Is Virtue A State Of War?

Virtue is a state of war, and to live in it we have always to do combat with ourselves.

— Jean-Jacques Rousseau

There is in  a discussion in Jewish Theology that God creates two types of beings. Each type is exemplified in the biblical histories  of   the brothers yin-and-yang-1947878_1280
Isaac and Ishmael  and Jacob and Esau.  The following is my view of this discussion.

In the first case,  the father, Abraham, had been an idol worshiper in the home of an Idol seller.  Though Abraham broke free of Idol worship it might be understandable that one of his children, who was born to a mother who was a princess from a land of idol worshipers, Haggar,  would have an evil inclination that he must deal with,  Ishmael.

In the second case, Esau is the son of two holy beings,  Isaac and Rebecca. You would not expect here to find a child with evil inclinations, reared in such a holy home.  Yet there must be an explanation for Esau.

A Jewish viewpoint is that each of the holy brothers represents the perfect man on Earth (Isaac and Jacob).  This perfection is inborn and it is expressed in lifestyle.

I believe that these people are seen throughout history  in different forms and they serve to inspire and motivate us to excellence.  However,  should the world be full of them, there would be no reason for it to exist as it would be perfection.  A world full of  good Angels would have  no to reason to exist or strive towards perfection,  it would be perfect. Would we even know this however?  If the world were full of perfection, would it fade from existence much like a the sense of warmth fades in a hot bath as we become aware of no other surrounding (change)?

It then appears that God creates children like Ishmael and Esau for another reason.  This reason is to give mankind a battle to fight,  a battle to fight within each man’s heart.  The evil inclination,  the temptation,  must be overcome and this is expressed in the physical world,  our reality.

A Jewish view of the world is that God created it but left it unfinished.  We were told to leave paradise and labor to create a world more perfect and more deserving of God’s presence.   We are in a way Co-Creators with God.

Could we eliminate the evil being and have a better world? Does one example of creation deserve greater merit?   The evil inclined who overcomes his evil or the perfect one who lives the example?  Both are needed apparently for the purpose of creation.  Both can be of value to society and the perfection of our world. In my exploration of reality, via Janr Ssor’s experiences, I frequently come back upon the mystical teaching that all existence is nothing but energy.  Energy is always a sine wave of positive and negative. With this in mind, it appears that both sides of creation will be with us throughout history.