Good and evil

Mikhail Rogov
4 min readDec 6, 2019


“There is nothing it is possible to think of anywhere in the world, or indeed anything at all outside it, that can be held to be good without limitation, excepting only a good will.” — Immanuel Kant

“In being things have a rank, but to rank low is not evil. In existence ugliness repels us, but ugliness is not evil. Self-being may decline — resurgence from decline is what it amounts to — but what has declined, has grown empty, has trickled away, is not evil. Not even untruth is the same as evil, and neither are urges and drives, or the physical ills that cramp and destroy our existence. All of these are mere means in the hand of evil, which animates them with its negative will. For evil is not peculiar to any extant being, nor to any empirical reality or ideal validity. There is evil because there is freedom. The will alone can be evil.” — Karl Jaspers

“The secret of evil is the secret of freedom… At the basis of the world lies irrational freedom, in the very depths of the abyss. And out of these depths pour the dark currents of life.” — Nikolai Berdyaev

“Man awakens only when he distinguishes between good and evil.” — Karl Jaspers

From the point of view of the will whose freedom is self-constrained by conscience — a glimpse of divine Light, — conscienceless freedom is demonic arbitrariness. From the point of view of demonic arbitrariness, self-constrained freedom is a “sucker”. The eternal conflict of good and evil is the conflict of good and evil will — the will whose freedom is self-constrained by conscience, and the egoistic self-will whose freedom is demonic arbitrariness of the principle “do what you want”. These eternal antagonistic positions do not rotate but flare-up in the collision with each other. Communication between representatives of these positions is possible but almost never leads to a transition to the opposite side, because, from the point of view of each of them, the opposite side is a perversion.

“In the present way of the world, freedom is thought of as licentiousness, whereas real freedom is only in overcoming oneself and one’s will, so that in the end one reaches such a moral state that one can always be one’s own true master at all times.” — Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“Every freedom always predicates discipline and asceticism and always perishes if these are lacking.” — Nikolai Berdyaev

“Good will is the final purpose of our existence; nothing else has value except in relation to it.” — Karl Jaspers

All people are divided into three types: those who chose freedom; those who chose demonic arbitrariness; those who have yet to make the choice or spend the rest of their days in ignorance, in the most important way being little different from animals. Unfortunately, in this infernal world those who chose demonic arbitrariness have an advantage, for in this world such demons hold all the power in their hands, including the power to manipulate the minds of those who have no idea what is really going on here, and who are destined either to be converted or to live in a lulled herd.

“Normality is nothing but a mild form of dementia.” — Karl Wilmanns

“Normality is death.” — Theodor Adorno

It is almost useless to express the ultimate truth about this insane world directly, because from the point of view of a so-called “normal person”, this truth sounds like “madness”, “heresy”, “fantasy”, etc. Words — the surrogates of meanings — are powerless to transfer such a radical meaning. One can only grasp this radical truth directly, see it with one’s own eyes, become horrified and resist the temptation by all means, or surrender and join the legion of those who have voluntarily become agents of the Shadow.

“There is no basis for rosy historical optimism. Christianity does not teach it. The world is moving towards a tragic division and struggle of opposing spiritual principles. But in these paths it makes great sense to eliminate illusions, to expose true realities.” — Nikolai Berdyaev

“But the fight for our planet, physical and spiritual, a fight of cosmic proportions, is not a vague matter of the future; it has already started. The forces of Evil have begun their decisive offensive.” — Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“The gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to Life, and those who find it are few.” — Jesus Christ



Mikhail Rogov

“Pure immanence without Transcendence remains nothing but deaf existence.” — Karl Jaspers