The Persistence Of Evil
One of the most heart-wrenching stories was reported in the news recently. A young woman leaves her five-month old baby with her current boyfriend. A few hours later a call is made to 911 by the boyfriend. The terrified young man reports that the child has swallowed an object and although he was able to pry the object from the child’s throat, the child will not stop crying. The parademics arrive and inspect the interior of the child’s mouth and search deeper into its throat as far as they can possibly go without causing the child further discomfort. They are unable to determine whether the child’s pain is due to choking on the object or if the child is simply experiencing an elongated post traumatic stress fit. On further analysis it is found that the child is bleeding. In its vaginal area. The boyfriend has raped the underdeveloped, defenseless child and in his panic he brought the paramedics to this most heinous crime scene.
What is your reaction? Are you appalled? Angry? Disgusted? Vengeful?
Any reaction that you have to a narrative this dark is appropriate. This is not normal human behavior no matter how much research is gathered in an attempt to demonstrate that the human is by nature brutish, fiendish, pathological. So when something this perverse occurs part of us even faced with the reality still refuses to believe that someone could muster the pathology to carry out such an horrific act. It is not because we feel that through disbelief we can make this reality disappear; but we know at the most subtle part of our beings, the most undefiled part of ourselves that the marauders and the marquees strive to keep us from excavating, that this is not apart of the human curriculum. Something or a group of someones has hi-jacked the natural unfolding of all that we are, as the lotus flower strives to unfurl its resplendent petals, some agency has not only snipped its petals to keep it from full blossom, it has thought it amusing to drop its dung on the lotus flower also.
We may be assuring ourselves that this gentlemen is deserving of the death chair while at the same time caught in a crux: “this can’t be happening, people can’t be this evil, there is something terribly wrong with the human condition for someone to even consider this savagery in their minds, let alone act upon it.” We frantically try to find all these justifications for something that can’t be justified because it is not real humanity. Any one who has come across an abused, neglected, rabid animal can witness to the fact that the animal may be expressing hostile behavior but we can’t assume that because it seems ready to tear us to shreds that this is who the animal really is. As Robert Anton Wilson conveys in Quantum Psychology, the word “is” introduces so many metaphysical assumptions, and on top of that, it rules out infinite probabilities.
But if this animal, tortured by misabuse, and there are many factors that contribute to the quandary, attacks us or someone else, the first line in the book is to put the vicious, mangy thing to sleep. The aggression cannot be allowed to pass without vicious retribution. That someone knowingly and consciously took advantage of the weakest among us demonstrates his depravity. He should be made to have every source of light cast upon his evil deed and unrelentlessly reminded that he is made of the most despicable and filthy material on earth. Here and there, the crime leaves us all too aghast, our minds too disturbed, the malady far too atrocious to be reasoned away, and we must eliminate the pariah from our midst. Not because we are concerned about justice, but inwardly we are so bothered by this abject desperation in humanity because it may remind us of our own forays and foibles. Someone comes along and does something that society finds loathing and we can point our fingers outward. The rabid, vicious dogs of humanity get us off the hook. And it is always those with the most inner confliction that call out for the most extreme and cruel of punishments, that would hastily treat another human being like someone twisting the water out of a wet rag, twisting and torturing until what is human is completely wrung out. And what is accomplished simply makes the last worse than the first.
Does a person of this caliber, mentioned in the story above, brought to such a level that he would rape a baby even really know himself or understand what he is doing? I would beg to differ, and as controversial as it may sound, I would say that there is no way in hell that this person consciously understands his actions. If he’d really known himself than behavior such as this would be unheard of. I don’t believe that a society or organization full of people who have “met themselves” would be capable of committing their minds to such gruesome and disconcerting acts. David Watson writes in The Pathology Of Civilization:
“We reproduce catastrophe because we ourselves are traumatized – both as a species and individually, beginning at birth. Because we are wounded, we have put up psychic defenses against reality and have become so cut off from direct participation in the multidimensional wilderness in which we are embedded that all we can do is to navigate our way cautiously through a humanly designed day-to-day substitute world of symbols – a world of dollars, minutes, numbers, images and words that are constantly being manipulated to wring the most possible profit from every conceivable circumstance. The body and spirit both rebel.”
We live within a society full of people who have been systemically led away from realizing their wholeness. It seems that every force from outside of the self has arrayed an army of precision snipers to knock off any attempts at self-realization. They are crouched in covert areas with the “active mind” always in the sniper’s crosshairs. Education, advertisements, politics, religion, take your pick. There is embedded in every institution some hidden agenda to dehumanize the person, insinuate smallness and depression, and exploit the slightest sign of weakness and angst for the benefit of the institution. A phantom guilt is proppped up by a constant barrage of deceptive metaprogramming to tranquilize the person. The brutal campaign teaches them to embalm their guilt for preservation, they are commanded to pick and prod at their littleness and idolize their separation. No matter from which direction the onslaught comes from, its ultimate goal is to see to it that the human mind is limited by its own shame. There comes a point in time when it has been so infused with the messages of smallness, that it adopts them as truth, that it has been so sliced and diced by the butchers among us, that it accepts its fragmentation as natural.
Those who lean their shoulders against the grain are taught that to do so is an infraction. Many, never given the space to grow, to understand and conceive that there is something beyond the stars and stripes, bars and gates, grow weary with the game and turn upon themselves and then others. That it manifests into such ghastly accounts, no one wants to accept that it might have something to do with the bullshit that has been constructed around us, the arbitrary sphires and the styrofoam walls. Instead, we take the highroad and pretend to understand what needs to be done. I am unsure what the source is, it may be Tao or Hopi, but it is said that truth is known at three levels. That which we hear, that which we observe and that which we experience directly. When stories with such gall are conveyed to us as the story above, they are usually from a second-hand account, the first level of truth, that which we hear, and which is the most naive level to construct truth from. Regardless of what kind of reality it takes on for us personally, it remains hearsay because none of us, from a distance, having received information from an intermediary, can claim full knowledge. We could never state “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” because we do not possess the whole truth.
I only use this crime as the worst of cases. But even in those cases that are much more innocuous such as a person who is in possession of a controlled substance, we have been trained to rise up as administrative justices and call for the full force of law. The punishment inflicted often accomplishes more violence than the actual crime or infraction. Individuals of all levels of the totem pole are compelled to commit the violence of self-prosecution over and over again, long after our gavels have dropped. Keeping a person’s guilt ever before them, carving into their chest the flaming red scarlett letter narrated in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s book, is thought to deter further detestable behavior. It is habituated as a control mechanism but it produces no fruit beneficial to the criminal, nor to others. It reinforces instead the unreality that our true nature is inherently evil and we must brutalize it into subjugation. A curious thing always happens when the iron hammer of retributive justice is in place: there is no expulsion of crime from its dominating plane, it merely persists and grows.
Newton’s Law Of Motion tells us that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This mechanstic explanation of the world’s processes is the chosen manner for responding to events in the world. Often times, contrary to this law, the response is far more aggressive, far more evil, far more destructive than the initial event, the intitial action. We’ve seen this play out quite unfortunately in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Vietnam and Iraq. Those who perished in these conflicts have suffered casualties far greater than those who were being revenged. It is comparable to the ineffably insane idea pitched by Christianity that God would sentence his “defective” creation to an eternity of fire and brimstone for rejecting it during a lifespan that does not even register as a dot on an infinite time chart. The reaction is not equal, it is worse, it exceeds the magnitude of moral sensibility and principle. That the retribution has accomplished more damage than the precursor does not help in diminishing the previous evil. It is rather the prime aider and abetter of the evil’s promulgation.
It is a sadness to watch as the response only makes the initial seem par for the course and at the same time aggravates the initial reaction and makes it worse than it was before. When one “radical” or “insurgent” is killed, we do not succeed in snuffing their movement; instead others are incited to violence and more violence is needed to offset the increased violence that was only a response to our reacting violence. You get that? If you hit me, and I hit you back, than you will most likely try to match every act of defense, and if possible, to go beyond your necessity to truncate the force; the fight becomes more bloody, more brutal and as it becomes more violent, more cheating, callousness and calamity is produced. And because of it, we need more frequent and more potent doses in an attempt to restrain the persisting and growing evil. Not privy or too bloodthirsty for revenge to realize that we can’t heal or correct the world or people by the same processes that bring about destruction and division: coercion, force, fraud, uniformity, brutality, violence, lies, propaganda, willful and intentional distortion of education, blockading of our etheric sense, pillage, plunder and merciless behavior.
If the former was brutality why is the latter option always more brutality? We create an unbroken circle that perpetuates it. There are many people traumatized and debased by a very methodical plan to keep them operating at a low frequency. They will not be diverted by a plethora of rules and punishments. They will smirk as more decrees are nailed to the doors of the temple or typeset in the halls of parliaments. They will see the breaking of laws as necessary to alleviate their own inner torment. As they’ve lived with splintered idenitities, shame and rebuke, they feel they are deserving and the punishment for their infraction will be comforting. This can only be an expanding and constant pattern that succeeds in terrorizing our way of life rather than adding beauty to it.
It occurs in small exchanges such as gossip and slanderous banter and at worst it occurs in imprisoning men and women, murder and war. It is not my intent to say that these things have not sometimes been warranted but if it has any redeeming utility now, it is only because it exceeded its limits before and cultured a far more dangerous environment. And when those who govern overly rely on the rod of violence to conduct their business, the society that follows it will become more mendacious as a result. The expansion of violence will go on in an unhindered continuum.
John Von Neumann’s Catastrophe Of The Infinite Regress identifies our plight: it is “an attempt to solve a problem which re-introduced the same problem in the proposed solution. If one continues along the same lines, the initial problem will recur infinitely and will never be solved.” The search for security or the right blow to halt crime will be found to be the chief cause of insecurity and more crime. Whatever gets us out of the first snag or knot will also need a solution. In the search to weed out “terror” from our midst, the government has produced more terror and more trauma than the intitial terror. In order to help someone, we must keep them helpless and what better way than to build a theme park of fears around society so that we might always feel as if we cannot find safety in the world without a protector.
In my study of law, one of the concepts that has stood out the most is “accepted for value.” When someone is given a presentment which can be a number of things, a warrant, ticket, bill, etc., they have a few options. They can fight the presentment or ignore it and go into “dishonor”, because the act of resisting creates a controversy that must be resolved. Most lawyers know this but will guide their client into dishonor by battling the charge. The most feasible way for both parties is for the presentee to accept the presenter’s instrument as valuable. This closes the circle without creating extraneous controversy and both parties are free from debt or dishonor. The facts within the charge are recognized but the charge itself is deactivated. It is in effect a form of forgiveness without resorting to histrionics and theatre. By resisting the charge or claim we give energy to it and the process could go on ad infinitum, helping its propensity accrue.
If I could envision any society or association it would be a society based on “accepted for value”; that no matter how odd, strange, weird or deranged that each and every one would be accepted as valuable, that instead of expending resources on reductionism of the human and keeping them entranced by their imperfections, we would seek to see the human condition as whole, as it really is. This is how that which we classify as evil and malicious can be diffused in my book. Accepted for value is love, it is recognizing that beyond the facade and empires we have built around ourselves, out of fear and shame or for validation, that within is our true nature. Love is the only element with the force of life to deconstruct the lie that evil must persist and that we must go on paying alms to it, making more laws to regulate it, building more armies and bombs to vanguish it. In our cause to eradicate it, we do not automatically gain a moral high ground, but we ourselves certainly become more evil. The turnkey is the discovery of who we really are and that ours is not in the fight or the resistance, but in the awareness and the acceptance.
There are those walking among us now who have expanded their Roche Limit. An object within the Roche Limit can no longer sustain its own gravity and disintegrates. The tidal force breaks up the rules. Doesn’t love accomplish this? It may not have its own science but the ability of love to subvert the cause of evil is well known to the human condition. And subvert may be the wrong term; it moreso neutralizes evil. Evil loses its face and destroys its own self in the face of love. Love is like a mirror that reflects the evil back to itself but never takes upon the evil. Evil is not incurable, incorrigible and undefeatable. This is the mematic myth that has run far too many laps around the earth. And the supporting myth that more evil must be called upon to rid the earth of the first myth propagates this pernicous cycle. Love looks upon evil and says “I accept that it is” and the evil no longer is. True justice does not gamble society’s protections on the cruelest punishments and penalties; and true justice does not even attempt to reform the violater. Mankind does not need reformation. Mankind is in dire need of reconciliation, restitution and restoration. The institution that exacerbates crime by manufacturing more of it is no friend to humanity.