation of his soul. He does not murder. but an occasion. he strikes him dead.
and he repents of having made all himself speaks: he does not wish again to curse the earth on account of man. IMAGINATION AND IMPULSE THE tent. *And YHVH saw': here the narrator is looking back upon that sevenfold 'And of the creation story. Six times obviously God saw* is God sees 'that it good'. In the second (8. but the seventh time. God evil from his youth*. but of disparate con- which require to be understood in reference to one another. How did the first humans* very good become the only-evil is of the But it not man who 90 is seen as human race? evil. after the creation of man. The . 21). 5) makes God see 'that the wickedness of man is great on earth and the imagery of the designs of his heart only evil the whole day'. 'for the imagery of man's heart is man. he looks at everything he has made and sees 'that it is very good'.III. Biblical tale of the flood is framed by two sen- tences in similar language. One (Genesis 6.
from which ever and again violence springs. but of the way* (6. which could be made heart* into the real. It too. devised.IMAGINATION AND IMPULSE 'wickedness* does not imply a corruption of the soul. the living soul which was breathed into man. Imagery. wickedness. 7). fabricated one which. could be made is made into a real one. but the place of the real. however. is called evil. Man's heart designs designs in images of the possible. like the deed of the first humans. its. 12). Good is not devised. The wickedness of the actions is derived from the imagery's. but its products. This imagery of the possible. in a conceptual world which is simpler but more powerful than ours. is evil because it distracts from divine The change mans against the situation of the first hustems from the knowledge of good and evil. Imagery or 'imaging' corresponds. 91 . perceived fruit has been taken by a possible. is play with possibility. which fills the earth with 'violence* (v. to our 'imagination'not the power of imagination. does not proceed from a decision. not of the evil soul. can be made. and in this its nature. but of the evil 'imagery'. 'the depictions of the (Psalm 73. 11) and this results from the inter- vention. the former reality. play as self-temptation.
rise superior to it. that is what God to repent of having made man. indestinate reality. like God. In the swirling space of images. his violence. fate. burglar. man's expulsion from divine repeated by his agency. capriciously incarover the created world. from divine reality. which he fills with his imaging. his handiwork and That man. but from diate consequences. Thus. is continuously. he is driven out into the boundless possible.IMAGES OF GOOD AND EVIL not from disobedience as such. that is evil because it is fictitious: even in exile. without being able to transcend its opposites there is no other transcendence than that of the Creator brings the compelled chaotic of the possible. it all bereality. him. from the 'good' actuality of creation. but only in order to comes overcome the tension of omnipossibility. he grasps at them like a wanton strays. like him. his capriciously constructed. which overcomes him. through which he reality is continually own each and every thing entices him to be made incarnate by him. at the mercy of the knowledge of good and evil. which was allotted to God'. though no longer divine but his. not with decision. but he cannot. Man has therein immebecome Tike its he Toiows' oppositeness. he 92 . in that now. which nating causes itself.
his resolution never again to strike the living thing he had made. God after the work of destruction explains his forgiveness. But in exactly the same language. It is not to be understood in any other manner than of that God deliberates: imagination is not entirely evil. he always begins anew as a person. as it could not yet do prior to the knowledge of good and evil. they are not of the nature of original sin. 93 . and the storm of adolescence first deluges him with the and infinitude of the possible- greatest danger greatest opportunity at once. in spite of all the bur- dens of past generations. no longer "only evil*. for in the midst and from out of it decision can arouse the heart's willing direction toward him. with the most forceful reference back to what has been reported thus. 7). and curiously added afresh 'from his youth*. For straying and caprice are not innate in man. precisely on the grounds that 'the imagery of man's heart is evil from his youth'. No longer "all the imagery'. it it is evil and good.IMAGINATION AND IMPULSE wants to 'wipe him out from the face of the earth* and with him every living thing drawn by the author of violence into his corruption it repents him that he made them all (6. master the vortex of possibility and realize the human figure purposed in the creation.
dough/ without which the human dough does not rise. build for it is in work the rivalry of a man with his neighbour' (Eccle- Hence this urge is called 'the yeast in the ferment placed in the soul by God. The 'evil urge' is no ion. can only less accomplish their service in genuine collaboration. the 94 . the two urges are set in opposition to each other. its compan- indeed even more necessary than for without man would woo no woman and beget no children. without any mental one. as early as Jesus Sirach it signifies the own impulse. it necessary than it. which I have rendered by Imagery'. several hundred the two urges years later. The Creator gives them to man as his two servants which. e is partly split up into a 'good' at- and a eviT urge and partly used. no house and engage in no economic is true that 'all travail and all skill activity. siastes 4. into whose hand created man is given by God. already transformed in meaning. the concept. to designate the second of these as the ele- In the creation of man. under the influence of creasing reflection. It found the word yetser. the Talmudic doctrine of started. but with liberty to keep commandment and faith in order to do the will of God. tribute.IMAGES OP GOOD AND EVIL This was the point at which. In the in- Talmud. however. 4).
of the two. and continually becomes separates it from its companion and in this condition of independence makes an because man idol of precisely that which was intended to serve not to extirpate the with the good.IMAGINATION AND IMPULSE Thus. evil. man. his urge is greater than the other's. it is fundamental. 31) which asserts that God. therefore. did it be- come so. Thus Kain (as is said in the Midrash) might indeed respond to the God who was calling him to account that in was He. But that it the evil urge called the evil urge derives from man's having made it so. looked upon all he had made and found it Very good': this Very good' applies to the evil urge. a man's status is necessarily bound up with the volume of 'yeast* within him. since only through him. Himself who had implanted him the evil urge. Man's task. but to reunite it did not dare to stand up to it and therefore 'slew* it in himself as it runs in one of his Psalms who 95 . is him. evil urge. God. whereas the good one only earns the is is which predicate 'good*. but the rejoinder would be it untrue. 'whoever is greater than another. David. on the evening of the day on which he had created man. It became so.* The high value of the 'evil urge' finds its strongest expression in an interpretation of the scriptural verse (Genesis 1.
1 That the reduplicated form of the word for heart (lebab instead of leb) stands in the Scriptural verse. The evil urge must also be included in the love of God thus and thus only does it be- come perfect. 8). is explained by the unity of the heart. 96 .IMAGES OF GOOD AND EVIL ( 109. pierced through within me' but Abraham. with thy two united urges.' this. it is nothing but a crude ore. man must begin by harboth urges together in the service of God. cannot do of his And that also man own strength. 22) : 'My heart did not fulfil it. one that To achieve has already ploughed and one that has not yet ploughed. did. we must pray to will God to aid us to do His with all our hearts. nessing As when a peasant possesses two oxen. and thus and become once more as he was thus only does man created: Very good. re-established by the unification of the urges. 5): Xove the Lord with all thine heart/ and that means. Man is bidden (Deuteronomy 6. whose whole heart is was found faithful before God. which must be placed in the fire in order to be moulded: so let it be totally immersed in the great fire of the Tora. But how is the evil urge to be prevailed upon to permit this to happen to it? Why. who now made 1 a covenant with him (Nehemiah 9. and now a new field is to be cultivated: he brings both of them together beneath the yoke. however.
This important doctrine cannot be understood as long as good and evil are conceived. direction that renders it 97 . that is. as an unconditional direction. 11): 'Unite my heart to fear thy name'. Its as passion. remains without direction and leads astray. in and the 'good urge* as pure direction. as two diametrically opposite forces or direc- meaning is not revealed to us until we recognize them as similar in nature. with- out which he can neither beget nor bring forth. other words. as they usually are. Thus and not otherwise can man become whole. that towards God. the power peculiar to man. To unite the two urges implies: to equip the absolute potency of passion with the one capable of great love and of great service. but which. left to itself. the evil 'urge' tions. for fear is the gateway to love.IMAGINATION AND IMPULSE Therefore the Psalmist beseeches (86.
So the two spirits then chose: the deceitful one chose 99 . evil in disposition. IN the most ancient part of the Avesta. that is. neither our selves nor our souls are in concord*.PART TWO I. And they further established. in word thustra. the hymolike speeches and discourses of Zara- and in work. in word and spirits: in work. THE PRIMAL PRINCIPLES we read of the two primal moving the good. erstwhile sleeping companions in the womb of their origin. good in disposition. But then they were in opposition to one another. and the benignant spirit spoke to the wicked one: 'Neither our sentiments nor our judgments. confronting each other. 'Twins through sleep' they were. neither our inclinations nor our intentions. but for the adherents of truth the best disposition. and the evil. and that ultimately for the adherents of deception there exists the most evil. neither our words nor our works. life and death together. *as was heard*.
Ahura Mazdah. From what seed and womb they stem is not told us. makes them battle with the evil ones and will make them conquer warring against was manifestly encompassed by himself and he put it out from himself into the being of the principia. but the opposite he is to though he has first to discard evil in order be able to subdue it. good and evil as prinand put asunder. cipia are here brought together They came forth from a primary initial community. but the most be- nignant spirit. If. as 'twins*. chose being-true. the not-yet-good one. he who ens. with the confrontation is effected through then the god before creacommence. Of a mother by whose participation the contradiction could be explained we learn nothing. It is as the latter. So the two primal father of opposites proceeded from him. clad in the hardest heav- As nowhere else in the early literature of the human race preserved to us. is the highest god. but in the creation the of the twins. creation which them tion is is to god become good strives with that which he has 100 . The god indeed surrounds himself with good powers.IMAGES OF GOOD AND EVIL to do that which is most is evil. the benignant spirit. but another time we hear that the the Wise Lord'.
so that. the latter being done for the sake of the evil. With a choice his daena. God's is primal act a decision within himself. as the verse concerning the twins concludes.THE PRIMAL PBINCIPLES cast out from himself. and the selfchoice of evil. confronted by fresh interminglings of deception and truth. they may 101 of their own decision . Thus understood. the power of decision was entrusted to man. which first choice. Since the Wise who Lord. his self. "turning point' at the end of the struggle. says Zarathustra. He must be aided from above: because the better path does not stand open 1 come to you all that we may live according to the truth'. divide and decide. creating by his spirit made man's life incarnate. his task is 'to place men before the choice* and show them the to choice*. therefore. but ever anew must he. Created man is ordained into the struggle for is salvation as one himself called upon to choose between good and evil. right path. which renders it effectual and factual renders it effectual But the primal choice is not directed towards creation. and factual good. a primal companionate good which prepares and makes possible their elected actions: the self -choice of good. embarked upon the earthly path. between still and evil.
and for his followers he does not merely posit that after death they shall abide with him. stand the primal spirits. Like the God of heaven. he only has as his absolute counterpart. but in pure paradox. his own kind and the work com- mensurate with himself. they too choosing. but precisely as the evil. They neither contain nor confront a duplicity. the other one. He desires evil as such. self. however. and thereby he fulfils the will of the highest god. Between God and man.IMAGES OF GOOD AND EVIL accede to the Wise Lord with works of truth. Those who do so assist him *to bring this existence to transfiguration'. both of which. the other thing. such is the situation in which he chooses himself. like Him. man makes in himself the choice between good and evil. each acknowledges evil chooses and acknowledges himit. The Choosing. each possesses only himself in the most extreme differentiation. not however merely as created thus and not otherwise. and in the last analysis there is it no other evil than that which causes). 102 . but that it is just the worst existence which shall fall to their lot (in this no distinction of category between bad and evil: the bad is precisely that which causes doctrine there is evil. he bears within himself.
and sacrifices murmuring (the song of the generaarises Zurvan through Herodotus. which resists it. Zurvan overcome by doubt: 'What is avails sacrifice? Perhaps being not?* Then arose two in the womb: the Wise Lord from the sacrifice. After all the vain sacis rifice. till the West Iranian religion develops the myth of Zurvan.THE PRIMAL PBINCIPLES who brought forth him and his twin: only through mastering unmitigated to transfiguration. the primeval Indian gods also sacrifice ( or sacrifice themselves ) that out of them may arise the world. its only know it from a later original content is unmistakable. We out of the primal sleep. the primal have contained and encompassed evil? Around the Zarathustrian doctrine. It would be beside the point to ask to whom he is sacrificing: similarly without recipient. as it seems. Time Un- bounded. in version. how can the God of heaven. Ahura Maztion of the gods. evil does existence attain Here the most harassing of questions remains unasked: being. to obtain the son. is presumably meant). the question grows and grows. from the doubt the Wicked Spirit. but reply. of which we know dah. who would create heaven and earth. for a thousand or ten thousand years. But Zurvan is ob- 103 .
Ahura Mazdah. which confronted one another. in being. but here. Out of it We must note that the Wicked is Angra Mainyu. however. in contradistinction to the twin-myth of the Avesta. precisely as the Only-good Thus here too the twins stand in radical antithesis to one another. the well-known Ahriman. belief transgresses.IMAGES OF GOOD AND EVIL viously a bisexual deity. Evil arises in his Fall. and now One. deception in the the sphere of the question sense of being deceptive. but his brother. him through he doubts. is. and perhaps deeper. unchoice. Yet by what recounted of the primal god himself we are led not less deep than there. Doubt is arises evil. truth in the sense of being true. indecision. son of Ahura Mazdah. here doubt of being is the evil. He does not choose. here not the he enters at the beginning into being. the antithesis of the one to the other explicitly stated. no longer a primal god. against which Zurvan 104 Here . Spirit. is not nor is the coming world-process between the two of them announced. we merely watch the appearance of the protagonists in the nascent cosmic conflict. There it was deception and truth. into is what good and evil are. we hear nothing of good and evil and their mutual relationship. the good is "knowledge* . Ormuzd.
'About that'. but that from the beginning something bad. The fundament of another tradition is adopted. But others said Zurvan brought forth both. But some within the Zurvan community could not tolerate the notion of a divine Fall. had gone astray as to being at a particular moment. and from this evil made its start. though in a modified form. so ends the re- port in this connection. had been admixed into some supposed that the time-god him. before whose utilisability the question of an absolute worth and worthlessness vanishes. in order to mingle good with evil. either bad thinking or a corruption of essence. 'much can be said'. here the funda- ment of the Iranian and evil abandoned: good are no longer irreconcilable principia. from which it is clearly inferred that only through the gradated abundance of such inter-mixtures can the full manifoldness of things arise.THE PRIMAL PRINCIPLES it is ultimately a question of fidelity and infidelity to being. But there is a fragment of the Avesta which 105 . these are evidently reverting to the Avestic doctrine. Of these. sects when in the opinion of a third of these Ahriman 'is an outcast angel who was cursed for his disobedience*. but tradition is utilisable qualities.
All evil thoughts. I do unconscious!/. all good words. From here a path leads to the psychological problem words. all good do consciously.IMAGES OF GOOD AND EVIL runs: 'All deeds. I good thoughts. all evil deeds. all evil of evil. as it first evolved in early Christendom. 106 .
a figure transmuted from primeval Indo-Aryan tradition into Indian and Firdusi. THE LIE AGAINST BEING IN very various strata of Iranian literature from the most ancient texts of the Avesta to the poetry of find elements of the saga of the primeval king Yima or Yama. his. when Yima has declared himself unfit for this. This Yima is prepared to do. his. and then. we Iranian mythology. but become mortal through his offence.II. Ahura Mazdah's world. multiply and guard the world. neither cold nor hot wind. invites tect religion. nor death. he assumes dominion over the world and it shall be a world in which none of the destructive powers will have a part. Already previously he had 107 . The highest as the ancient god. the 'great shepherd* he has rightly been explained shepherd-god of the Persians seen through the eyes of the peasant is born immortal. he bids him foster. He Vhose gaze is like the sun*. him to tend and proAhura Mazdah's religion. Ahura Mazdah. nor sickness.
Yima advances *to the light. Three hundred years great cattle fires*. This is all evil all who by Ahura from off now granted him. and since none of the crea- tures dies the earth overflows 'with small cattle and and dogs and birds and red flaming Called by Ahura Mazdah. and all creatures live upon it at their pleasure. Yima at their peak. But now Ahura Mazdah gathers together the gods and the best men. but above all lord of the demons crushing them shall take Mazdah's creatures. He becoun- sought them to let him become the ruler of tries. so that no creature will be able any more to put its feet upon 108 . To him he announces that upon the world given over to materiality ( here it sounds as though. This is repeated twice more: the earth has now increased to double its size. and water and trees from drought. with the gold-embellished goad and friendly incantation received from the god. elapse. in consequence of Yima's refusal.IMAGES OF GOOD AND EVIL besought the gods with sacrifices to grant him that in his realm man and cattle should be released from death. which will first cover it in flood it in the thaw. it was devoid of spirituality) there will de- snow and then scend the great winter. urges on the earth to stretch apart until it has become greater by a third of its size. towards the path of the sun' and. at midday.
( by them with a thousand-toothed where he appears as the king of the dead) the first of those who have died. the lustre of good-fortune. only after him do the rest die. do not We place. moreover. which. It is done. that Yima's fault. and hence unauthentic. His hubris and self-adoration are taken to be a late motive. He must wander without peace over the earth and time and again go into hiding. which he had hitherto held in his coercion. leaves him mind by lauding and in the shape of a raven. however. and to secure therein the seed of the best and most beautiful of all living and growing things. He joins forces with the demons and espouses a witch. do not provide an ade- 109 . in pieces He is as also in the early Indian songs. should have consisted in a lie. which brouglit about his downfall. Many investigators find it incomprehensible. with all whom he begets learn herself as the witch kinds of monsters. His sister disguises and lies with him. for in the end he is what now takes sawn saw. Then Yima is instructed to erect a mighty pen.THE LIE AGAINST BEING the ground. which has till then irradiated his brow. like a citadel. but apparently the demons treat him as a rebel. Yima vouchsafes the access of demonry. and takes the lie into blessing himself. Immediately the regal glory. Then. and he becomes mortal.
lives and truth against 1 God and himself. he sees avers that himself as a self-creator. it is It is no verbal lie con- fronting a verbal truth. indeed to that of humanity as a whole. in the great is designated a 'liar That the primeval king begins to laud and bless himself is not arrogant rebel merely correctly designated a lie: it refers in fact to the primal lie of him who has been set over mankind. more exactly: he Lommel: Zarathustra's Religion (1930) 46. he 1 thus commits. the 7 . through himself immortal and immortalizing. being. and that he became. he had prayed that he might become the master of the demons. he now acts according to this viewpoint.IMAGES OF GOOD AND EVIL quate explanation of that lie. In fact we only find them as in later lie and late texts. which ascribes the conquest of the powers of nature to its own superpower. But now he vouchsafed to what was only him he had done himself. when. inscription of Darius. sees it as self-established self- grandeur that he held sway over the demons. 110 . but their linking up with the goes back to very ancient associations. an existential lie against Yima had entreated the Godhead that he should become immortal and to make every living thing immortal. as it has been 'the inner unput.
in that to the di- In the Avesta it is initially a breach of faith deity Mithra falsifica- (lying to the contract-protecting means breaking the contract). at times. to the quality. 111 . of the person placed in it. to designate the uncanny game of hide-and-seek in the obscurity of the soul. the single human soul. For or rather basic qualities. we must look at it within the world-conflict between the two printruth and lie are the two basic attitudes. avoids itself. and lie something other than conscious non-concordance ated and a real thing. in the Vedas. ciples. then the tion of a situation by the attitude. whose opposition the good and evil. To become adequately aware of the existential profundity of the transition of a primordial being irom truth to lie recounted here. evades itself.THE LIE AGAINST BEING commits with his existence the lie against being. indeed the quality. in between a thing asseverThe identical term lie is used which it. sented. in opposition of the principles. in that to worldly reality. hides from itself. but this The attitude refers back latter is in no way a final. This lie in the own being now breaks vine. out into the relationship to other souls. is repre- Only account must be taken of the fact that here truth implies something other than conscious concordance.
ultimately being-false. signifies: strengthening. between being-true and however. But this takes effect in instance at just his point of being: since he gave himself over to the being-lie. but stems truth from the choice between and lie which is and tunelessly made again and again. intervenes directly with his decision into the decisions of the world-conflict.IMAGES OF GOOD AND EYIL irreducible fact. Being-true. own and being-false ultimately signifies: weakening. Thus Yima. the lord of the to demons. whose heart was singed by a later gust of the burning wind of the Zarathus- 112 . falls into their power. cover- ing and confirming being at the point of one's existence. which passes itself off as being. desecrating and dispossessing being at the point of one's own existence. He effects faca downfall of being: at precisely that point which is called Yima. tually According to Augustine. he becomes first their companion. that is the very first non-being. since he crosses over from being-true to being-false. He who prefers the lie to the truth and chooses it instead of truth. temporally and to be made by the essence of the person at the beginning of the way and in decisive hours. then their victim. the choice. he falls a victim to it. to express it existentially.
but to a soul. 113 . Human truth is a verifica- true. pronouncement of the to the truth or to the tion by man's being The soul pledges itself lie.THE LIE AGAINST BEING trian doctrine. truth and lie do not allude to the truth and falsehood of things themselves.
Their pur- certainly to recount the origin. of evil in its contradictinction to good. as they can be of real assistance to us in attaining tbe necessary in- sight into the nature of evil and its relation to good. The mythical has entered into this our field of vision by virture of the truth of the myths. in such a man- ner as to present us at the same time with indications of the nature of good. and only insofar.PART THREE I. imply that a truth which once 115 . This cannot. therefore. of this purpose they give us representations of the is structure of evil and this. insofar. but over and beyond the fulfilment origins. naturally. more precisely. as they are true representations. But they concern us here insofar. of course. THE TRUTH OF THE MYTHS IN pose the two foregoing parts I have set out images made by an earlier humanity to depict the antithesis of good and evil or. or rather of evil.
Human reality. in addition. In spite of . in the sense of an apprehension of the subis ject itself. for our subject that means: what specifically happens in the life and soul of the ticularly. But. after passing through unscientific the allegories and mystosophies. of be able and willing to accept the facts concerning human reality which are offered to us in the to realm of myth. It implies that the experience which has taken place (not *been gained') in factual encounters with evil in the world and the soul is directly embodied in myth. parof him who is on the point of falling it. preoccupied with *eviT and. man victim to In saying this I have also stated the precondition which we make and must make in order to learn from the myths what they are able to teach us about our subject They tell us of the human constitution and movement of evil. myth-interpretation. and scientific.IMAGES OF GOOD AND EVIL existed in non-mythical form has as been 'decked out' myth. all it is necessary for us. but if we are to accord their account that manner of belief which indispensable to its correct interpretation in our sense. without making the detour through conceptual or semi-conceptual determinations. we must assume with them that such a specific dynamic structure 116 really exists.
not according to valuation and tions. It would. no question at all here of the psychology of 'inhibitions' and 'repressions'. in- deed. in spite of the constitutive impermanence of moral valuaall recognise and accept that in human reality there does indeed exist a specific of this kind. whether this censorship is the cause of submission or of rebellion. this psychological differentiation forcefully enjoins us to enquire as to the existence of an ontological one. therefore. but are accessible to who have outgrown Nothing but our own 117 . where differentiation is from every other state of the soul unmistakable. but in being itself. and that this specievidenced precisely in the fact that there ficity is things happen differently than otherwise in the life and the soul of man. a specific. we must judgement. which operate no less against some social convention or other than to there can be when it is a matter of that which is felt be evil in the full meaning of the word. where. It is of this latter that the mythos tells it us latecomers of the spirit. it. be totally insufficient to refer states the matter to the existence of are influenced whose nature and course by the 'moral censorship* of society. We must its rather seek out this feeling itself in our experience of ourselves.THE TRUTH OP THE MYTHS the problematics of moral judgement.
which tell of a from the Israelite ac- counts of the dawn of man. The story of the revolt of the race of men which sprang up again after the Flood. probably the most obscure of all. Two from which deal with an entry or descent the Ancient Iranian literature concerning the beginnings of divine and human decision for the No. costly gift. does the light of the legitimate concept arise for this sphere too. are competent myths of the origin of evil only by virtue of our personal experience of it.IMAGES OF GOOD AND EVIL experience of this enjoinder of the psychological the ontological can singularity to enquire after render us capable of receiving from my thos its most it alone can express. enced reality. primordial mythic intuition and directly experitruth. in no way implies that in the Old Testament the first of these two conceptions was dominant. however. recalls the make a 118 . but they alone lend it the character of to interpret the We Only out of the conjunction of these two. The myths recounted here stem from two torical fields: those of Part his- slipping and falling into evil. who built themselves a tower in order to great magic (a great 'name* action) against heaven. those of Part into evil. This. the truth which and making it our own by interpreting it aright. One.
as we see. at several points. according to which the antithesis of the two principles did not arise out of a primal act. But how can these two apparently mutually exclusive aspects. the Iranian doctrine of the genesis of the opposites out of a primal decision changes. like were cast down. and very definitely the traditions. derstood as having an ethnic basis. into one of their genesis out of a primal doubt of the all-embracing Godhead. 19) between life and death.THE TRUTH OF THE MYTHS legend of Yima's rebellion. son of the dawn (Isaiah 14). and that means (Deuteronomy 30. who. but is eternal of evil The two fundamental types and evil from indecision not to be un- from decision are. together teach us 119 . whose ultimate and extreme expression is Manichaeism. as in the Avesta and the texts dependent And upon it. Gradually. preserved in the sayings of the prophets. On the other hand. however. imagined themselves godlike and again and again in the Old Testament. and the great cherub (EzeJdel 28) Yima. therefore. a quite different doctrine develops from this. one of which shows us evil as an occurrence. before which man stands to choose between them. of the foolhardy angels Lucifer. good and evil appear as alternative paths. the other as a deed. in both places we breathe the harsh air of decision.
merely transformed into being-like-God. it is of espe- cial significance to 120 . but is brought to an ironic conclusion. this is an indication to us that the whole process. whereas the same motif. The Biblical stories allude to the first. the Iranian to the second stage. however. we must keep in sight the fact that the process sarily go further than the If in first need not necesthe motif stage. in fact. if. but rather in the manner of the two stages or steps of a process. And such is the case. of becoming-like-God rings out strongly. dominates the scene in the las* image of the second series. they are supplementary to one another. in this connection. the first image of the first series. They are not supplementary to each other in the manner of the two sides of an object. this assumption would clearly be inappropriate here.IMAGES OF GOOD AND EVIL truth concerning the dynamic constitution of evil in the reality of human life? Only in the event of the contradiction between them being an apparent one.
not ethical abstractions. OUR POINT OF DEPARTURE usual to think of good and evil as two poles. effects. but existent states of human reality. two opposite directions. at the original stage. since. is presented in essential self- state to our introspection only. they are understood as belonging to the same plane of being. Now the latter.II. we must begin by with this convention and recognising doing away the fundamental dissimilarity between the two in nature. with which we shall deal first. the existent state of good in a certain matter presupposes that of evil. and dynamics within human begin with evil. though concretely presented to extraspective vision also. structure reality. the two arms of a signpost IT is pointing to right and left. its attiits however. as will It is advisable to be shown. as the same in nature. in its actions and tudes and behaviour. but the antithesis of one another. and only our 121 . If we are to have in mind.
making some attempt to understand it). Whoever has learnt to dispose of the matter to his own satisfaction within the more or less dubious sphere of so-called values. everywhere and always requires to be supplemented by our cognizance of the self-knowledge of others is capable of stating what happens when we do evil ( only we are wont to make far too little use of this self- knowledge when we look around in the circles of evil and are. attendant to which corresponds no other reality than the con- trol exercised upon it.IMAGES OF GOOD AND EVIL knowledge which of course. on the other hand. of 122 . Since. it is necessary to pro- over his ceed from the viewpoint of a man looking back life. for whom guilt is merely the civilized term for tabu. for him. but ally serious bound up with the matter for him. who has achieved the indispensable distance from even those amongst the remembered inner and outer occurrences which. It follows from the foregoing that he must now be aware of the existent actuality of evil as evil. at the same time. and that it is this which must be a specificactuality of evil. such experience must have reached a high degree of objectivity to be capable of providing us with a knowledge of the subject. by society and. are whose memory has not lost the no less requisite force and freshness.
rally unfit for the task in hand here. to whom the con- frontation with himself. Naturally. the memory must be liberated from all subsequent deentirely letions and trimmings. is natu- necessary to draw an essential distinction in order to avert a misunder- At this point. in the essential compass of the past. when the lightning the has-been flashed unexpectedly across the of skies of the now. threatens every statement of this kind. 123 . Of lead- ing significance to tion will him in his work of great reflec- be the unforgotten series of those mo- ments of electric spontaneity. is concerned to penetrate behind' that which is remembered. beautifications and demonisations. as is the case in general with psychological analysis in our age. Our business is mind an occurrence as reliably. nowadays. it is standing which. What we are dealing with here is generically different from what is called self- analysis in modern psychology. concretely and completely remembered as possible. however. to 'reduce* it to the real elements assumed to have been 'repressed*. The ktter.OUE POINT OF DEPABTUBE the 'super-ego' over the play of the urges. but he can do this. which is to call to unreduced and undissected. has proved to be one of the effective forces in the process of ^becoming what one is*.
he will gain an image of the biographically decisive be- ginnings of evil and good which differs notably from the usual representations and provides an important confirmation of those Old Testament tales from the dawn of man. 124 . to cient Iranian tales are to be related. Insight into the second stage. which the An- must naturally be gained along a different path.IMAGES OF GOOD AND EVIL If mon the questioner seeks to apprehend the com* denominator between the self-knowledge thus acquired and the analogous self-knowledge of others which has become known to him.
The The plenitude of possibility floods over his small reality and overwhelms it.III. the human is person inevitably becomes aware of the all category of possibility. Only through rialisation this experience and as its mateis could the concept of chaos. evil God pro- nounces because it distracts from His divinely 125 . the imagery of possibilities which. which generally coincides with puberty without being tied to it. and enter into the mythic cosmogonies. begins with the experience of chaos as a condition perceived in the soul. which has stepped from nature. is evolving human person I am speaking of bowled over by possibility as an infinitude. arise In a period of evolution. Phantasy. which to be derived from no other empirical finding. which of living creatures represented just in man. THE FIRST STAGE HUMAN life forth as a specific entity. in the Old Testament. manifestly the only one for whom the real is continually fringed by the possible.
But as. but lack of direction is characteristic of the vortex revolving within itself. but to energy reduce it to which signifies a simplification and animalisation of human reality. This impelling universal passion is not to be conlibido. founded with the so-called vital it without whose naturally could not endure. It is not things which revolve in the vortex. it strives to escape. 'directed Moreover. Swirling chaos. having forced an entry. 2) has forced its way in. everything which appears or happens to man is transformed into motor-energy. so too the chaos of possibilities of being. per toward something'. imposes the form of its indefiniteness upon the definiteness of the moment. becomes a chaos of possibilities of action. but we are speaking of a total concrete occurrence at a given hour of a person's life. definitionem. soul driven round in the dizzy whirl cannot remain fixed within it. If the The 126 . 'confusion and desolation ( Genesis 1.IMAGES OP GOOD AND EYIL given reality and plays with potentialities. these urges are. into the capacity and desire for action. Urges in the psy- chological sense are abstractions. The substantial threatens to be sub- merged in the potential. but the possible ways of joining and overcoming them. in the stage I am speaking of.
possibility for it exchanges an undirected an undirected reality. the eviT. becomes aware of itself as sent in quest of it. there exist for One is repeatedly offered it: it can two issues. in response to a prompting that is still incomprehensible to itself. with the surge of its enticements. and cast its passion upon it. in the latter. it can set about the audacious work of self-unification. To is for in the strict sense there is only the extent to which the soul achieves uni- fication it becomes aware of direction. or rather the direction one. If the work not successful. clutch at any object. if preposterous the work meets with success. what c is the alien.THE FIRST STAGE ebb that leads back to familiar normality does not it make its appearance. the soul has given up undirected plenitude in favour of the one taut string. it wills not to do. Finality does not rule here. past which the vortex happens to carry it. in which it does what to it. In the former case. again and again innate grace arises from 127 . which is no wonder with such an unfathomable undertaking. universal tempta- tion emerges and overcomes the power of the human soul. It comes into the service of good or into service for good. Again and again. the soul has nevertheless gained an inking of what direction. the one stretched is beam of direction. or else.
whether more biographical or more historical in character. The same basic structure of the occurrence. must enter into it. however. flight into delusion is and ulti- mately into mania. from our person. because the unrecoverable pas- lives is so. the other is the path. and from our person as we feel it 'purposed' for us. only become briefer and harder. a setting out upon no path. not left you can become whole and one. in whatever direc- was turned or inclined when the situation came upon us. They are the situations in which we feel it incum- bent upon us to make the decision which. answers the situation confronting us.IMAGES OF GOOD AND EVIL out of ible: its depths and promises the utterly incred- there are. pseudo-decision spirit is and the one is which indecision. we re-encounter in innumerable situations in our later lives. Of the two paths. otherwise we shall tion it bring forth nothing but a stammer. Such a decision can only be taken by the whole soul that has become one. for there only one. The situations. a pseudo-answer. are always even though often behind veils cruelly harsh. a substitute for an answer. and only with the harshness of unified decision can we prove our- sage of time and of our 128 . But always and right. but the vortex of chaos hovering above it. the whole soul.
as we know to be the case with dreams encompass- ing a whole drama. into the mightiness of decision and dissolve within it. must be overcome. plunge were. what an immense resistance! It is thus understand- able enough that the occurrence which at times. becoming a form. not by elimination. selves equal to them. of habits. and over- come. with the excitation of our nerves and the tension or flaccidity of our muscles) announces to 129 . this becoming a whole. lasts no longer than a minute so frequently terminates in a persistent state of indecision. for if our memory proves strong enough we experience such past occurrences with all our senses. The anthropological retrospective view the person (which indeed is incorrectly termed of 'view*. Rather must all these mobile or static forces. never a wholeness where downtrodden appetites lurk in the corners. of indolence. for genuine wholeness can never be achieved like that. of fondness for possibilities which has been swashbuckling within us. Until the soul as of their own accord.THE FIRST STAGE a cruelly hazardous enterprise. It is of crystallization of the soul. Everything in the nature of inclinations. until chaos is subdued and shaped into cosmos. by suppression. as form has such great power over the soul as matter. seized by the it soul's rapture.
good can only be done with the whole soul. proceeding from highest forces. humiliating. Evil cannot be done with the whole soul. not a partial. seducing.IMAGES OF GOOD AND EVIL us as evil all these and all other indecisions. but that of the whole soul. seizes upon all the forces and plunges them into the purging and its fire. Good 130 . an action? Not at all: action is only the type of evil happening which makes evil manifest. devouring compelling. But does not that evil action stem pre- cisely from a decision to is evil? it The ultimate meantoo stems primarily by decision we ing of our exposition from indecision. by its nature. exploiting. seizing. cannot be termed decision in our sense. torturing and destroying of what offers itself. watch. pressed back and powerless. all the moments in which we did no more than leave undone that which we knew to be good. But is evil then not. a pseudo decision. providing that understand.that which it done in and out of as the grasping. For a partial decision. is is lack of direction and. being the true constructional substance of the person pur- posed for me. transmuting Evil it as into the mightiness of decision. It is done when the soul's rapture. one which leaves the forces opposing it untouched. but shining in the protest of the spirit. and certainly which the soul's highest forces.
and even evil. so that in and passion with which evil might have been done is included in it. neither intended nor able to provide any criterion over and above that. whose whole vigour must be drawn into the love of God in order truly to serve Him. good whose narrator must have experienced Adam as well as Kain in the abyss of his own heart. in give no of good the last instance. We comprehend this anthropological defini- tion as similar in nature to the biblical tales of and But evil. In this connection is to be recalled that Talmudic interfact all the vigour pretation of the Biblical pronouncement of God concerning imagination or the 'evil urge'. not spared enquiry and investigation into what. either for the use it is of theoretical meditation concerning the entities 'good' and 'evil' nor.THE FIBST STAGE is direction it is and what is done in it. for the use of the questioning man. good and what 131 . in the sense of design. The foregoing is intended and able to more than an anthropological definition and evil as. certainly. it is revealed to the human person's retrospection. his cognizance of life himself in the course of the learn to he has lived. is is who groping and feeling his way in the obscurity of the problematics. that which is done in done with the whole soul.
or by *inwhat is dividuation* is and to of fulfil which. will have to otherwise: the meditant seeks to learn something else than what happens. of course. demanded and entrusted and the re- sulting possibility of comparison time and again. Here too there is a criterion. the presentiment of meant and purposed for him and for him alone no matter whether by creation. to become which to him. It can assume as many shapes as there are individuals and nonetheless is never relativised. of course. 132 . an important one.IMAGES OF GOOD AND EVIL doubt as to the validity of the concepts themselves. It is the presentiment implanted in each of us. Between their requirements and our anthropological insight there only one link. is but unduly neglected in each. latter will The former and the achieve it have to find their criterion. or their criteria elsewhere. it can never extend beyond the sphere of the individual. by its nature. the designant cannot make his choice according to whether it will lead to his soul becoming whole. which is. and it is an anthropological one.
not capable of illuminating 133 . be capable of that deliberate. everything confronting us in this domain is.IV. apparently of necessity. and outer likeWhat psychological research on phenomena of a similar nature has brought to light are naturally purely neurotic borderline cases and. highly coloured or sentimentalised. those who have once surrendered themselves to evil with their inner- most being reliably will hardly ever. and so thoroughly that we are unable to distil out of it the occurrences themselves. THE SECOND STAGE IT is far more difficult to ascertain the human real- ity corresponding to the myths of Ahriman's choice and Lucifer's downfall. with very few exceptions. recollecting and interpreting retrospection insight. It is in the nature of the matter that here the assistance of retrospection is only very rarely open to us. which can alone advance our La the litera- ture of those able to recount their fate we shall almost never encounter such a report. inner wise. not even after a com- plete conversion.
which denies us the confirmation the one. which he experiences however. mixed forms. by contribution is offered by historical and. these moments merge into a course of indecision. biographical literature. Here our own observations.IMAGES OF GOOD AND EYIL our problem. It is a question of concentrating our attention on those personal crises whose is specific effect it psychic dynamic tive. of course. again 134 . of becoming possessed by the play of the phantasy with potentialities. underlie the other of our being that aside the only one that concerns us here. which is essential to To supplement them. as it were into a fixation in it. to render on the person's obdurate and secre- We then find that these crises are of two clearly we desire. in that the human person cannot say Yes to himself. underlie distinguishable kinds: negative experiences with our environment. do not remain in his self-knowledge a series of isolated moments of non-decision. of plunging in this possession upon that which offers itself: in self-knowledge. must set far die richest to that in. This negativation of self-knowledge is. whose methods are adapted our purpose. negative experiences with oneself. we will leave repeatedly experiences the dimension of evil as indecision. The occurrences in We have seen how man it. in particular.
This condition now either assumes a pathological form. which in the amazingly apposite lan- guage of religion is called 'conversion'. 'repressed'. Every animal its is fixed in its modifications are preordained.THE SECOND STAGE and again long as the will to simple self-preservation dominates that to being-able-toaffirm-oneself To the extent. which astonishes hi himself in its power and effectiveness. as . and whose reality is incessantly enveloped by possibilities. a decisive act of decision. because his self-knowledge no longer enables him to affirm and confirm himself. the condition will change into one of acute auto-problematics: man calls himself in question. person finds the it. or a third process takes place. when it changes into a caterpillar and into a chrys- 135 . and this-being. or the is. precisely that therefore. he alone amongst them all needs confirmation. something entitled to a special status amongst the singularities of consideration of which man and we must now turn. that the relationship of the person to himself becomes fragile and intricate. to which the latter asserts itself. on the other hand. way out where he hardly expected namely through an extreme effort of unification. to the Because to us in man is the sole living creature known is whom the category of possibility so to speak embodied.
for self-knowledge is incontestably the more reliable. it would. instead of on 'judgement-of-oneself. to liberate him from the dread of abandonment. which is a foretaste of death. he must render affirmation independent of all findings and base it. must withdraw from it the power over the Yes and No. and that 136 . indeed. or for it to say to itself: You may be what you are. undetermined and he therefore requires confirmation. from the look of the confidant and from the stirrings of his own heart. Again and again the Yes must be spoken to him. he must choose himself. in that others and he himself confirm him in his unfixed. and he can naturally only receive this as individual man. one can do without confirmation from others if one's own reaches such a pitch that it no longer needs to be supplemented by the confirmation of others. Then man. being-this-man. on a sovereign willing-oneself. Man as man is an audacity of life. in everything together it remains exactly what it is. if he cannot readjust his self-knowledge by his own conversion. But not vice versa: the encouragement of his fellow-men does not suffice if self-knowledge demands inner rejection. therefore it can need no confirmation. At a pinch. alis its be an absurdity for someone to say to it.IMAGES OF GOOD AND EVIL very metamorphosis is a boundary.
which leads out of auto-problematics 'into the open*: one need no longer look for being. It is of this that the myth speaking when it recounts that Yima proclaimed himself his own creator. the meaning of that paradoxical myth of the two spirits. those who dominate their own self-knowl- edge. the spastic tension of the muscles of the hand and the spastic tread of the foot. is whom. They are recog- not 'as he is nisable. rather.THE SECOND STAGE intended* this image must. not without knowing it to be evil. if evil. as he has himself resolved to intend himself. Just this too Prudentius reports of Satan. but as also revealed to us. lishes which has established and eternally estabgood and evil. the first as the affirmed and 137 . one of whom chose evil. evil is already present. and the great legendary motif of the pact with him is clearly derived from the view that he tion will who has achieved self-crea- be ready to assist men to it. it is here. The 'wicked* spirit in therefore. This attitude corresponds to what I have called the third process. From this point. one is what one wants and one wants what one is is. be totally extinguishedbut just as he is. by the spastic pressure of the lips. only in stotu nascen<U--has to choose between the two affirmations: affirmation of himself and affirmation of the order.
the lie. no qualdestiny. and nothing. self as his own creator. and that means he must deny and overcome his present state of being. nothing else must remain worthy of affirmation than just that his which is affirmed by him. tion This too explains altogether why Yima's defecis called a lie. yea. Yes to himself determines the reason and right of affirmation. can ity and no any longer be signed with a No if it is his. which 'good* had occu- pied.IMAGES OF GOOD AND EVIL the second as the denied. it is this: precisely that which He has chosen himself. The narrative of Yima's life after his defection says with super-clarity all that remains to be said here. If he still concedes any significance to the I am. By glorifying and blessing him- against being. If he affirms the order he must himself become 'good*. If he affirms himself he must deny and reverse the order. he must bring the principle of his own selfaffirmation. to rule over being. concept 'good'. for truth shall no longer be what he experiences as such but what he ordains as such. to the yes-position. he commits the lie 138 . he wants to raise it.
man's endeavour to render 139 . To the ancient Persian images corresponds. in the main. instead of really overcoming it and breaking violently out of it wherever a breach can be forced.V. in appearance only. to certain anthropologically apprehensible occurrences in the life-path of the human person. whereas the images of good refer. the Old Testament images to an earlier. in the man to overcome the chaotic state of his soul. to the same momentum. the state of undirected surging passion. EVIL AND GOOD THE images of good and evil which have been in- terpreted here correspond. may occur at either the first or the second To the Biblical images first stage of living reality. instead of achieving direction by unifying his energies the only manner in which it can be achieved. the purpose of of evil corresponds. They include the images of evil belonging to two different stages on this path. which stage. as I have shown. in the second stage of living reality. the Iranian to a later.
in the sense of his being-constituted-thus or having-become-thus. absolutely. decision taken by the unified soul there is only One direction. did not previcompare the occurrence it the process of the freezing of flowing water serve as a simile to illustrate the second. the is willed. If we may of the first stage to an eccentric whirling movement. bearable and even satisfying. whatever misdoes not yet deeds are committed. The first stage contain a 'radical evil*. by affirm- ing this state. mark of being affirmed. because what man finds in himself whoever lends to that which. retains the character of direction at both stages. This means that to whatever end the current decision is 140 .IMAGES OF GOOD AND EVIL the contradictory state. on the other hand. In the second stage evil grows radical. because it is his. their commission is not a doing of the deed but a sliding into it. he merely acts. I have already indicated that for true human decision. may Good. In the first stage man does not choose. in the depths of self-awareness was time and again recognised by him as what should be negated. that is. in the second he chooses himself. gives it the substantial character which ously possess. which has arisen in consequence of his lack of direction and his pseudodecisions. in the context of the total constitution of the personality.
precisely because I confer the direction upon it and take the direction the experience of vital hours provides us with the key to this paradoxy.EVIL AXD GOOD reached. but transforming undirected energies into it by conferring direction upon them: I recognise ever more clearly that which is purposed for me. Either it is understood as the direction towards the person purposed for me. entrusted to me for execution. however. is continually made afresh in a single direc- This direction can be understood in two ways. not analysable into any elements and not compoundable out of any. I experience as a designed or preformed one. which tion. My uniqueness. in the reality of existence all the so diverse decisions are merely variations on a single one. This duality of comprehension. the name author of my uniqueness. Or else the single direction is un- derstood as the direction toward God. but to my creator. its actuality and it toward its significance. provided only that I do not apply the 'God' to a projection of myself or anything of that kind. is no more than a duality of aspects. although everything that af- 141 . unre- peatable form of being here. which I only apprehend in such self-awareness that divides and decides. not thrusting any energy back. that is. which cannot be derived this from within the world.
whether or not to it.IMAGES OF GOOD AND ETIL fects me participates in this execution. for all those we know came into being on its account and existed or exist in by virtue of it. not however in the sense of a free unfolding of infinite singularities. taking the direction thus means: taking the direction toward the point of being at which. Without 142 . in which service man authenticates himself. but of a realisation of the right in infinite personal shapes. but for the fulfilment of a being-intention. the humanly right is ever the service of the single per- son who realises the right uniqueness purposed for him in his creation. In decision. service of the goal of creation which we are given to surmise only to the extent necessary within this scope. Good conceived thus cannot be located within any system of ethical co-ordination. an intention of put into being for a is mere being which personal. For creation has a goal and the humanly right service directed in the is One direction. aware of is and obedient tion of and every revelation revela- human service to the goal of creation. is That a that unique it is human being created does not mean existence. the mystery waiting for me. I encounter the divine mystery of my created uniqueness. Every ethos has it is still its origin a revelation. executing for my part the design which I am.
freedom and fruitfulness. without setting off upon and One direction. all standing is and it. even the life of the spirit. that is.EVIL AND GOOD authentication. as far as he is able. status existence there none for him without 143 . man certainly has what he calls life. quantum satis. keeping to the even the in all life of the soul.
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