I was 10 year old and I stood in my grandmother’s living room when I last believed that things would be okay. My aunt was checking on me, seeing if I was up to the challenges ahead of us. I said that I understood that the future would be difficult, but that “good would prevail” at the very end. That things were going to be okay.
24 hours later, I learned that things were not so simple, as I stood crying for all my little worth in my father’s embrace, after being told that my mother was now dead and I’d have to grow up without her. The ground shook and cracked and I fell, and beneath me, I saw hell opening in anticipation for the world to descend.
I have since lost my belief that ‘good’ and ‘bad’, or ‘evil’ if you will, are higher forces that exist on a higher level than our own conscience. Where before I found hope in the idea that there was a higher force driving us towards the everlasting happy end, I now recognize it for what it is: A good chunk of wishful thinking, made believable by the desperation of a mother’s child.
What dogmas like karma, deities,cults and religious indoctrination have in common is that they claim there to be a higher ethical rule which they happen to have been told in a vision or some such. Visions that, if you trace them back to the root, turn out to be the illusions of a madman. Every single time. Never is it based on undeniable fact, because in every single case, the practitioners of said belief, are plainly and simply, dead wrong.
What I went through as a child was traumatizing and colored my view on the world, I realize that. But at least in my case, there was no one to blame, nobody who was responsible. Unlike millions upon millions of children of the exact same age, who came before and after me, my mother was not murdered in some crime upon what little humanity this concerns. And yet, in the overwhelming majority of these cases, no criminal was punished any more than in mine.
My point is, that people commit the most despicable of acts and get to walk away. In fact, most of them actually benefit from the things they do. Sure, we westerners often catch the culprit and put him to justice, but in a bigger perspective, they only represent the slightest of minorities if you put them all together.
This has actually lead me to believe that evil is, in fact, stronger than the good in people. Put an ultimately violent person in a room with an extremely loving one, and no matter how much you want to believe that the latter surely manages to warm the heart of the former, I can guarantee you that Mr Big Heart will just end up dead.
Evil has many different faces than violence, of course. Every time someone is treated unfairly, every time an undeserving individual is excluded, bigoted, mocked, you name it, a tendril shows that, if you trace it back through space and time, connects to a larger entity with a power you should do well to be terrified of.
Ironically, letting go of my preconceived ideas on good and evil had helped me to deal with this fact. Once you realize that good and evil can exist without consequence, things become clearer. There is no balance that keeps things in check, no karma that punishes evildoers. The evil generally just get rich and the good kind of get stuck underneath a higher middle-class ceiling. If you disagree, I challenge you to build a company the size of Coca-Cola, Nestlé or Monsanto without jumping a few ethical borders.
People ask, “how can this be?” as if they are waiting for Zeus, God or the Flying Spaghetti Monster to come down from the heavens to strike them down but none of them does because none of them happen to exist. Passively, they watch expecting things to get better as if they ever do. But once you get to see that this just happens to be the way things are and there will be no consequence, you might open your eyes to the fact that if you want change, you’ll have to force it.
I got to understand that my mother’s passing was not a bad event, because no other human was involved in her death so no crime was committed. There was no evil there. It was just how nature works, like a cat playing with a suffering mouse or a parasite eating a ladybug from the inside.
Good and evil are purely human constructs and that’s a good thing because if we hadn’t been striving towards the good as individuals, we probably wouldn’t be sitting here. With enough bombs in place to destroy the world many times over, it’s probably beneficial for us to have some sense of morality keeping us from doing so.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t strive to be good people. I’m saying that we should open our eyes to the power of the bad people. The people that we put in charge. The ones who run the banks. The ones with the bombs, with the guns, with the money, with the power over other people’s lives and the lack of moral compass not to pull the trigger if it happened to be momentarily profitable for them.
They will do it, and no one will punish them for it. Good will not prevail. Bombs will rain down and children’s mothers will die and no one will be punished for it. We westerners, we think we are the paladins of the world but look at us, our resolve crumbling at the first challenge, reaching for hatred and intolerance at the first chance we get. Evil has always been a part of our world but only lately has it condensed to such a pure form that we can almost pinpoint exactly where the bad in all of us comes together and undermines our own existence.
Only lately has it become so successful, so good at what it does. It feeds itself and grows to proportions never seen before.
And people sit and shut their eyes to what is happening, incapable of believing that it could happen, without consequence, that the end will not be a happy one. And the ground shakes, and cracks, and if you will open your god damned eyes and look down, you will see hell awaiting us.
When we fall, no one will catch us. Not God. Not Karma. Not the Flying Spaghetti Monster, although He is probably the most likely to exist after all.