Friday, April 21, 2006

Never bet the devil your head



I looked the devil squarely in the eye
And saw myself...

This article will explore the realm of evil in myth, religion, philosophy, psychology and science, and specifically whether or not evil can be defined straight across the board. While many assert, that evil, as a basic moral issue, is always an objective thing that can only (like beauty), be defined as such by the beholder, others believe that evil is a palpable thing that exists whether you believe in it or not. However, what I found fascinating, was how many people turned away from any dialogue on evil, preferring rather to remain mute on the subject, believing it to be too objectionable or even dangerous to entertain, in either thought or conversation. Superstition is alive and well in our modern world.

How do we approach the subject of evil, or set in motion a discussion on the belief or disbelief in the Devil, without getting our under shorts all in a bunch? I don't really think we can, nor do I care to be so complacent on such a touchy subject as evil. We'll just have to venture bravely into that not so good night and try not to be disrespectful of others convictions or fears.

Does such an entity as the Devil exist, or is it only a myth, invented by organized religions, and used to protect social mores and act as a prophylactic against religious taboos? (There's an irony there I just know it). Is the modern belief in a tangible devil just the ranting of some fervently (whacked out) religious folk, who've been swept up in the dogmatic doggerel of the moment? After all exorcism is alive and well in the 21rst century, and even seems to be on the up swing. How do we explain this queer rise in church exorcisms?

If evil truly exists incarnate as "the Devil", what does it look like; does it sport horns and a trident tail and go tippy-tippy-tap around on hoofed feet? Or is the face of evil so benign in appearance, that it merely mirrors you and me. Our reflection in the glass is our perfect opposite image, and it calls to us brilliantly when we catch a glimpse of ourselves in the silver sheet.
Is the fascination with an opposite image really just an exploration of our own dark side, a flirtation as it were with the evil that lives within ourselves (the true exercise of free will)?

I believe that true evil is narcissistic in nature, and moronically infantile, in its quest to sate itself. It favors the twilight of half-truths, preferring to hide itself in lies behind a shimmering veil of pretty stories and soft lighting (and there isn't a girl alive, who hasn't met him in one form or another).

As to one who lives in the twighlight of lies, all I can say is that he (or she) is a manipulator, a deceiver and a fool. Perhaps the person he is most adept at deceiving is himself, and he will lay waste to anyone (consequences be damned) who dares to expose their untruths, for he will protect his lies as feircely as a lioness with her cubs when threatened by the truth.
Yet he does the most harm to those who offer to be of good service to him either by lending a helping hand, protection, or (god forbid) love. Being narcissistic in nature, these selfless gifts of friendship can never truly be appreciated, let alone reciprocated. Their motto seems to be: if your stupid enough to have fallen for my pretty fantasy (ie. pack of lies), and have given me everything I want for nothing (being unable to recognize that giving out of love or the goodness of your heart has any worth), then you, as an idiot*, deserve nothing.
When they are through with you (that is, when the jig is up and you have finally had enough of their self absorbed shenanigans), they simply kick you're empty shell out of the way, exclaiming "Next" and go on with their wickedly selfish path.
Responsibility is not their cup of tea, so unless blue is you're color, don't hold you're breath waiting for them to smack their forhead and have an inlightening "V8" epiphany anytime soon. They don't even know "they done you wrong" nor would they care if they did, an apology for their appalling behavior will not be forthcoming (and even if moribund, it is unlikely to ever happen).
At this point you may be thinking that I am merely on the rant about an old flame that burned me (and I very well could be), however I was really thinking more globally about this sort of behavior. Consider the actions of big company's like Enron for instance, didn't they whisper sweet nothings into the ear's of their shareholders and employee's lulling them into believing that their future was secure, before sticking it to em'? Or how about some of our politions, who shall remain nameless on this blog ( for now), I don't know about you but I like to get kissed first before I get...nope, gonna keep it clean (but my poor butt). In any case It is the very selfishness and short sightedness that comes with this behavior that I find wicked and stupid. After all, in the end they have only really succeeded in shooting themselves in the foot (and giving the rest of us hemorhiods).

I get a nervous tic in my right eye now when the subject of "evil, real or not" comes up. A buddy of mine who I consider to be an intelligent and decent human being, insists on (when the question of evil comes up) dismissing it out of hand as being a purely moral issue, and as such, merely an objective personal sort of thingy, that only exists in the mind of whomever has been touched by "it", It being evil (whatever it may be). He is not alone, many of the people I questioned on this subject were of that mind.
This I found disturbing , which of course it brought me to thoughts of Hollywood (which I always find disturbing) and the movies.
I love movies, and I frequently steal lines from the ones I like best ("It puts the lotion on it's skin..."). My favorite line from the movie 'The Usual Suspects' has the character of Verbal say, "The greatest trick the Devil played, was to convince the world that he doesn't exist". I know it's only a movie, but this struck a deep chord of truth in me (and it gave me the willies).
So has the devil done a fine job of convincing the world he doesn't exist; or does he just not exist?
*Of course, the "fool me once" adage works here, so I hope this isn't just a bad habit of yours to keep picking these nasties to hang out with...
Coming next: Science on the subject

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