A Puzzle, In My Enchanting Secret Forest

With all the tension and frustration that was a confirmation to me of Earthly discomfort, I thought of turning my nightmare into a dream and going to the secret land of ultimate wonders. I looked for the golden key of my enchanted secret forest, and did not worry about the map, I already knew my directions like I was a resident of it. I lay motionless, ready to travel, contemplating into the nothingness with my eyes closed. I was not certain about the time I had between my hands, I did not know if I had been still for 7 long hours, or 7 swift minutes. I remembered what a wise man once said about the gypsies: “for travelers, time does not exist”.

I opened my eyes, and found myself standing right there with soft breeze and a hint of rain in the air before an open gate of studded pearls, and stones as brightly colored as corals of the Red Sea, I couldn’t tell if they were in fact corals.

“Not only does it unify the wonders of land, it also embraced the secrets of oceans in its gate” I thought to myself with a smile while walking among the magnificent radiating green trees of the forest and enormous flowers.

All my thoughts, whether calm or tensed, were concealed deep down somewhere, I did not understand why. My sight was focused on numerous beautiful white doves looking like creatures from heaven, flying over a flowing river of crystal riverbed.

While delightfully thinking of the riddles of this fascinating forest, I tripped over what seemed to surprisingly be a human leg. I was terrified, I remember myself being the only one of my kind in what I thought to be my secret land. I turned over in surprise, to see an aged woman of above 70’s, with a cardboard-like object on her lap doodled all over it, I distinguished those words: Good, Evil.

She didn’t seem surprised to see me, like she was expecting me to visit. She did not wait for me to question those doodled words, and asked me slowly with a hint of desperation in her voice, it seemed like she was reading of blurred letters in her mind, “Are human beings good or evil?” I replied straightaway, as if I was prepared to answer this question my whole life, “good”. “Why did we fall down to Earth, then?” I was frightened of her question, she triggered something inside of me that made me so nervous. Maybe because I always thought I knew the answers of everything. I instantly assumed that she asked a question expecting the answer she wanted to hear; evil. “If we weren’t of good nature, our father would not be in heaven at first.” I disapproved her assumed-thought. “But Adam had everything, and he still tasted The Forbidden Fruit.” She argued. The pride of what I was born to believe in started to get in the way, and I was ready to start an intense argument.

“I thought I was the first here, the source of my joy was nothing but this land.” she interrupted my thoughts, “Then I started to visit frequently, I spent more days here than back home-wherever that is. Then I thought of ways to own this place, making every inch of it under my name to do whatever I please with it, maybe make a living out of it before anyone finds it and takes it away from me. I spent days sleeping under this tree, not afraid of anything that might attack me. Because this is my home, this is where I belong. I was sure of that as I knew I was a good person, or else I wouldn’t have the key, nor memorize the map by heart. I didn’t even have to draw it on a piece of paper. But years later, or maybe hours, visiting was not enough. Greed overpowered the joy of this place. I wanted more than I could get and I did not exactly know how. Until I was stuck here alone, with no voice to reply my questions.” She said in grief. I sat down beside her, under the tree of ivy leaves almost spread around her, to hear her bizarre story. I would have considered her to be insane, but everything was different over there. I did not want to argue with reason, because I knew it would lose.

“I tried to go back home, I did not know how. I was lost in astronomical tunnels. Directions started to disappear from the map, only a quarter of its lines remained. It was then when I lost hope, I was no longer curious, only confused in despair. All I needed to know was, How did I get here and on what purpose? Was it greed that cut the strings of connection to my world? I wish I could go back in time,” my confused human brain interrupted her and emphasized silently “or go forward”. But I knew it was not the right time to analyze the minutes and hours of that dimension, nor theorize whether time goes in a straight line to the future as in our world. I tried to focus before she continued, “to remain only a visitor, like yourself. There is a reason behind the limitations of human capabilities. But I did not realize that. In the land of chances, I feel guilty and gloomy. Guilty for the human greed, gloomy for disappointing myself; I am not a good person.

“It is not good to have everything one wants…” her words broke the silence of my soul and led to extreme consciousness, which I thought was almost impossible. I was not able to hear what she said afterwards, I could not break my own silence with reply to her. I don’t know if that was the puzzled tangled answer of the basic simple question. Did she mean that “evil” is a good person having everything wished for? or is evil having everything wished for, and still wanting more? Is there Good behind every Evil, or a trace of Evil behind all Good?

I felt my body weight as light as a feather, floating in the air, being drawn back to the gate of studded pearls and colorful stones. Pictures projected so fast right before my eyes, I could not explain them.

I was in my bed, with the key locked intensely in my right hand, my brain completely clear of all thought but confused of her question, and a frown on my sleepy eyes.

*Dear reader, tell me what you think about this matter; are human beings essentially good or evil? And provide an explanation.

© 2011 Alia Sultan

13 thoughts on “A Puzzle, In My Enchanting Secret Forest

Add yours

  1. My feeling is that we all come into this world as “pure” beings…good…
    Through our reactions to our experiences in Life we become a certain Way…
    “evil” can become for some the easy way to react…
    Fears of the unknown will eat a us and fester as negativity…
    creating negative, “bad” reations to ourselves and others…
    For me at least…and it can be a daily struggle…finding an inner strength connects us to what we essentially are in our Core Being…good. Look at people who do “bad” things…they are weak…yet they, I, we all have the ability to concentrate on only doing good.
    Peace to You,

  2. Very well-written and soothing to read. Not unlike Coelho. To answer your question, we are born with a lot of potential. Who teaches us to wield it or what we do with it is questionable. I always think of war. Both sides think they’re right, that their god is just, and both fight with emotion for everything they know. Hitler was evil, but Germany isn’t, and the average North Korean is too busy to know what evil is. Evil exists like a pathogen. I doubt anybody was ever born bad.

    1. It was “The Devil and Miss Prym” by Coelho that inspired my initial question. I liked what u said “who teaches us to wield it or what we do with it is questionable.” Thank u for sharing ur opinion.

  3. If a baby wants something he/she takes it without considering whether it was right or wrong. Consideration of others and the world outside is learned and part of maturing. Basically we are good but problems exist until boundaries are learned according to our cultural upbringing. If we learn to accept differences our values change. Does that make us good? If we don’t learn to accept differences are we bad? It depends on who’s telling the story and who sets the rules. If we focus on doing positive things for others we improve their lives as well as our own.

  4. Perhaps trying to define both is merely humans trying to understand the chaos of the world. For trying to put definition to things that are merely actions of the moment is judgemental. One can step away from the chaos and argue some logical means as to why the actions were done or even querry their ethics and deem it evil or good. Look at it perhaps from this perspective, animals kill to live every day. Is the wolf killing the rabbit an evil or good act? Evil in that it took a life and good in that it thinned the population of rabbits? To me they are just actions in a moment. Questioning whether it is good or evil falls to something far better than I. They are just moments and hopefully the kind of moments to grab a muse from. I enjoyed this piece quite a bit.

    1. That’s logical, behind every action (whether defined good or evil) there is a cause, far stronger than to place a judgement on the person doing the action or the action itself, it is indeed judgmental. But my question was a bit philosophical, regarding the creation of human beings, not their reactions. Once I looked at it from a different perspective than to get a short answer for the question, there is no absolute Good nor absolute Evil. Adam’s creation in heaven was an efficient proof for me that humans are essentially pure and good, and the non absolution of Good is supported by the incident of the Forbidden Fruit, for Adam was tempted. Which does not make humans absolutely Good (as defined) nor Evil.
      That is just my opinion though, thanks a lot for sharing yours, glad you enjoyed it =).

  5. I used to believe that human beings can do good without pressure, but lately I’ve experienced some things that made me change my opinion. I’m still confused..but I hope for a good part of humanity [even if it’s too bad shit out there]. And the article..it’s great..it’s been a pleasure reading it 🙂

  6. I believe that humans are essentially good. And as a proof of that, the conscience exists in each one of us, to remind us of our origins. But the conscience’s existence also proves that we are meant to do evil. To acknowledge good, we must encounter evil, which exists which happens to be everywhere around us. Temptations, needs, and wants, all of those can create evil actions! And I believe that at one point or another, we are bound to take the easy way out and choose evil over good. Once we get a taste of evil, that is when we can truly define right from wrong, that is when our test begins. And in order to ace it, we must win the struggle of staying good and keep fighting the urge to give in to evil. And we fail that test when we let evil take over, control our actions, and kill our conscience. Adam made a mistake when he chose to take the forbidden fruit, but that is only human of him, and the consequence was a part of the test. It is if he would ask for God’s forgiveness and try to make up for his mistake, or if he would turn rebellious and cause more damage that would determine which path he sought after. And we all know that he went for the good. We were born good, but are we gonna die good? That is my question.

    I LOVED your post! The vividness of your words intensifies the power of its beauty! Absolutely amazing!

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