Friday, March 29, 2013

Ask Me Anything: Evil

This? This is Baphomet.
He is known by many names and is NOT evil.
I was recently asked by a reader to explain how I think about the nature of evil. This came on the heels of an interesting Facebook discussion on a fellow blogger's page about the same subject. So I have been mulling it over.

I do not believe evil is a force of its own in the world- like the way many Christians see "the devil" or the way many prefer to label those that murder, rape or commit acts of atrocity. It is never so simple or easy. The truth is much more awkward and uncomfortable. The scary fact is, we are ALL capable of horror- and it is up to us to cultivate ethics and compassion in ourselves and others as a culture to prevent such terrible acts. It is easy and convenient to distance yourself from acts of "evil" that others do- and I am sure it makes folks sleep better at night to do so.

Most things we tend to classify as "evil" tend to fall into two camps: 1. things that we are frightened of and do not understand and 2. disconnected beings who commit great atrocities.

Camp Number One:
There are entities that I have encountered out there who are not exactly fun "love and light" beings. I would become their snack if they had their way. Some cultures and religions call them demons or other similar names.

Does that make them evil? No. It makes them predators.

Do we villianize lions, orcas, or preying mantis' for their actions in the world? Of course not. That is because we understand their place in the world and have taken pains to remove ourselves (for the most part) from their predations. The same is true for "demons" or whatever you want to call them. I am sure that they have a role to play, we simply do not understand it. Does that make them any less scary? Hell no. Will I ward, blast, and defend myself and mine from them. Oh you betcha.

Camp Number Two:
People who commit mass murders and torture others and rape fall into that second category- and frankly, those people scare me more than the things that go bump in the night. Because a disconnected person is dangerous. They have no empathy, no conscience. They can do great evil because of their disconnection, and it is very hard, if not impossible, to connect someone like that to the All-There-Is. This effect is sadly contagious- and many disconnected people together can cause wars, genocide and more. And this disconnection is our fault- not just theirs. We all create culture together- and we are only as strong, compassionate, and affluent as the weakest, alienated, poor person in our society.

How do you see evil? How do we overcome it?


  1. I don't believe in "evil" as a force either. Evil acts are done by humans, but "evil" didn't make them do it, they chose to.

  2. Ah, LOVELY! I agree on many points; the others, I have to 'chew' on. Thank you!


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