form is emptiness, emptiness is form
Posted by G.A. Matiasz on August 29, 2013
Good versus evil. God versus Satan. Jesus tempted by the Devil in the desert.
The Christian mythology is pretty clear cut and straight-up Manichean. Never mind that Satan (in the form of Lucifer, or the pre-Christian Prometheus) brings the gift of knowledge (or fire) to humanity, while God sure comes off as evil, wiping out whole communities, tribes and peoples opposing the wandering Hebrews, not to mention condemning most of unsaved humanity—to include innocent children—to hell.
This simplistic myth of good vs evil was popularized by Robert Louis Stevenson in his novella “The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.” Dr Jekyll is not quite everyman; he’s a scientist and medical doctor after all. But he is wrestling with good and evil within himself. When he creates his potion or serum that is intended to repress the hidden evil side within his personality, it has the opposite effect in unleashing the cruel, violent, twisted and remorseless Mr Hyde, who even undergoes a physical transformation to become smaller and younger looking. The subtexts of Victorian religious morality and the potential dangers inherent to science run through the tale. The rest of the story is well known from the written word, and dozens of stage and screen adaptions.
This is my blog, Playing for Keeps, and I am G.A. Matiasz, a sensible left-of-liberal blogger who shares my social and political insights, and also posts interesting personal stuff. Then there’s my alter ego, the rabid ultra commie “Lefty” Hooligan, who blogs at What’s Left?, posting my Maximum RocknRoll columns and occasionally pontificating about the sad state of politics and society. I almost never reveal anything personal on the latter blog, and I’m almost always excoriating asshole individuals and organizations that deserve my wrath. Never mind that I have a zen meditation practice in real life which eschews duality for the non-duality of advaya (form is emptiness, emptiness is form). I maintain this duality in the blogosphere.