In the movie the "Wizard of Oz", the opening lines of Glenda, the good witch of the North, to Dorothy were, "Are you a good witch or a bad witch?" On this note, I would like to make an exploration of these two ideas of "good" and "bad."
In Western culture, which is largely Christian, the idea that the Creator God formed both light and darkness is ignored. The Western mind sees "good" and "bad" as two opposing opposites. While the Eastern concept sees them both as equals necessary for perfect balance.
In the West, the Prime Mover, Grand Architect, what ever name for divinity you prefer to use, is seen as only "good" and therefore unable to create evil. While the Eastern mind sees Divinity as a perfect balance of all things including "good" and "evil."
To understand the words "good" and "bad" we will break them down as "good" symbolizing creation and "bad" as destruction (breaking down of the old.)
Our Western mind classifies all things in two categories, either it is "good" or it is "bad." One is to be sought out, cherished and protected. The other is to be spurned and discarded. But let us take light and darkness as an example. Western culture sees light as good and darkness as bad.
The idea of light brings to mind such things as God, truth and love. Darkness, on the other hand invokes the Devil, lies and hate. To the Orientals however, both are equally necessary as one cannot exist without the other.
The two poles of a magnet are North and South. These two poles create balance, they are not morally good or bad, but necessary ingredients of physics that compliment one another.
In fact all of life is a cyclical "good" and "bad." A building up and breaking down. Aren't the seasons this way? You have nature just beginning to bud, bloom and turn green in the Spring, going to full bloom in the summer. You have harvest of this bounty in the Autumn. The leaves on the trees are turning colors because of the lack of light from the sun they are receiving. They fall and die, the days get colder, going to the proverbial "death" or sleep of Winter. Only to have us begin the whole cycle again the next Spring.
All of life is a creation and and then a destruction of such. Birth and Death are examples we can all identify with.
Can "good" exist without "bad?" Absolutely not, how could you judge something to be good if you cannot compare it with something bad?
The same is true for all other concepts. Cold cannot exist without heat, short without tall, or large without small.
But our Western mind usually ignores these extremes and seeks always to find the "good" or the "bad." The Eastern mind is continually seeking both the "good" and the "bad" in order to find the balance between.
As a result they realize that one should not want to be overly good and righteous any more than one should strive to be overly bad. They know that the Middle Path is the key.
Brightest of Blessings,