|Evil In The Nucleus|
|by David Eide||.|
I listened to one of these commonplace and brilliant scientists promote Star Wars (he was part of the operation). His reasons and analysis and explanation of the operation was concise and informative. But as I listened to him I suddenly got the feeling that, all in all, science has ruined this world. Science has placed civilization in the most precarious and untenable position ever and any amount of "protection", no matter how sophisticated, is simply a stop-gap measure. Only the brave ask the simple question, "when will it end? When are all of your systems and deadly weapons and war posturing going to end?" It is just a general question you throw out at no one in particular since, apparently, no one is to blame for the dilemma. A dilemma that forces a great change in human behavior. Those who are looking toward a technical solution of this problem have already been incinerated in a manner of speaking.
It has initiated another age of superstition, another age dominated by fear. That is, when the good instinct of human beings is repressed and driven down into the unconscious by the overwhelming dilemma that exists. And then the bad, evil instincts rise up to take command. And when this happens there is a general retreat behind institutions. Personal freedom in its most profound sense becomes superfluous since that freedom abuts against the great dilemma at some point and will divest itself of freedom before it confronts the dilemma again.
Men are not reasonable when on the one hand they are crushed by fear and complexity, and on the other hand driven by fierce ideology.
In reflection it is fairly easy to see the evil produced by the world. Reflection can produce an overwhelming sense of evil on the grand scale; evil of self, of society, of the age. The mind must progress. If you simply dismiss it the evil is always there, around the next corner, leaping out at the next inopportune moment. If you surrender to it then the evil is exacerbated.
There is a difference between rational and rationalizing. I don't see what is enlightened about a scientist attempting to convince me that nuclear weapons are a "necessary evil" because "that's the way the world is." The scientist in this regard has used up his rational thought in his role of scientist and so is withered at the vine when it comes to such realities as nuclear war, nation-state systems and so forth. Two phenomena that owe their existence to science. So the scientist is saying, "The reality produced out of science cannot be altered" This does not seem rational. It is as though the particular scientist has become exhausted by the very nature he attempts to understand and subdue.
This irony has given rise to many thoughts.
With this thought comes another. How does one learn about evil? How does one come to know evil? As a social creature he can only know an evil through the acts of others which produce events. So the media becomes the transmitter of evil. And what does the mind "go through" when perceiving this evil that is several removes from the experience of the person? For one it "relieves" the person of the guilt himself. After all he isn't doing the evil, he is not even directly experiencing the evil. The media is experiencing the evil and passing it on.
But in his personal life, as a man, what happens when he intimates an evil that exists in himself that correlates with the evil that exists on a dramatic scale? "Well", he rationalizes, "my little evil means very little in comparison to that great evil that I see in the media." But where else did that great evil he is observing begin but in the small acts of evil enacted in little individual acts? "Ah well, if we must have evil let it be on the grand scale, then I will give that grand scale meaning. I will interpret that grand scale and bring it down to myself and give it meaning in one shape or another. The evil of telling lies not enough? Then here are nuclear weapons!"
Any doubt or disillusionment that I have experienced has been as a result of this attempt on the part of men and women to interpret and comprehend evil on the grand scale. It must be done and yet it is done so feebly that after a while one cheers for the evil. Tongue in cheek of course.
In fact, disillusionment with the great society itself can be located in that gap that appears between the experience of evil, the instinct that the being has for evil and the way it is interpreted, comprehended, and repressed by the society on which that evil is constantly playing.
That is distinguishing between two perceptions. My perception of evil as an individual person and the perception I have of the whole which I can sense, which shifts and changes quite a bit. Moralism itself is a kind of disease. When moralism takes over then you see the good itself crashing against the rocks attempting to break the correct categories of moralism and then you get the professional moralists who usually make vast sums of money dispensing their fraudulent "good news."
This is what the social creature experiences at any rate.
The individual person is capable of the highest good. That is a general starting point. Then he is in relation to the family which produced him. The possibilities of the "highest good." become lessened in some ways, strengthened in other ways. Then he is in relation to communities; communities of school, of work, of recreation. As the individual goes through these various things he is rewarded for his sense of the "highest good." Yet, if he gets too far removed he begins to see everything outside of himself as darkness if not out and out evil. And so arises the desire to identify with that which appears, not simply good, but strong as well. Thus, "nation", thus "party", thus "religion" etc . And when these categories are criticized people take it as an attack on their sense of the highest good and attribute that criticism to evil itself or some source of evil whether communism or fascism or conservatism or liberalism. When the emotions are involved they create their own necessities and, even, worlds.
Good is then what generates and promotes some approximation of a perceived perfection. These are general notions. Perfection means that which cannot go beyond itself, that which is the thing itself, that which is utterly self-sufficient. "Perceived" meaning that experience teaches there are various forms of perfection. That there are other ways of perceiving perfection than my own but I have to believe that my perception is as valid as any other. It is the one I see. It is the one I embrace. "Approximation" meaning that I have recourse to forms of measuring how close or how far I am from that perceived perfection. That is the good. And when I see the good being produced or recognize it in others it brings out of myself more desire for the good. Religion has been the traditional resource for this. It is not the only source. And often religion produces not-so-good, so there is that quandary.
The problem with evil is that it is always present when the mind is demoralized. This is why I disagree with those foolish individuals who assume that evil is simply a concept of former ages. Evil may be more prevalent in this time for the very reason that it is as imageless and as ineffable as God. There's no coincidence between the intensity of religious belief and the demoralizing circumstances that individuals and groups live under.
And the intellect is right in pointing out that the individuals and groups who live in demoralized circumstances are historical remnants and are far more the common history of the human race than the sophisticated urban dweller or the suburbanite. One can see that if the tribe or society were "ruralized", overwhelmingly poor, and yet with the intelligence, creativity, sensibility that is part of actual communities then one could see who and why religions would become so sophisticated themselves.
These days' religion is a buyer's market accommodating a variety of activities within it, acknowledging the will of advanced societies to create as much prosperity as possible. It competes with secular and philosophical beliefs. It exists in a world in which the Absolute is a scorned precept and yet bows to the wisdom of the moral or value systems of religion. Sometimes it attempts to merge with these things to organize the popular will.
I think many people have come to the conclusion that while religion is important it is important as a messenger between God and the populace for that period of time that the populace wants the message.
But, "religion" is essentially personal. It is always, "what do you actually believe, being as specific as possible?"
The terrible question to raise is that perhaps there is no more room for improvement in human beings. There obviously is but not enough to survive the demands which are put on the human being to sustain technology and gargantuan nation-states. It may be true that "improvement' is simply a measuring stick of how far the modern individual has fallen rather than a positive striving toward a future goal. I don't think so mainly because I think what has been created is so revolutionary in nature, the opportunities and terrors so vast that a great change in human nature is going to occur. That calls for alertness- calls for knowledge--calls for wisdom and experience. Calls on that painful ability to see illusion when it is leering at one.
It most certainly does not mean, everything prior to is bad, everything now is good.
There is certainly a vast amount of confusion about the various directions humanity can go. Intricate and emotional systems appear which organize the mind a particular direction under the impetus of an Idea, even an Ideal. I've touched a little bit in each one: Marxism, 'psychology' Christianity, 'New Age', Capitalism.
Several observations about each, similarities at any rate: They all have Reputations. They all are buttressed by Adherents and Complex Arguments. They crush the Spirit even while enlivening the intellect from time to time. They Lie about themselves quite frequently. They are willing to trump up any number of reasons to kill adherents of another organizing principle. Once successful they attempt to make everyone and everything dependent on them. It makes you wonder why anyone of good sense would give their energies over to any of it. You would think that if human nature were "improving", if it were increasing its abilities and so on that it would have no more need for these huge empires of idea, body, machines and so on.
It's interesting that I began with a little blip on evil and end up writing a little blip on the major organizing principles in this particular world.
I do see the source of evil coming from these things. It's not absolutely or automatic. These organizing principles are adaptable, fluid at times, and dynamic. Generally, good people have some involvement in them. Nonetheless, all of them have been instruments of evil.
I connect evil with these things since one of the aspects of their organized principle is the demoralization of the mind since the mind cannot possibly contradict the organized principle that holds it in thrall. It simply becomes reality. And you add to that the common features of the environment which depress and demoralize the spirit. It can be very tenuous at times.
© 2014 David Eide. All rights reserved.