Just what do these words mean? More than I can tell you or put into words, for the problem of evil is too difficult a one for the average man to grasp. The problem of the Hierarchy (if I may put it both accurately and yet symbolically) is to liberate the good, free the beautiful, release the true and “immure in prison under seal” that which is not good, that which breeds ugliness and hate, and that which distorts the truth and lies about the future. I have chosen all these words with care; their meaning is obvious, but there are significances far too deep and dangerous for you to grasp.
It has been humanity – cumulatively and over millions of years – which has released evil into the world. Thoughts of hate, deeds of cruelty, lying words, sadistic action, selfish intentions and the foulest kind of ambitious selfishness have created a pathway to the “door where evil dwells.” Evil is in reality of two kinds: There is that innate tendency to selfishness and to separation which is inherent in the substance of our planet; of it all forms are made and our planetary Logos inherited it from the residue left over from a previous solar system. That is something unavoidable and something that provides mankind with a needed opportunity and one which men are well equipped to handle and control. There is that in them which can transmute and change it, and it is this that basically constitutes the Science of Redemption.
But humanity has not chosen to exert itself in this redemptive activity, and for thousands of years has been controlled by that which is material; it has thus constructed the “broad and easy way” which leads to the place where another kind of evil dwells – an evil which is not indigenous to our planet, an evil with which it was never intended that men should deal. For untold aeons, the Hierarchy has stood like a shield, guarding humanity. But with the coming of a greatly increased mental development, with the repudiation of the Hierarchy by the bulk of humanity, and by the prostitution of religion to material ends and narrow theological and mental tenets, the Hierarchy has been forced (much against its will) to withdraw some measure of its protecting power (though not all of it, fortunately for mankind). The way to the door where evil dwells was unimpeded, and humanity opened wide the door. The entrance for what might be regarded as cosmic evil was first opened in the decadent days of the Roman Empire (which was one reason why the Christ chose to manifest in those days), was opened wider under the corrupt regime of the Kings of France and, in our own day, has been opened still wider by evil men in every land.
Remember that the evil to which I refer here is not necessarily the foul and vile things about which people speak with bated breath. These are largely curable and the processes of incarnation eventually purify them. The true nature of cosmic evil finds its major expression in wrong thinking, false values and the supreme evil of materialistic selfishness and the sense of isolated separativeness. These (to speak again in symbols) are the weights which keep the door of evil open and which precipitated upon the world the horrors of war, with all its attendant disasters.
The realization of what was happening did more temporarily to unify the world and heal the cleavages among nations than any other thing. The nations of the world allied themselves with the Forces of Light to a very large extent, and little by little, cosmic evil was forced back and the door which “conceals the place of endless death and hides the countenances of the Lords of wicked pride and hateful lust” was partially closed, but not entirely shut; its final closing and sealing is not yet accomplished.
The Rays and the Initiations – Appendix
Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul