Questioned about the origin of evil, Eckhart Tolle draws a useful analogy to speak about the nature of God and God’s relationship to creation.

if you want to use anything in this sense-perecived universe to compare to God, the most appropriate thing would be the sun.

Tolle goes on to point out that

the sun continuously emits zillions of photons, light particles.

He uses the image of photons to speak about human beings.

We are “light particles” whose origin is the sun. As we come into form we continue to bear some similarity to our origin. To use the language of the Bible, we continue to bear “the image of God” in which we were originally created.

As the individual photon becomes conscious of itself, it “mis-perceives itself as a separate identity” from the sun. We human beings lose awareness of our original true nature. Although in reality we share a common nature with all creation by virtue of  our divine origin, we begin to perceive separation.

Having come to see ourselves as separate, we create

all kinds of illusions that reflect the basic illusion of separateness.

The “illusion of separateness” gives rise to the parallel illusion “of identification with form”.

Evil can be defined as complete identification with form – that is the illusion. The more an entity is identified with form, the more seemingly evil the entity creates, and the more suffering is created.

Having lost touch with the deep gift of our true identity as particles of the sun, we seek frantically to create for ourselves a new identity using external, temporary forms.

We invest our sense of identity in what we own, what we do, what we have achieved, how we appear, how we behave. But we know that all these things are temporary. They will all let us down eventually. Our attachment to getting, possessing, impressing, controlling,  achieving only creates a deeper insecurity.

When our identity is located in that which is temporary, the resulting insecurity leads to greater violence and evil in the world. We feel the need to fight to protect those things in which we have sought to create for ourselves a sense of identity.

Eckhart Tolle poses the obvious question,

What’s the answer?

The answer he says is to find

the end of the illusion of separateness.

We do this by returning to our original consciousness, the reality we share with our origin which Tolle describes as that reality which

gives freely of itself, millions and millions of years of pouring out energy.

We return to our original oneness and regain our true identity as we follow the pattern of our Source and pour ourselves out in an endless flow of giving. Our true nature is generosity. We connect with our authentic identity, when we give generously.

This flow of self-giving is the cosmic dance in which we return to ourselves and rediscover our true identity.

As Jesus is reported to have said,

give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back. (Luke 6:38)

The more we pour ourselves out in love, the more our true self is renewed.

I cannot defeat evil by defending myself. Evil is defeated by self-giving.

The cross upon which Jesus chose to hang as a helpless victim is the sign of triumph over evil. Jesus said,

those who lose their life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 16:25)

When I rest in that deep eternal unshakeable identity that is my true nature, I have nothing left to defend. I discover within myself, that reality Eckhart Tolle describes as “so much vaster” than all the temporary forms in which life is manifest in this “sense-perceived universe”. There is nothing I need to protect because there is nothing of value you can take from me. That which dwells within me is vaster, fuller and more radiant than all the illusions created by identification with form.