Ham on the duality of good and evil

David G. Schlundt, Ph.D. schlundg at ctrvax.Vanderbilt.Edu
Tue May 13 14:43:50 PDT 1997



Greetings, children, I am Ham and I want to thank you for attending
this lesson tonight. Tonight we are scheduled to discuss polarity or
duality. Opposites are really the manifestation of a singularity
under different circumstances. What gives reality comprehensibility
to the mind is these opposites. So there is meaning to truth, beauty
and goodness, your minds must have the contrast of falsehood,
ugliness, and badness.

Contrast is the essence in understanding, it's the means by which
truth is absorbed and it is also the means by which ideals are formed.
All of the subtlety in life's meanings grow from basic contrasts.
All of your values are forged in this firey furnace of contrasts. The
entire ascension understanding hinges on the distinction between
better and worse. There could be no evolving, no progress in the
absence of duality in life because this duality is what makes the
stairway. So then it is essentially this dual expression of reality
that makes it possible for it to be progressive. By having minds, or
partaking of mind, and yet being distinct personalities, you can
progress through reality toward oneness by progressively chosing
something better.

Visualize, if you will, a point with two rays going out in an angle,
the further from the point, the rays are further apart from each
other. So, towards the outskirts of the universe, the duality between
everything, good and evil light and dark, is wider, greater. But as
you progress inward towards the source, these distinctions are less
extreme until finally all is absorbed into a oneness that is good,
beautiful, and true even though its manifestation in some parts of the
universe seem to be opposed to that.

So from man's viewpoint, the world is made up of opposites and he
endeavors to choose always towards the oneness of truth, beauty and
goodness and to have these manifest in himself. From the Father's
view, everything consists of truth, beauty, and goodness. This is the
source of your great philosophical dilemmas. Because man can clearly
distinguish the badness, the ugliness, and the falsehood in the world,
and his dilemma is his understanding of why the Father would create a
world with these elements. There could be no progress without them.

The drama of existence consists in the struggle between these opposing
elements. One might even say the meaning of life, the reason for
existence, is contained within this struggle. So it is the existence
of opposites that make life, for the individual personalized creature,
meaningful. It is this struggle that creates motion that creates
progress that gives life its purpose.

So having this understanding, all of life becomes a marvel and it is
even a wonderful thing that limited suffering and evil exists because
without it where would you put your feet? What would you have to stand
upon? How would you progress? God does not allow unlimited
suffering, he has not created a Hell and he has not created Hell on
earth. So what suffering you do experience has an end. It is
temporary. If there were no suffering at all, one wonders if the
passion for life would be as strong. At this time then, are there any

Q: It seems like the ultimate polarity during the age of the supreme
is partiality versus completeness and this would equate with what we
think of as good and evil.

Ham: Very much so, yes.

Q: Does God see the falsehood and the ugliness and badness, or does he
simply see the wholeness which is only the truth beauty and goodness?

Ham: We are taught that he sees only the wholeness.

Q: The darkness is just a place where ...

Q: Ham, greetings.

Ham: Greetings.

Q: Is it my understanding that without contrast there cannot be choice
and that on right choices progress is based?

Ham: Yes, absolutely, you are correctly understanding this lesson.

Q: On worlds that are settled in light and life, is progress much

Ham: No, not at all. It is in fact quicker because they are in a place
where the contrasts aren't so large. They must distinguish more
subtlety and progress is faster.

Q: What would be the best definition of a good choice?

Ham: This question, of course, goes to the heart of the matter.

Q: Would it be whatever makes you more aware of truth beauty and
goodness, that would be the preferable choice?

Ham: No, choice must be in a way an antichoice because always
irregardless of your preferences, you must choose the Father's will.
And, understand that even if you experience temporary suffering as a
result, that it is for the best in the long run. Choosing always to
give your choice to the Father requires great discernment, it requires
looking beyond the dualities of time and space towards the oneness of
eternity. But, of course, in your daily living, in your conduct,
choosing the better and more fitting ways to conduct oneself invovles
choosing someting better each time. And distinguishing what is better
involves extreme consciousness and awareness of both one's self and
one's environment. is this helping?

Q: Yes.

Q: Are we led into certain experiences to create a contrast?

Ham: That is really the provence of the though adjusters and I would
not presume to pronounce a judgement on this. The adjusters have
reasons for everything they do and for every experience you have,
there is meaning.

Q: Can you suggest specific ways to improve our discernment?

Ham: It seems to me that most of you go through most of your lives
like you were sleep walking always thinking of something else, always
imagining future events, very seldom in the present time. The best
way to improve discernment is to live more in the present time, the
now, and then you will begin to appreciate the beauty and the
specialness in more things.

Q: What exact manifestation of fear causes this now avoidance? I
remember in dreams when I was a kid, when I was in a bad place, and
later when I took acid, there was this awful horror of these choices,
this terrible fear of choice, the necessity of making choice.

Ham: I don't think that you are afraid to make choices, maybe afraid
of pressure, but ..

Q: Fear of making the wrong choice?

Ham: But, as far as being in the now moment, it is usually that you
are in the habit of not being. It takes practice to bring your
attention into the moment. The mind is naturally an unruly organ and
it is difficult to tame.

Q: Black and white thinking and sometime impedes our progress. Many
people take the good and bad and make extremes out of it when in
reality black and white combine to make many shades of grey. Could you
comment on that?

Ham: Probably you are looking at immature thinking. It is easier to
have clear cut categories of good and evil than to understand the
reality of their mixture. So I think simply maturing, becoming more
understanding of the world, usually breaks down the artificial
categorizing that usually occurs in youth.

Q: The avoidance of complexities.

Q: That is a good way to put it, people don't want to see shades of
grey, they just want to see black and white.

Q: True discernment would have something to do with getting yourself
out of the way?

Ham: No, it is more realistic to understand yourself and your
reactions and understandings and how this interacts with your
environment. There is no such thing as a true objectivity.

Q: By self I meant the ego.

Q: But doesn't that in part create some of the contrasts that are
necessary for us, the ego?

Ham: Yes, I would say this is so. It's one thing to have a
self-forgetful attitude in life, but quite another to be apart from
yourself, this is impossible.

Q: It seems like there is kind of a duality to individuation anyway,
like it is either ephemeral or temporary ... in the concept of

Ham: That individuation is temporary?

Q: This individuality is not totally real is it, these barriers or
borders between souls? Ultimately, we all wind up as one don't we, but
somehow retain the individuality. That is perhaps the paradox.

Ham: Yes, this is a subject for another time.

Q: In times of difficult situations, is it useful to dissociate
yourself from the situation and even from yourself and try to view
yourself from a distance, get a broader picture?

Ham: It is good to perhaps attempt to be unemotional and less
ego-engaged, this is true, but again I would say it is impossible to
not be you. Any viewpoint you have, is still your viewpoint.

Q: I have anther question regarding discernment. You said the main way
to improve discernment is to be in the present moment. This question
has to do with trying to understand the Father's will and make the
right choice. Many times we project into the future and try to see
what the consequences of the choices might be. Is there a
contradiction? Do we need to be careful when we try to project the
effects of our choices?

Ham: Yes, humans are time bound creatures who have a mind that is not
so time limited. All your decisions involve projection into the
future. But, really the only way to understand the consequences of
one's actions and your decisions in the future is to again be fully
aware of the present. Often, mistakes are generated and compounded by
human's making their decisions based on their perception of the
future. If your making a decision for five steps ahead from a place,
you are imagining two steps ahead, your chances of being wrong are
greater than if you are making your decision based on the present.

Q: When you are saying the present, you mean a complete awareness of
relationships and the environment?

Ham: And yourself.

Q: Of course, the only time we can experience God is in the eternal
now, isn't it?

Ham: Yes, sure.

Let me create a contrast, When we are faced with a choice is it the
Father's will that we think through the choice and try to make the
better decision or do we say "Father I don't know what to do, guide me
in this".

Ham: Every decision has elements of both. You have decisions before
you that must be made and through your prayer and worship time you
decide to bring the Father's wisdom into your decision. Perhaps he
will give you an insight or a perception that you didn't have which
will influence what you do, but ultimately the day to day choices are
yours alone to make. You can give your will to the Father, but he
gives it back as well. I know this is the most difficult part of our
teaching, and it is the most difficult part of life as well, that
boundary where your will and the Father's will come together.

Q: Each choice we make is to choose better over worse and that is the
path we follow all the way in our ascension?

Ham: Yes.

Q: If it is our intent to do the Father's will, to do the right thing,
is that a crucial elements if we make a wrong choice?

Ham: Absolutely, it is more crucial for your intention to be do the
Father's will than the actual day to day choices wherein small and
large mistakes are often made.

Q: What you were telling us is that without those mistakes, there
would be no progress?

Ham: Yes.

Q: Sometimes, in my life, in the process of making a difficult
decision, I have experienced what I perceive to be signs, with some
divine aspect. Is this possible, or is it dangerous magical thinking
to look for signs or when signs are seemingly presented to us to take
them as evidence?

Ham: I would say that each person's thought adjuster works with that
person in their own unique way, so what would be dangerous thinking
for one person is perfectly fine for someone else. Ultimately, you
and your inner spirit work together and he knows your thinking and I
would not presume to pass judgment on anything like that.

Q: Is it an appropriate time for me to ask my usual question.

Ham: Certainly Jarad. You are always making progress even when it
seems like nothing is happening. Do not despair of personality traits
that seem to be weaknesses because they may turn out to be strengths.
As you make progress in your self awareness, you will also come to be
more self-accepting and tolerant with yourself. All is well, indeed,
don't be concerned with your seeming shortcomings. You will be glad
for them, someday.

Q: Anything for Rebecca?

Ham: Yes, Rebecca, all is well and you are making good progress in
your thinking and art work concerning your task. All is well and the
way will be shown you to accomplish what is ahead of you. Prepare in
confidence everything is coming along.

Q: Did you have something for Esmirelda?

Ham: Yes, Esmirelda, time is on your side. Don't try to hurry and be
perfect. The progress you have made already is tremendous, don't worry
that you are running short of time. There is all the time you need to
accomplish worthy goals. Don't worry. everything is much better than
it seems to be.

Q: Elena called and asked if your would give her advice regarding her
present situation?

Ham: Child, I understand your dilemma and advise only that you should
follow where the Father is leading you and you will understand the way
in your heart of hearts. Don't be afraid to be human. Everything will
be alright.

Q: Ham, do you have any guidance for me this week?

Ham: Kellen, you have very decidedly come into a good joint venture in
balance and equanimity. Both you and your wife know the value of
maintaining balance and a quiet mind, and the two of you together when
you achieve balance with each other then the rest of the family tends
revolve in harmony. I am happy to understand that your life is coming
into a happier phase.

Q: Do you have any feedback for me this evening.

Ham: Certainly, Brodan, there is always a precarious balance in your
relationship as well and you two have give and take down to a
science. Remember to also have romance and time together that is quiet
and private focused on each other instead of everything else. I
understand your romantic side and know too that you express it very
tentatively, but it is a genuine part of your nature that needs

Q: HOw about some guidance for me.

Ham: Edward, your life has been like a ship tossed on rocky waters
going through extremes that you are not usually comfortable with.
Your heart has been opened up lately and more extreme and passionate
emotions are becoming manifest. Things are coming to the surface that
were suppressed before. This is an emotionally trying period that will
test your ideas of yourself and the world and how you think things
should be as opposed to how they are. Through it all, be unafraid
knowing that the sun is shining in the distance and the uncertainties
of the present time will become more certain for you in the future.
There is a harbor ahead where you can rest and gather strength before
heading out to open sea again. Take this time of peace and
tranquility for you will need it.

Q: Ham do you have any advice for me this week?

Ham: Yes, Suzie, this is the time for learning about yourself, for
finding out what you are made of, on discovering strengths where
before you saw weakness, and allowing yourself weaknesses where before
you only knew strengths. What is certain, is you are evolving and
growing and changing. The difficulties with relationships and life in
general are showing you a new you, like holding you up to a mirror,
and this new person you hardly recognize. You've been operating under
old assumptions about yourself for a long time and suddenly you are
realizing that you are not the ugly duckling anymore but the swan.
So, take time to get to know this new you, this new person. Take
risks and experiment. There will be new things that you like, and old
things that you used to like you may not like anymore. Really
explore your life in all its newness and find happiness in the now.

Q: I appreciate any words for me Ham.

Ham: Vontis, you are steadily making progress and always trying to do
your best. The ups and downs of life are coming into a perspective and
maybe even some control. You are not tossed here and there by the
slightest wind any more. Your focus and steadiness are also improving
and you are understanding that progress needs to be made in all areas
of life, not just one. Continue to broaden your associations and have
faith and trust that day by day everything in your life from business
relationships to personal relationships to family relations are all
getting better. This is all due to your own spiritual growth and

If there is nothing further, I will leave you with my undying
devotion, my love, and my prayers for your advancement. Until next
week, farewell.

David G. Schlundt, Ph.D. (615)322-7800
Associate Professor of Psychology (615)343-8449 Fax
Vanderbilt University schlundg at ctrvax.vanderbilt.edu
301 Wilson Hall
Nashville, TN 37240
The highest happiness is indissolubly linked with spiritual progress. Spiritual growth yields lasting joy, peace which
passes all understanding.
The Urantia Book

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