Facing Great Evil

Evil can take various shapes, but it is best summed up as the opposite of the golden rule which states that one should do unto others what one desires them to do to you. We want to be treated with empathy and understanding, and so we should treat others like that. The opposite of this is to harm other people.

So evil essentially consists of doing damage to other people, whether intentional or not. Intentions are interesting. If we accidently harm other people, we tend to think of it as less evil, and it is because intentions do matter. The worst atrocities are planned carefully and executed in cold blod, which means that the perpetrators knew that their acts would severely harm other people.

Great evil is overwhelming, especially when it impacts ourselves or somebody close to us. This is why the United States can invade the Middle East with seemingly no resistance from its own population. And lets be clear. War is always evil. But since Pashtun Afghans are so completely different in both culture and outer appearance from us, we have a hard time extending our empathy towards them.

Our reaction would be entirely different if they “accidently” bombed our own neighberhoods with napalm or shot everybody up at a wedding because they were suspected to be Taliban recruits. And in this way our politicians can easily manipulate and control our perception of events.

But facing evil is stifling. It leaves you terrified. It tears a hole in our hearts and leaves us damaged, and there is no cure for this. We are told to be courageous, but what does courage mean in a world where the most degenerate terrorism has become everyday-news? We are told the world has improved. That progress has been made.

But has it really? I doubt it, because the game is played the way the game was always played. Some might look to our Western, Democratic leaders for their ideological liberalism and humanism (which on the surface level have some great elements in them), but I would say that most of them, if not all, are outright hypocrites.

But let’s not spend to much time with these senseless people. My intention with writing this blog post is to find a way to conciliate ourselves (or myself, at least) with living in a world of profound evil.

Perhaps it cannot really be done. These events they do shatter us, and leaves us hopeless and destroyed. So we necessarily have to feel the effects. There’s no way around it. And we are carried down a fast-flowing river with nothing to hold on to.

There’s no way of justifying these acts, in the sense of reconciling oneself with it. I think the best we can do is to grief when grief is necessary, and the older I grow, I must admit that I am grieving more and more each day. Some might call this experience and wisdom, but then wisdom is wicked indeed.

The sun always rises. It does not reconceile us. But we must not forget that we too have a foolish part in us that are able to trust others, despite our frequent betrayels. There is a return to happiness. And yes, I do consider happiness to be a foolish state here on Earth, because human society is a massacra.

But there are too serene joy, where the burden is lifted, for a short while anyways. And we must hold on to these episodes, so as not to become mad with fear.

Sometimes we are simple and happy, yet not reconciled.

About Emil Hjort

Writer, poet and mysticist.
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