Evil and the Transformation of Evil in Buddhism and Socially Engaged Buddhism

In: Probing the Depths of Evil and Good

Different conceptions of evil and the transformation of evil can be observed in the history of Buddhism. Originally, the final overcoming of evil was the result of attaining nirvana. Through nirvana one escapes from the cycle of rebirth, which entails no more evil and no more suffering. A central insight in Mahayana Buddhism is the negation of all duality. Ultimately, there is no difference between good and evil. Both are empty and “like a magical illusion.” The final overcoming of evil is found in a new awareness of this reality. In the engaged Buddhism of Thich Nhat Hanh, both the way in which we perceive reality and reality itself are transformed. By transforming the hatred, anger and delusion within ourselves, society will change. Internal evil and external evil are interrelated. Transformation of outward evil begins with inner transformation through mindfulness. This will change our world.

Probing the Depths of Evil and Good

Multireligious Views and Case Studies

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