The Idea of ‘Good & Bad’

One of the biggest dilemmas in my life has been this idea of ‘What is Good’ & ‘What is Bad’. I remember right from my childhood just about every elder in the family will start giving a lecture on good and bad. Depending on their own experiences, they used to give speeches on this subject. And their understanding of so-called good and bad was highly conditioned by their cultural distortions, thought processes and the social structure where they lived. That’s how I grew up, totally confused.  Later in life when I gave a sincere thought to this subject, I observed that everybody has their own ideas of good and bad which has nothing to do with the existential reality. This was a great relief to me because I realized that existentially there is no such thing called as good and bad. Socially I agree that we do use these words, but as far as an individual human being is concerned these words mean nothing.

If I have to be little blunt, I can say that Good and Bad is just a social trash, nothing more nothing less. There is a reason why I am saying this. Today we know there are 7.3 billion human beings on this planet. Let’s say you are determined to find out the reality of good and bad and you decided that in your lifetime you will at-least interview 10,000 people and will ask them about this eternally confusing duality which we ourselves has created. Without a doubt, you will see, all those 10,000 people will have their own different versions. So the crux is, Good and Bad simply depends upon what silly expectations you have set in your mind and how you are gonna experience a particular situation. This will vary from person to person.

Now and then I keep hearing this argument from people saying ‘Oh God’ Why bad things happen to us? And you don’t need to go anywhere to see this drama. I am sure in your own friend, family and professional circle you might have already experienced this. Allow me to tell you the fact that there are no good and bad situations in life. There are just situations and only situations. Now depending on the individuals, They start giving a meaning to the situation in terms of good and bad. Let me give you few examples so that you can grasp it properly.

  1. Imagine a scenario where you are enjoying your friend’s wedding. You are all dressed up and the wedding ceremony is happening in a very beautiful open garden full of flowers and fragrance. There is an orchestra playing soothing music on one of the corners of the garden and you are having a great time. Suddenly in the midst of all this, The sky starts pouring droplets of water and later it turns in to a heavy rain. Now immediately you will say this is a bad situation because this totally ruined your arrangements and the fun which you were having with your friends. But what if,  There is a poor farmer who went through the worst famine because of lack of rains & has been waiting so long for the nature to shed rain which will nurture the soil and make it ready for the farming. In farmer’s experience, this rain will be a great thing. So the very idea of Good and Bad is convoluted, It’s not absolute.
  2. Let’s take another example, Imagine you have an enemy and you want to take a revenge. You always keep track of what he is doing, where he is going so that whenever possible you will ambush him and teach him a lesson. Suddenly one day you came to hear that your enemy went bankrupt because of the losses incurred in his business. Now you will be dancing and celebrating because this is what you wanted. But if you look from the other person’s perspective, that person is ruined for life and there can not be the worst situation than this for him in his experience. So what is the lesson, The lesson is when something happens the way we want, We start endorsing that and say it is good? When something happens against our will, We start to resist it and we say it is bad. Don’t fall into the trap of Good and Bad because if you go this way you are bound to get crazy one day in your life. By the time you will mature, you will see it would be too late for you.

Now many of you must be thinking, all this is fine but what if, somebody whom they love, dies. Will this not come under the category of ‘Bad’. Let me bring clarity to this because most of the people lose the balance in their lives because of such incidents. I know what I am gonna write now is not something which you want to read, But what to do, I can’t write anything else but the truth no matter how bitter it is. Death makes life possible, and that’s a reality. Only because you know you are going to die one day, You start thinking about questions which are beyond your survival process. I am sure many of you might have posed such questions at some point in time in your life. Questions like, What is the ultimate nature of this life, Do I exist only as a physical body or there is something beyond this? What will happen to me after I Die, What is the meaning and purpose of this life?

You will start getting all these questions when you become conscious of the fact that you are going to die one day. Also, let me give you some scientific inputs to bring more clarity to this subject. With every exhalation, few thousands of atoms simply die within your body and with every inhalation, few thousands of atoms are reproduced. Almost in a matter of 3-4 months, not just your skin, but your whole skeletal system gets recycled. Which means whatever structure you had 4 months ago and what you have now are completely different. What this implies is that life and death is happening every moment in your life. If you are conscious enough, death is just like life. Only those who live a life of un-awareness think that they die one day. For a person who is aware, Death and Life is just the same thing. Both Birth and Death are the very mechanics of Life itself. Having said that, I am not denying the fact that physical body will not die, Yes It will for sure because all the physical matter no matter how big and strong it is, It is bound to exhaust one day and vanish. Be it the planet earth or all the other trillions of stars which are out there in the space. One day all are bound to vanish because that is its inherent nature.

My only suggestion to all is not to fall prey to any kind of dualities. I took Good and Bad just as a specific example but it could be any kind of duality (Filthy and Sacred, Positive and Negative, Divine and Devil etc.) These are not existential realities. These are only psychological realities and If you are conscious enough, you might have already observed that these dualities have destroyed the whole world in its own way. Of all this, the natural question which will come to your mind is: How the hell I am gonna decide what to do in my life if I do not consider the “Good and Bad’ aspect. I have a very simple answer to this. Whenever you are going to perform any kind of action (Be it a physical action or a Mental action), Just pay attention and see that whatever you are going to do, Will it enhance the life process for you and others in the long run?, If the answer is Yes, Just go ahead and don’t give a second thought to it. If the answer is No, Then immediately abandon that action. If it is a mental action (thought), abandon it as soon as it arises in your mind and you will see once the thought is abandoned, It simply dies.

I hope you must have enjoyed reading this article. If you have any doubts feel free to reach in the comment section. I will be more than happy to address.


Happy Reading!


4 thoughts on “The Idea of ‘Good & Bad’

  1. I think life becomes painful if we try to see the world in black and white, yes there are different colours, thought processes and different definitions of good or bad but we must have some clarity of intentions, actions, convictions and inspirations .


    1. Yes, You are right, We must invest on the clarity of Intention and perception. The moment our perception is right, The dual nature of the physical universe will no longer be able to throw you off balance. You will always be equanimous within your self and that’s what will bring well-being for your as well as to the people around you……Pranam!


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