“Do not resist evil” in the Light of the Gnostic-Esoteric Teachings
One of the statements that caused pondering in many students of esoteric teachings is “Do not resist evil”. This line is often associated with the teachings of Jesus where he said “Do not resist an evil person”, elaborating upon it by saying that one should love their enemy and the ones that persecute you. In my view he tried to soften the hearts of the people of the time by giving them this exoteric meaning of the teachings. Nevertheless, the teaching “Do not resist evil” goes deeper than that, instructing us about an important aspect of the inner esoteric work.
In my own experience I tried to understand that saying for quite some time. I was aware of the intellectual meaning of it, and was also aware that many would interpret this statement to mean “going with the egos and not resisting them”. But deep down I felt the importance of the statement and also that the essence of it is missing from my understanding. It was only when the inner work was about to reach a higher note, which it normally does after a difficult inner struggle, that the understanding of it came.
In the inner work of transforming the subconscious mind into consciousness, there are often hardships caused by the egos (subconscious selves) that we have within us. A normal reaction to egos emerging within would be to eliminate them as they appear from moment to moment, and also later on during meditation, in order for the consciousness to be freed from these subconscious legions of selves that, above all, want to win the inner battle. Sometimes this battle can reach an intense level, where it gets easier to identify with the fight itself. This indicates that we have identified with another ego that came in and that reacts to the main ego that is causing the most problem at the given moment. Without really noticing it, we can then fight the ego with another ego, and this is when the “Resisting the evil” takes place.
Because of the above mentioned identification we then mechanically apply a resisting force that is coming from the same place as the egos (from the subconscious mind), and then the ego death technique does not really work. In order for it to work, it is necessary to not resist the ego that we are eliminating in the moment. Practically this means to be in a state of inner detachment and awareness of the present moment; seeing the ego as an entity that landed on our psychological centers to feed itself. When we are in the state of detachment and self-remembrance, then working on that ego can become almost “effortless”; it becomes a natural course of action, similarly how the bodily processes are something that happens without any effort and without needing to apply any resistance in the process, so too the work on the ego, when we are in the proper inner state, becomes spontaneous, effortless, and as something that has become a part of who we are.
When we love the inner work and have as the main goal in life to awaken and reach our Being, then the work becomes like that – a natural process that takes place from moment to moment. The only difference between the inner bodily processes and the work that is done out of love for the Being and for the work itself, is that the former happens mechanically, whereas the inner work is applied consciously, from moment to moment, throughout the day.
When we are in this state of being, then we understand the esoteric meaning behind the statement “Do not resist evil”, because then the “evil” (ego) is not resisted, but rather it falls into a kind of a void in which it disappears, leaving behind the precious particle of consciousness that was captured and conditioned by this egoic energy, which by the force of the inner work is disintegrated, and the energy that is otherwise wasted on resistance and endless struggle, is preserved.
HDP, April 2020.