Good And Bad

by Mark Ivar Myhre on March 10, 2007

So you want to know what’s good and what’s bad?


A ham sandwich is good. If you use quality meat and fresh
homemade bread with some spicy mustard.

Unless you’re a vegetarian. Then it’s bad. Unless you
use some sort of ham-substitute. Then it’s good. Unless
you’re allergic to soybeans or whatever else they make
the ham substitute out of. Then it’s bad.

See how it goes?

You can go round and round and round – with no end in

Why? Because good and bad are usually subjective terms.
There seldom really is an ‘absolute’ good or an ‘absolute’

They’re most often determined by consensus. Good and
bad are determined by silent vote, most of the time.

But what about the child molester? He’s always bad, right?

Well, he’s engaging in conduct that has severe and painful
repercussions, that’s for sure. But so often the label of
‘bad’ is used as a judgment so we don’t have to look more

Because it might stir up feelings we don’t want to look at
in ourselves. Not that we’re secretly longing to molest
children. Not at all.

It’s more along the lines of not wanting to look at our own
rage. Not wanting to look at how we ’molest’ ourselves.
Things of that nature.

The child molester that we see as a monster may seem
perfectly normal to the other molesters in prison.

It’s more important to spend time with how he makes us
, rather than judging him right or wrong. I personally
know the intense hostility that comes up inside me when
confronted with the thought of such a person. And I also
know how necessary it is to deal with those feelings.

And as I deal with how a molester makes me feel inside,
it’s much less likely I’ll create that type of person in my

And the more I hate this type of person, the MORE likely
I’ll create him in my reality.

To deal with my feelings, I have to stop judging.

That’s the danger with judging ANYTHING as good or bad.
It freezes everything in place. Judgments hurt.

Besides judging, what else comes into play?

Well, let’s go back to the ‘absolute’ good and bad.

Surely there’s some sort of Universal Law to apply here.

“God’s Love Is Good.”

This, too, can be a judgment to keep from feeling.

How many people have really felt God’s love? I mean
REALLY felt it?

Without the hype and the exaggeration and the drama…

Here’s where it gets tricky.

Because one person can say it’s good – and really mean
it and really feel it. While another can say it out of habit
and rote. Just mouthing the words with no substance
behind them.

So it becomes not a case of the words themselves, but
the energy behind the words.

What are you intending to convey when you say God’s
love is good? Do you want to share your own joy, or do
you want to hide your own inadequacies?

Or do you want me to believe you have some sort of
answer I don’t have?

So that’s the third consideration – the intention behind
the words.

Besides subjectiveness, judgment and intention, the next
thing to keep in mind is that the terms good and bad can
be useful in pointing to our ideals.

The knights of the round table in King Arthur’s court were
‘good and true’. Noble, gallant, and all that stuff.

Also, one of the qualities of the human spirit lies with being
‘good and true’. (Powerful, free, good and true, valued,
loved, aligned with self, and ‘enough-ness‘. Just in case you
were wondering….)

In these cases, the phrase ‘good and true’ is meant as
sort of an ideal – an open-ended lofty concept which we
can strive to move closer to.

So goodness could be considered as an ideal. Like truth
and beauty. Something that can never be fully defined or

(While badness could be considered something we’d want
to move away from.)

In other words, they’re like beacons. Ideals compare to
the beacons in our lives. They show us the way.

We understand the concept of good – and we strive to
move closer to it – even though we don’t fully understand
what the word even means.

That’s an ideal.

Part of being an ideal lies with the mystery that comes with
NOT being able to fully understand it.

It gives us the opportunity to ponder and contemplate and
perhaps even get a little frustrated with our lack of

And still the light of goodness shines on!

I think part of the beauty in good and bad lies with the
fact that they can never be fully contained – neither with
words or thoughts or feelings or concepts or even

In this case, I’d say rejoice in your confusion and in the
ambiguity and uncertainty.

Sit with ‘good’. Place a sphere of ‘good’ on your lap
and see how it feels. Then try it with a sphere of ‘bad’.
Notice how that feels.

Use it as a springboard to genius.

Be grateful there are some things you’ll never fully

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