The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Sunday, June 21, 2015

When Lawful Good is evil, when Neutral is Lawful Good

I always wondered about the validity of the Neutral alignment. Why wouldn't one always want to be good? There's talk of "balance to the Force" and all that, but isn't that a good?

At the same time I've wondered about the Mirror Gate in The Neverending Story, where kind people find out that they are cruel. Okay, these people've already been past the first gate and are therefore self-assured; okay, if their assurance is questioned, they'd scamper back to that first gate and die. But how could the gate know that the good man was evil at heart? Or, perhaps more exactly, how could a person know in his heart to avoid accidentally triggering the demon which triggers the gate?

Enter the Vedas. According to Doniger, an attempt to be too good is a sin, p. 110; the Aryan sages would say, a violation of arta. Best not to act holier than the King. It might lead others to follow you instead. The King might be a wicked tyrant, who deserves a rebellion, but more likely he is just weak, and he needs the support of holy men. The Mirror Gate will judge by this; it will tell the preacher who "serves" in the senate that he is leading his flock to damnation and his nation to ruin.

By endorsing and living by "Neutrality" on those terms, one guards against potential holiness-competition and just plain hypocrisy. So this "Neutrality" is, in fact, Neutral Good through the virtue of humility.

We have long been taught that Chaotic Good does not exist. Likewise, we may conclude, true Neutral does not exist or, rather, exists in its purest form as a "Neither-al": its place in the "great wheel" cosmology is an outland populated, in the main, by brutes.

posted by Zimri on 14:33 | link | 0 comments

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