I am confident that the biblical story of our fall from grace/heaven being 'knowledge of good and evil' is literally true---that the story is an actual description of the creation of human suffering. And I think tossing out concepts of good & evil, right & wrong, good & bad is an actual path to salvation/peace/heaven.
I know, major hubris.
The story of the Garden of Eden goes something like this: We were enjoying our time with the plants and the animals, fully integrated with nature in all its forms, living off the fruits of the land. Heaven.
Then, we did the one thing God asked us not to do---we ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
What (the hell) does this mean? After eating from the tree of knowledge we 'saw our nakedness'--that is, we started to think about life instead of simply being in it (in our bodies, in our senses).
We had thought/knowledge---of good & evil---and along with it the idea of a separate consciousness (a 'me'), that labels the world around it. There were no labels previous to this moment---just bees, flowers, apples, humans, animals, sun, sky, etc---all of them moving in a synchronous and perfect dance. No landscape of thought. In other words, when 'knowledge' entered the scene, we started to see things and these other things were separated from us, and could be seen as good/bad.
That is, we started to play God.
When I look at my own mind, and really anyone else's, I notice how much of our suffering comes from believing a concept of what is right or wrong, good or bad.
"I'm not doing this right. I've screwed up my life. I should/shouldn't have (gone to school, married so-and-so, lived in the city, cut my hair, bought that house, said that to my sister, got that surgery, etc)."
"My husband is wrong about how to do the finances. Suze Orman has the right way. She's an expert."
Or, "I am selfish for not wanting to talk to that friend who needs me. I'm a bad friend. It's not right to not want to call her."
Or, "My boss is wrong about how he wants to move this business forward. I gotta convince him of the right way to run the office."
Or the mundane: "Gluten is bad and must be avoided at all costs. Wait, no...bread is ok, but only in small amounts. Moderation is the right way. Cleanses are bad. But some cleanses are good. Paleo is good and vegetarianism is bad. Veganism is good. Paleo is bad."
Gaahh! Endless! And nobody agrees.
Because what are we doing? What is this mind of ours up to? It's playing God.
I'm not saying that throwing out the concepts of good and bad is a good idea. And I'm not saying that concepts/thought/knowledge is bad. Nor that we should deny what works or doesn't work for us (what is good or bad for us). What I'm suggesting is, just for a moment, that we try dropping the story of good and evil. That we stop believing in good and bad, just for a moment.
Dump whatever you are convinced is right or wrong in your life---about yourself, other people, politics, business practices, your mother, your boss and your dog.
Be position-less. Don't know. Don't decide. Don't figure out what's right/wrong. Be groundless.
And try this:
Look at the last difficult scene of your life, but without the words good, bad, right or wrong. How do you feel? What do you see? What is going on inside of you? How would you have communicated differently? If I try it with my ex husband, for instance, dropping that he is wrong about not doing the dishes---I might simply say "Sweetie, I don’t want to do the dishes. Will you do them tonight?" No defense (on my part) = no war. Remember the old adage that defense is the first act of war? The defensive person projects an enemy. This is how war begins---someone projects a right and wrong.
Slow down and try this. Just those four words---good, bad, right, wrong---toss 'em out. Feel your life without the weight of these words. You never needed them. You—you gorgeous, heavenly, completely capable human—you never needed them.
This tool is a form of mental inquiry, similar to Byron Katie's work. I encourage you to go onto her website and get started on dismantling your belief systems (www.thework.com). When you start this process, go for gold: Question the oldest and most painful belief systems you can find. What you believe is right/wrong or good/bad with you, others, and with life itself is a fine place to start.