Unless you’re relatively lucky and you live in a personal bubble, you’ve undoubtably noticed that the world is, by and large, a pretty shitty place. Unspeakably bad things happen to people (and animals) all the time, and seemingly at least half the time it’s at the hands of other people.
The typical reaction to this seems to be to think of the perpetrators of these crimes as being “evil” people, with some being more evil than others on a kind of broad scale of evil. Evil (whatever that is), with all the disgust and condemnation it occasions, is thought to fully and singlehandedly account for those people’s actions.
But the truth of the matter is that everyone is ultimately innocent. Whatever evil we commit or become, there are reasons for it. It’s cause and effect. And we’re all ultimately one being. This is why love exists—we see ourselves in others, the divine spark, and we realize, probably on a liminal level, that their pain is our pain, and their joy is our joy. All of us being ultimately one being means that the so-called evil person is you, doing exactly what you would do if you lived in their shoes in every respect, with the possible exception of totally random decisions.
(Here are some essays of mine expounding more on the concept that everybody is ultimately innocent:
To be fair, it may be spiritually healthy and appropriate to regard at least some things as evil (In Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch, God says that, although evil is wholly in the eye of the beholder, to see nothing as evil would be the greatest evil of all), but that regarding doesn’t have to come with disdain and condemnation—just caution and reservation.
Anyway, the fact that there are reasons people become or do evil, and the fact that people inflict damage on each other all the time—sometimes extreme damage, whether psychic or physical, sometimes prolonged or repeated damage, and sometimes during formative years—seem to imply that, for the most part, evil is damage that gets passed from person to person in an ongoing cycle. Sometimes one or more individuals make someone evil, sometimes it’s the pathologies of the society they live in, sometimes it’s genetic, and seemingly sometimes it’s none of the above—but in those times it’s probably the case that they carried their evil with them from a past life or lives, and that evil was the result of some affliction at that earlier time.
I read once that “all attack is a call for help,” and sometime later I realized it was no coincidence that the attacks on the world trade center and the pentagon were done on 9/11, viz. 9-1-1.
The point I’m getting at here is that, for those who are relatively unafflicted, evil, mentally ill, just plain weird, or even homeless people are regarded with disgust and reflexively retracted from and avoided, since wholly accepting their existence would be too disturbing and puncturing o one’s limited (and fragile) worldview, and sometimes they’re bullied or retaliated against—including via the legal justice system.
It seems it would be more beneficial if we saw humankind (or actually, all beings) as one large organism, and accepted the darkness, the pain, the ugliness and the scary distortions of those we would normally reflexively antagonize.
Those who are themselves deeply hurt often, or usually, have a greater appreciation for and compassion for the plights of others; those who are weird have a greater acceptance of others who are weird; those who are homeless are more friendly with other homeless people; etc.; and those who aren’t thusly afflicted usually don’t even know that it would behoove everybody if they were to broaden their horizons, so it would seem that lashing out against the ill or otherwise non grata could be considered a form of killing the messenger.
We have a lot of growing to do as a species, many steps to ascend, many hurdles to overcome on our way to utopia. Utopia may seem impossible because no technology or system of governance or other effort has yet to bring it about, but the fact is that utopia will not and cannot be effected by any government or technology. It can only come with a profound change in culture, such that people no longer act primarily for themselves and are accepting of and compassionate for all kinds of people.
We also must learn to live in harmony with and connected with the nature/the environment for utopia to be possible, but that’s an entirely different subject. 😊
(This has been a complete rewrite of an earlier version of this text, which is a lot more clumsy and awkward, which can be found here if you really want to see it: http://ratemyidea.net/book/rough%20drafts%20&%20notes/911.html)