I have read Andy's post over and over. There are aspects that bother me which I can't quite put my finger on. I will give it a go here for some of it, but having a lot of fires to put out this day will likely make this incomplete and very possibly unclear. It seems to me I have written something on this once before.
I agree with the two authors he quotes and unlike him, have found similar material time and again in the writings of various psychologists- namely that we must confront and accept fully that the dark sides, the bad things we have done or thought, the whole gamut of capacity for doing wrong- are a part of each of us, a part of the whole. That isn't to say that we give up on being the people we want to be or that we can't determine and choose to be better than the worst of ourselves- ONLY that we must acknowledge and accept that as humans, this is part of who we are. But it doesn't stop there. We need to forgive ourselves too. And it is this forgiveness that seems to give us the most trouble. The non-forgiveness and self judgment of bad and evil within, is what keeps us separate from others, from love, from source, from spirit and allows us to separate ourselves into good and evil- different parts we can reject or accept- not a whole.
The end result is that it keeps us from believing that we are deserving of happiness, of love, of those things we need. After all, if we are capable of being bad evil people, and have done or thought bad things, why would we think that we deserve anything good? Bad and evil should earn punishment. Right? It is where we judge others from, often being unable to reconcile the fact that everyone is both good and bad- because we cannot reconcile it in ourselves.
I think the statement that we "don't have to take sides as to whether at heart we are irredeemable sinners or haloed saints" "and in holding that capacity, we are in effect both" implies a certain amount of non-forgiveness for the mere fact of being human. On the face, it sounds as if we should accept and move on, reunite the whole; but the very words suggest an inability and helplessness to change who we are and to determine our actions. We have the capacity to be both; we do not necessarily act from that capacity. "Neither capacity will ever entirely leave us" suggests to me that attempting to stay in the light is an impossible task, because we will always be "sinners". I can't accept that point of view; it places goodness and redemption outside of me and out of my hands. I am good and bad- but those "seeds" do not have to grow. It is my choice which I tend and nourish.
I think that positive thinkers and motivational authors well know that we are aware of the dark aspects of our being. It is the messages we give to ourselves that come from our childhood -black or white, good or evil perceptions our past actions and this capacity to do bad things that cause most of the problems. The counter is to say, yes I accept that I could do bad things, but I choose to not; I forgive myself for those and that capacity and choose light and non-condemnation. Accept and forgive, acknowledge and take back the whole of self without punishment- embrace the whole as one- is the key.
I haven't perfected this forgiveness of self, but I have traveled quite a distance in putting it into effect. I believe it is a process that continues throughout life. I believe it is essential to connecting with spirit and source.
Oh and as a random thought, I do believe that evil exists in the world, that it is not purely subjective. But I think most of us are not evil or even bad- capacity and actuality are not the same thing. However that is a tangent for another time.
And it also occurs to me with some fear from one of my weaker personal areas -that the alternate title of this might be Burning Bridges; but it depends on the reception and the mood of a particular receptee..
Now onto putting out the fires of the day...