Jesus said, The kingdom of the father is like a man who had good seed. His enemy came by night and sowed weeds among the good seed. The man did not allow them to pull up the weeds; he said to them, ‘I am afraid that you will go intending to pull up the weeds and pull up the wheat along with them.’ For on the day of the harvest the weeds will be plainly visible, and they will be pulled up and burned. (57)
For many ages throughout the world, whatever the spiritual tradition might be, a question has persisted: “Why is there both good and evil in the world? Why do good and evil people live together on the earth, seemingly in equal status and fortune, and the evil often being the more fortunate? How can this be if God is truly good?” The answer is contained in that question itself. The situation is itself a manifestation of the goodness of God.
The world is not a kind of artificial structure meant to be beautiful and impressive–or even perfect to the observer. Rather it is a vast field of evolutionary life on infinite levels and grades in which each evolving consciousness (spirit) is finding its way upward to ultimate perfection. This is an agelong process whose length and course is determined completely by the individual spirit. Duality being an essential element of relative existence, naturally there will be a moving back and forth from that which facilitates evolution and that which hinders or reverses it. That, and that alone, is what determines good and evil. Good advances evolution and evil slows, stops or reverses it. It is not a matter of God’s arbitrary will, but the will of the evolving entity itself as it passes from form to form on the evolutionary scale.
Problems arise on both the paths, upward and downward, but since the impulse to evolution is within the very essence of the spirit, self-correction will eventually occur. This is a most important fact. If long enough time passes, even though it be for countless creation cycles, the goal of perfection as an awakened god within God will be reached permanently.
Do Jesus’ words give a picture of the world created by God but maliciously flawed by the Devil or Satan? No. There is a negative force that many identify with those names, but that, too, is a necessary and inherent part of creation. For a very full explanation of this, see The Second Coming of Christ by Paramhansa Yogananda.
The whole idea of this parable is that it is the nature of the world for there to be positive and negative, light and dark, good and evil. Neither must be interfered with (though good can be encouraged and evil discouraged once the evolving being has reach a degree of self-awareness). Rather, they must be left alone until that which is good and true in each individual has been realized and that which is evil and false has been eliminated–cast out and burnt in the fire of divine realization (consciousness). No person will ever be rejected or burnt, only that which is extraneous and not-self. The spirit shall be released into perfect freedom.
“Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ” (Revelation 12:10).
Read the next article in the Gospel of Thomas for Yogis: Finding Life