The Genesis and Nature of Evil
Presented by Christan D. Amundsen, M.Th., M.A.
November 6, 1998
The issue of evil has disturbed humankind from the beginning. In coming to understand the Genesis and Nature of Evil, we may also come to insights on who we are and where we find ourselves, as well as the nature of reality itself.
Evil at its most basic level is an obsessive narrowing of reality. By its nature, evil denies the larger context of reality and provides a very narrow focus from which consciousness develops. Thus, evil creates its own world. Essentially then, evil is not an issue of morality, but one of consciousness.
The Gnostic myth of the pre-cosmic error that generated an inappropriate and obsessive narrowing of reality that we call "creation", became the interest of many psychologists in this century, most notably Carl Jung, who saw this process of narrowing reality occurring in the development of the human ego. According to Jung, the ego is born from a vast unconscious pool and then in turn denies its own birth from the larger context. The ego becomes a kind of demiurge who creates a false world of self and jealously guards it, requiring massive amounts of psychic energy to maintain itself. His depiction of the development of the ego resembles the Gnostic myth of the creation of the world and the evil of the creator God.
As a minister for over 25 years, Rev. Amundsen has been a provocative speaker revisioning Christianity away from the orthodox viewpoint. As founder of "LivingGnosis, Inc." and Pastor Emeritus of First Gnostic Church in California, he is one of the leaders of the Gnostic movement in America.
Rev. Amundsen is the author of Illumination: A Gnostic Handbook and Insight from the Secret Teachings of Jesus: The Gospel of Thomas both published by SunStar.