Phil's Philosophy

Mind Meanderings of an Alchemist

Tag: Fear

Introducing Three Degrees of Evil

“The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance.” ~ Socrates

Good versus Evil

A typical setting where good and evil are all too familiar household concepts is offered by religion: God versus the devil, believers versus heretics … . But it does not end there. As the above quote demonstrates, the Greek sages apparently did not shy away from using it either.

So how generally applicable are the terms good and evil?

Good, virtuousness or righteousness versus evil, viciousness or unrighteousness are two diametrically opposed qualifiers used for morally judging an action committed by some intelligently- and willfully operating agent (e.g. a human being, or “God”). To say that some act is good is to voice approval and encouragement of that act, whereas to say that some act is evil, voices disapproval and condemnation. The judgment labels good and evil can however be affixed relative to some moral framework deemed applicable. For example, some religiously defined moral frameworks consider it good to stone women to death as a proper punishment for adultery or even rape. Some systems of morality consider is good to persecute entire peoples that that system deems undesirable at best and detrimental at worst. Likewise some moral systems consider it evil to allow women to enjoy equal rights as men, whereas other moral standards generally considers it good that women are allowed equal rights and equal status relative to men. In other words, what is consider good for some moral standards may very well be considered evil in others, and vice versa.

This article is not about moral relativism however. I believe that treating one’s fellow human being disrespectfully and harmfully constitutes universal evil whereas treating them with kindness and respect constitutes universal good. In order to have universal applicability, a universal morality must incorporate the service to universal human rights, rights that are to be upheld irrespective of race, creed, gender, political preference, sexual orientation, income bracket etc. This means that a universal moral standard necessarily has to be independent of any and all of the existing and possibly competing moral standards, whether they be religious or secular.

This article is about identifying three distinct classes or degrees of evil, judged according to a universal moral standard.

Chemtrails – the practice of spraying toxic chemicals over us, yet not even having the decency of calling it rain.

Can Nature be Evil?

Just a quick note on the causative agents of evil. I am implicitly referring to evil perpetrated by human agents. But more generally, I could have referred to evil being perpetrated by intelligent agents, not necessarily human. It is important to recognise that evil can only be committed by intelligent agents. The idea that evil can be committed by natural agents is fallacious.

“Cloud seeding” – a weather modification technique.

Can natural disasters be called evil? No. It is meaningless to ascribe evil to their causes unless there’s an intelligent agent behind their expression. It’s quite well-known that today the weather can be technologically modified and it’s been widely speculated that HAARP installations may trigger earthquakes and tsunamis. And then there’s another controversial phenomenon known as chemtrails, in which military aircraft release a multitude of poisonous chemicals in order to supposedly modify the weather and supposedly offset the effects of Global Warming. In these instances, whenever there’s an intelligent operator behind artificially induced “natural” disasters or acts of “weather modification” that inflict harm or cause material damage, the operators behind them can indeed be held culpable and their actions are to be branded as evil.

Lightnings are not evil…

But when these disasters are entirely natural, it makes no sense to attribute evil to them. For example, when a lightning strikes your neighbor dead, you cannot sue the cloud or clouds “responsible” for issuing that fatal lightning. When an earthquake hits and claims scores of lives and does untold damage you cannot hold the involved tectonic plates responsible for any sustained losses.

Likewise when someone dies by a gunshot-wound, you cannot hold the death-precipitating bullet responsible. You cannot even pin the sustained death on the gun that fired it. No, it’s the person who willfully aimed and fired the gun who you should be looking for. Bullets don’t have the will or power to kill people, guns don’t have the will or power to kill people. No, it’s people who have the will and power to kill people. Bullets, guns, cannons, poisons, etc. are only the means to carry out acts of killing. The killer, or perpetrator of evil in general, is never a thing, or nature, it’s always an intelligent agent, intentionally acting to either inflict harm or to assist another agent in doing so.

Hitler at a Neuremberg rally.

Does Evil Equate to Ignorance?

Does evil simply equate to ignorance as Socrates would have us believe when he uttered the phrase mentioned up above?

I for one, do not think so. To argue against Socrates, let’s focus on the “only evil is ignorance” part. Consider mentally challenged people: mongoloids, retards, imbeciles, and the like. Surely they can be regarded as being ignorant. Would Socrates then regard these people to also be evil people?

Consider next the following thought experiment. Say a leader with great political skills arrives on the scene and manages to become the head of a powerful nation or empire. Unfortunately however, he also turns out to be a very authoritative and ruthless leader, holding sway over his people with a rod of iron. After a period of successful rulership, it so happens that the mental health of the leader starts to deteriorate. But since the people, including the staff, are too afraid to intervene and seize control through a coup d’état, they grudgingly but cowardly allow the leader to deteriorate into a sure state of mental retardation. And because of his newly gained mental deficit, his ability to make rational and just decisions is of course severely compromised. An unavoidable consequence is that under his now troubled command a lot of poor decisions are made and because of it a lot of his people die and suffer. So here now we have a leader who is both ignorant (because of the infirmity of his mental condition) but who nevertheless, also retains the capacity to act with (political) power.

Is it proper to call ignorance, while lacking the power to act, evil? I don’t think so. Ignorance combined with a complete denial of the power to act, as exemplified by a mute and paraplegic mongoloid, equates to practical harmlessness and so it would be improper to attribute evil to them. Moreover, to persecute certain people considered evil, when they actually do harm to no-one, is itself an act of injustice. Indeed it is an evil act. Think for example of the grave violations of human rights that transpired in Nazi Germany when the mentally infirm were subjected to so-called mercy killings (“euthanasia”) under scientifically bogus eugenics programs.

Therefore it is proper to only speak of evil if and only if ignorance is coupled with the power to act.

But even then, not all harmful acts could deservingly be called evil. It is the nature of intention that is also a determinant. If an act is motivated by a deliberate intention to cause harm, then the act clearly and rightfully can be called evil. If there is no such intention but indeed harm is unintentionally or accidentally inflicted, it would not be righteous to attribute evil to what then proves to be but an unfortunate act of misadventure.

H. L. Mencken, American writer.

“It is a sin to believe evil of others, but it is seldom a mistake.” ~ H. L. Mencken
“Everyone who is not understanding that man produces evil as a bee produces honey must be blind or wrong in his head.” ~ William Golding
“Good can imagine Evil, but Evil cannot imagine Good.” ~ W. H. Auden, A Certain World

Three Degrees of Evil

I hope to have demonstrated that the equation of evil to ignorance is not justified, yielding at best an inadequate definition. A proper definition of evil has to incorporate intention as well as the power to act.

Keeping in mind the preceding considerations, I suggest the following three-pronged definition of evil.

Nazi soldier shooting a woman and child.

“We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell.” ~ Oscar Wilde

1.Evil by Intent

An individual or organisation commits first degree evil, if that individual or organisation intentionally inflicts harm to another individual or organisation.

Examples: murder; theft; deliberately promulgating falsehoods; persecution of people, e.g. eugenics; hurtful discrimination on the sole basis of race, gender, income bracket, etc.; war; voluntary support of governments or companies that are responsible for first degree evil.

It may be fortuitous to distinguish between various orders of severity, as first degree evil committed by children by and large is not as severe as that committed by adults. Moreover, the severity of a genocide blots out that of one single murder, although of course any single life should never be undervalued. So one could introduce three sub-degrees: junior, senior and major. Where the junior sub-degree refers to evil committed that has no lasting or traumatic effects on the victims, e.g. kids harassing other kids. The senior sub-degree designates the act of inflicting of traumatic evil on 1 to 10 people, e.g. rape of a woman or murder of a person. One speaks of major 1st degree evil when more than 10 people are traumatised one way or another, e.g. a genocide or war.

The Franciscan Order supported the Catholic Ustashe regime and insofar as they were unwitting of the crimes perpetrated by the Ustashes they were guilty of committing 2nd degree evil. Surrounded by monks, in the middle stands Ante Pavelic, leader of the brutal Croatian Ustashes.

“It is always good men who do the most harm in the world.” ~ Henry Brooks Adam

2.Evil by Unwitting Complicity

An individual or organisation commits second degree evil, if that individual or organisation supports another individual or organisation committing first degree evil in such a way that the former is not aware the latter does so.

Examples: unwitting officials/bureaucrats of governments engaged in committing first degree evil; unwitting employees of companies that are more-or-less secretly engaged in committing first degree evil.

Letting people starve to death is an example of 3rd degree evil.

“He who does not punish evil, commands it to be done.” ~ Leonardo Da Vinci
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” ~ Edmund Burke

3.Evil by Apathetic Witnessing

An individual or organisation commits third degree evil, if that individual or organisation is a witness to an act of first or second degree evil but chooses to not intervene.

Examples: bystanders witnessing people suffer and/or die (through rape, murder, starvation etc.) and choose to walk away without coming to rescue in whatever way available, e.g. by calling the police or provide food and shelter; witnessing corporate crime/corruption and choose to not report it to the authorities.

“Fear is the only true enemy, born of ignorance and the parent of anger and hate.” ~ Edward Albert

What Causes Evil?

To finish up, I want to briefly meditate on the underlying causes of evil. In other words:

Why do people intentionally hurt other people?

Apart from probably a relatively few honest and self-aware psychopaths and sadomasochists who do recognise that what they are doing to their fellow human beings can, in fact, justly be branded as evil, I suspect that people for the most part do not realise that their actions may be classified as such, at least not as immoral or unjust evil. People who see themselves as victims or potential victims may relatively easily manage to rationalise away their acts of aggression, acts that can be called evil by objective standards, by reinterpreting them as acts of revenge or even self-defence. As such they likely regard their hurtful actions as morally sound (“good”) rather than morally unsound (“evil”).

Nonetheless, people do need to be properly motivated in order to commit evil, as attempting to inflict harm on other people generally does not come without risk or cost. After all, people who are attacked may put up a resistive fight and strike back as they fend for themselves. And so the would-be perpetrator of evil, realising that he may get hurt due to his act of aggression, must be properly motivated to deal with any possible adversity. The ideal motivator for promulgating an assault on a fellow human being is plain and unadulterated fear, i.e. fear for getting hurt or sustain suffering in general. If you fear that your would-be victim is itching to strike you too, you may consider it in your best interest to strike preemptively. If fears run high enough, e.g. most notably fear for one’s own survival, the discouragement to attack for fear of being hurt or worse may be overridden by the seemingly understandable decision to strike the “enemy” before he strikes you.

Indeed, it is in a cultural atmosphere of fear that evil thrives best. When people live in fear–fellow human beings, especially strangers–are not rarely regarded as a liability and a threat. Therefore, acts that by objective standards can be regarded as evil, may through the eyes of fear be reinterpreted as justified acts of self-defence. When society is plunged into a collective state of fear and the people are trained to be in awe of their leadership, the local totalitarian establishment, it is likely considered a great honor to be given an opportunity to rise within the hierarchical ranks of that establishment, even if it’s in name and status rather than promotion of position or rank. It is in a face of fear and shame that evil atrocities, such as honour killings following the bringing of familial disgrace, find relatively easy expression.

Death by stoning, an exceedingly inhumane form of capital punishment.

Honour killings, e.g. the backward custom of persecuting rape victims, are considered justified if the victim is regarded to be a libelous member of the family (typically deemed a “whore”) who then are deserving of death after supposedly bringing shame to the family with her supposed penchant for fornication or generally violating familial code of honour. The occurrence of honour killings demonstrate that the perceived status of the family is valued higher than the lives of its (female) members. Risking acts of condemnation from the community, whether likely or not–the patriarchal head of the family proves to be more concerned with the fear of bringing shame to the family, than he is concerned for the well-being of the people he is supposed to look after.

This strange and de facto anti-human attitude is akin to narcissism–malignant self-love, in which the narcissist is pathologically obsessed with his own mirror-reflection, a mere image- or surrogate derivative of the self. And rather than tending to matters of importance, substance rather than image, the narcissist prefers to ignorantly wither away as he caters to inconsequential superficiality. Likewise the patriarch is also blindly focused on merely defending the name (image) of the family–something that compared to safeguarding the well-being of his family members, should also be deemed inconsequential. By holding the name of the family in higher regard than the well-being of the family members, the head of the family can be said to have a narcissistic mentality.

Only a culture in the grip of a suffocating fear for social disapproval could possibly foster such phenomena of detrimental self-delusion. If society were loving in character then the fear for social condemnation by one’s neighbours and peers would be redundant; there would be no risk for bringing shame to the family and honour killings could be regarded to not only have no purpose, they could be recognised for the real affronts to civil and humane conduct they really are. Indeed, an ambiance of love nurtures a relaxed social environment with a natural abundance of tolerance, a desire for understanding and willingness to forgive. The heads of family could then recognise the virtue of being able to care for all family members rather than vindictively persecute the ones who supposedly bring shame to the family.

The Roman Testudo (“diamondback turtle”) formation is symbolic for the act of trading individuality for group-identity in order to increase chances of survival in the face of (imminent) danger….

In the face of imminent danger it is generally considered a good strategy to sacrifice one’s individuality for gaining a group-identity in a bid to ideally enjoy increased survival prospects relative to the more vulnerable “loners.” A consequence however is a revocation of responsibility for one’s actions. When you are part of a military unit for example, the unit commander assumes responsibility for all the members of the unit. You are simply to obey his orders. It is under such responsibility-neglecting circumstances that a whole new class of evil atrocities finds way of expression. By having the possibility to basically switch-off your conscience as you merely follows orders or just do your job, you are in a position to commit acts that you would normally prevent yourself from doing.

In 1971 the psychologist Philip Zimbardo based an experiment around the following question: What happens when you put good people in an evil place? Does humanity win over evil, or does evil triumph? The results were shocking as it was shown that normal or “good” people can easily act in an evil manner. Another related psychological test was conducted by Stanley Milgram, who wanted to find out if normal people could be brought to administering lethal shocks to strangers. As was the case with Zimbardo’s experiment, the results were again unpleasantly surprising as it turned out that the majority of people were in fact capable of doing so, as long as they were relieved of having to answer for their sadistic actions.

Other ways of promoting the expression of evil is to degrade or even dehumanise human beings, who are deemed undesirable or inimical, as inferior or subhuman (e.g. “untermensch”) beings. Indeed, an effective technique to motivate one group of people to kill another group of people lies in the success of convincing members of the former group that members of the latter group are not even human but virtual animals. After all, it’s generally considered no big deal to kill a filthy swine, a disease-carrying rat or a pesky roach. See my article Five Steps to Tyranny for more on this.

Why do people fail to come to the rescue of other people who are in need of help?

Fear also lies at the heart of answering this question. I will just leave it by saying that people unfortunately are too cowardly and/or too self-absorbed to be willing to help people-in-need, even when they able to. Under some circumstances, when in general the cost of helping is estimated to be higher than the benefit gained by the receiver of help, it is understandable that people prefer to either walk away or go look for more able potential rescuers. But other than those exceptional circumstances, there is little excuse for able people to refuse to help out.

As to the reasons for the reluctance of people to help other people, cowardice is just another form of fear and selfishness can also be viewed as fueled by fear, namely the underlying fear that other people end up with more goodies than you will and the ensuing animosity for people elicits a fear to socially connect with people. This is what narcissism is all about, in which people are extremely self-absorbed not necessarily because they think so highly of their own external appearance but because they are too afraid to intimately, rather than superficially, connect with other people. Cowardice convinces a person that the perceived cost/risk of helping out is too high, whereas selfishness fails to provide the necessary sympathetic connection between the person and people in need. Needless to say, both factors may reinforce one another–in fact, as they are they both grounded in fear, they often do.

We can thus see that both ignorance and fear lie at the heart of the promulgation of evil. In order to overcome evil, we must first recognise that indeed ignorance and fear are its root causes. Until the moment that we manage to do so, we have no way of preventing or even mitigating its expression.

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

“The love of money is the root of all evil.” Perhaps this so-called “the love of money” is best to be reinterpreted not as a love but a fear, namely the fear of not having enough (with respect to greedy peers). As such, the “love of money” is in reality a false love. It’s the kind of “love” that lies at the heart of addiction, in which a successful monetary gain is like a “fix” that may, at best, only give temporary relief amidst a backdrop of perpetual anxiety.


Musings on Free Will – Letter to Prof. Alfred Mele

Dear Prof. Mele,

I am referring to an article posted on the Internet:

Do we have free will? FSU philosopher awarded $4.4 million grant to find out

Please allow me to speak my mind directly. If I merely repeat things that you already know or state or even the obvious then I do apologize for having wasted your time, Sir.

Here’s a summary of my thoughts on human free will:

I will argue that God did grant us free will. However, I will also acknowledge that there are powerful forces at play that seek to impede and corrupt the freedom of will we have been given.

I believe that the will of a human being is determined by at least three agents: its ego, the intrinsically present spirit and the possible influences due to extrinsic spirits. Granted, the latter kind of agent may be regarded as fringe and rather controversial but speaking from my own personal experience, it is very real and significant nonetheless. Therefore I do hope you reserve an open mind on the matter as I’m quite convinced that this agent is potentially very powerful in subverting the human will.

I’ll go over them one by one and expand on, by brief characterization, the influence each agent has on the will. I end with suggesting how to reclaim our free will.

The Ego

The ego is understood to be the animal mind, or the mind of the intellectual animal, i.e. the part of the mind that is derived from our animalistic nature. It is the component of the mind that is tied most closely to the material world we live in. The ego is based on, and caters to, our primitive animalistic or biologic needs, urges and desires (lusts). Its prime motivator is fear; predominantly, fear of falling short of what it needs, i.e. food and other essentials needed for biological maintenance. But also, fear of not getting what it thinks it needs, e.g. articles of luxury and mates merely for sexual pleasure. Also featured prominently by the ego, is the fear of not getting enough, e.g. money, power and influence. But also, fear of not being awarded the right kind of social status it thinks it is entitled to, or fear of not being accepted in the social context it finds itself in. In short, it is fear that is driving the ego.

By virtue of possessing a living material body, there is a constant need for sustenance, and by this fact alone, it cannot be plausibly maintained that the ego is afforded pure freedom in any reasonable sense. It cannot be refuted that the need for biological maintenance requires allocation of a substantial share of the will.

Besides serving biological purposes, the ego may choose to socially conform through for instance, adherence to certain kinds of fashion (“dress codes”), or seek refuge to socially cohesive groups. Based on xenophobia and fear of not being accepted, the ego likes to distinguish between friend and foe, between security and threat. Hence we observe social division on the basis of religion, political conviction, race and nationality. In addition, we see division between gangs, sports-teams or something as relatively innocuous as musical preference (Hip-Hop vs Punk vs Goth vs….). Although divisions due to musical preference may be the least exclusive, members of different gangs however, unless they happen to be bound by alliance, routinely seem to be in a state of perpetual war with each-other (e.g. the Bloods vs the Crips gangs in Los Angeles).

And similarly, although probably less severely on average, members of different sports-team seem to also be locked down in a perpetual state of mutual hostility. For example, European football “firms” have a tradition of going at it with each-other in such a brutal fashion that clashes not rarely resemble primitive bare-fist tribal warfare. I am quite sure that such traditions are not confined to Europe but indeed can be found in about every corner of the world, courtesy of the inherently divisive ego.

With respect to will, if peer groups do not tolerate, and even seek persecution of, other peer groups then members of such groups have to surrender even more of their will for the purpose of bolstering hostility (“defensiveness”) against, or perhaps seek evasion of, “threatening” outsiders. And so the ego demands the sacrifice of more will on the altar of cultural submission and group compliance. That is, the will is to be allocated to observe compliance with the group that is belonged to whereas non-compliance or precisely anti-compliance may be desirable to be pursued with respect to outsiders of the group. This psychopathic mentality thus serves as the moral breeding ground to justify committing crime. Think for example of the Mafia, whose members are usually exceedingly loyal and compliant to the gang itself but dramatically immoral towards outsiders of the gang. This kind of uncaring and cruel mentality is characteristic of bands of organized crime the globe over, again courtesy of the ego.

Also, keeping in mind that the ego thrives on fear, it should be understood that fear not always manifests as fear. If expressing fear as fear is anticipated with shame, the ego may resort to invoking pride, or deluding so-called ego-defense mechanisms (“excuses”) or plain willful ignorance in order to seek evasion of the honest expression of fear. It may be interesting to note that shame and embarrassment too can be regarded as types of fear, namely the fear of being judged or condemned and the subsequent loss of “face” or reputation that may ensue. Due to the fear for receiving the stigma of being perceived as someone less than a “real man” (“pussy”, “fag”, etc.) it is especially popular among (juvenile) males to simply transmute fear into discontentment and anger. On the other hand, the ego may also go to great lengths trying to rationalize or justify its state of fear so as to precisely hold on to certain (freedom restricting) behaviors. I believe that the public support for the currently fashionable but also fashionably hyped up hoopla surrounding the so-called “war on terror” is largely predicated on the notion that the ego views itself as being subjected to systemic external threats (the terrifying terrorist) and on that bases manages to rationalize its state of fear.

As already alluded to, besides the necessity to provide for biological maintenance, a person, through his ego, is willing to sacrifice even more of its will for the purpose of maintaining or acquiring improvement of social fitness/status, or at least the perception of it by the ego. Although not of vital importance, in principle, the custodian of the ego may additionally allocate another part of the will for the purpose of submitting to certain social or cultural codes of conduct. The fashionable phenomenon of allowing oneself to trade one’s autonomy for security ultimately again is very much fear based. Think for instance, of the rigid codes of “honor” (read: blind loyalty and obedience) prevalent among gang cultures. By joining a gang, the new member, apart from receiving some perks (money, women, “protection”, etc.), must accept a good number of obligations that further reduce the remainder of his free will.

So to recap, the will due to the (fear based) ego can be considered to be far from free as it must relinquish a portion of its freedom for the purpose of biological maintenance and it optionally may reserve even more will in an attempt to gain or maintain societal/cultural fitness (i.e. the advantage of group conformity, or at least the perception of it). The goal of biological maintenance and the goal of servicing some subculture may overlap though. One example would be provided by gang culture, where joining a gang provides members with an income, albeit usually unlawfully obtained. Nonetheless, a gang member may also choose to leave his gang, even though this may be a life-threatening decision, one cannot choose to abandon eating and expect to live. Therefore, the allocation of free will for biological maintenance is of vital importance and cannot be avoided, unlike the optional allocation of free will for cultural group conformity. And yet, especially if fears and anxieties can be reduced, often the will does give in to servicing group conformity.

If ego would be the sole agent defining human will, then it could be persuasively argued that human beings, in practice, are but mere serfs of their ego; purely mechanical or instinctual beings where most of their individuality has been traded for shallow herd mentalities, in which one is too fear-stricken and/or too drunken with pride and/or too mesmerized by cultural fluff and mind-numbing distractions to be able to think and act outside of the proverbial box.

The Intrinsic Spirit

Contrasting the rigid and inert ego, is the spirit. Assuming one agrees to its existence, the spirit can be regarded to be the direct emissary of God. Unlike the rash and greedy ego, the spirit is gracious and modest as it is animated by the antagonist of fear: love. Therefore, by virtue of its loving nature, the spirit is patient and lenient and so is willing to take a backseat and relinquish control to the pompous and myopic ego. Since, as far as I know, unlike the biological ego, the spirit does not have to attend to sustenance and so does not have to lay claim to a portion of the will.

Nonetheless, the kind of freedom the spirit enjoys must always be relative to God (and his laws). Since God is the ultimate superior of the spirit, the latter is always obliged to answer to the former for its decided courses of action. I think it can be stated with confidence that, since he doesn’t have to answer to a superior, only God can afford to truly enjoy will that is free in an absolute sense.

Artwork by J. Zarate


Extrinsic Spirits

Thirdly and lastly there are external spiritual beings that seek to thwart the human will and subject it to their own. These usurpers of human will are commonly referred to as demons in Judeo-Christian religious traditions and jinns in Islamic traditions. While not everyone is subject to their harassment and interference to equal measure, it is understood from the experiences derived from religious/spiritual practitioners (e.g. exorcists and deliverance ministers) that, in practice, many human beings are subjected to these hostile spiritual invaders. Indeed, it is a relatively easy matter to end up becoming possessed. By means of progressively breaking God’s laws, and without seeking forgiveness and penance with God, one progressively risks possession. Additionally, one may also end up in a possessed state not by one’s own volition but by the action of other people, as is the case with inheritable generational curses, witchcraft or sexual violation, e.g. satanic ritual abuse.

Once in a possessed state, the demons then work to corrupt and inflect the human will towards manifesting more basal and animalistic behavior. They do this through elevating fear- and stress levels in the possessed person, who in a state of incapacitation is more prone to surrender conscious control over their own being. Depending on the degree of success of the demonic usurpers, once decent and acceptable human behavior stands to degenerate into more animalistic mannerisms and modes of action that are congruent with that of the extrinsic spirits. Indeed, the inclinations of the ego and that of invading spirits seem to be most compatible and they both have a common existential basis in fear. The more fearful (or “stressed out”) the possessed person is, the more they surrender their (rational or conscious) control to the demons. In other words, demons have a direct interest in promoting human fear levels. It should come as little surprise that indeed demons quite literally thrive on fear.

One of the main reasons why I know this is through my own experiences and observation. You see, I myself have been possessed by no less than six demons for a period spanning at least 15 years and I was set free only a few months ago. I have had the displeasure of experiencing first-hand what demonic possession can do to a person. Let me tell you, being possessed is far from pretty. And without the need to draw pity, I have had to helplessly stand by as I witnessed, unwittingly at the time, my own scientific career going down the drain. You are welcome to read the rather elaborate account of my deliverance story here:

Tragedy and Sin, Forgiveness and Restoration – My Own Deliverance Story

N.B. A particularly aggressive and formidable demonic spirit, that I also have had the displeasure of being possessed by, is known in Christian circles as the Jezebel spirit. I’ve also written quite an elaborate blog on this exceedingly warlike spirit what some even call “Satan’s woman”:

When Love Yields to Fear – What Is a Jezebel Spirit All About?

To demons, the prospect of possessing a person is like a drifter having the prospect of trading his cardboard box shelter under a leaky bridge for a luxurious penthouse apartment. A human being can rightly be regarded as a luxurious vehicle (or sometimes also a “milk-cow,” as was the case with me) that lies ready and waiting to be exploited for their pathological pleasures and sinister plans. In other words, demons favor human possession more than anything, and so they work diligently trying to tempt human beings into sin so that they are provided with the legal reason to invade and as such, advance to usurp the will of the victim.

The Human Predicament and its Resolution

It’s a sad fact of modern society that, especially in Western societies, the cultural emphasis predominantly lies on the glorification of the indulging ego. Apart from the necessity to service biological sustenance, being part of human culture and society, in practice entails the relinquishing of additional portions of the will. Especially the idolizing of the “god” of consumerism, entices us to pursue abundant yet redundant material luxury as well as the pursuit of (perverse and decadent) excesses of sexual gratification. Think for example, of the immensely popular but equally enslaving (Internet) porn “entertainment”.

Further onslaughts on our being are delivered by the medical industry, which by drugging our minds silly, if not downright chemically lobotomize us, seek to rob us of the very potential to exert will. There exists a sad trend in psychiatry to put profit ahead of the care for the patient and so, in a real but paradoxical sense, the perceived mentally sick, including scores of children with vulnerable still developing nervous systems, are being treated by the practically mentally sick, the pill-pushing psychiatric industry. See my note Psychiatry Going Psychopathic for more on this subject.

A similar kind of damage is administered by the equally popular fast food industry that, through the infusion of toxic and excito-toxic agents such as aspartame and MSG into food, claims even more of our capacity to rationally decide our own future and destiny. The fast in fast food really would better be understood as, for example: fast acquisition of excess body weight, or fast delivery of nutritional lobotomy and yes: fast deterioration of general health and ultimately therefore also fast delivery to the grave. Without the need to bitterly exaggerate, it can be confidently asserted that the medical industry together with the fast food industry, in practice, work to zombify us and kill our will at the very root.

Therefore, by virtue of our extremely unhealthy and degenerate cultures, it may appear, from a pragmatical point of view, that we indeed are but mechanical beings – sometimes even downright zombies – who are completely at the behest of the carnal whims of the ego.

And if that is not enough, there are sinister extrinsic spiritual beings who have dedicated themselves to the utter destruction of humanity and are ever lurking and ready to usurp even more of our will:

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

Although I do not dispute that there is ample room for improvement, I refuse to believe that being mere robotic slaves is our ultimate destiny and it can not be what God has intended for us. God is a god of love, grace and mercy (2 John 1:3, 1 John 4:8 and Ephesians 2:4-5) and the notion that he would not grant us the possibility of free will clashes with his very nature, which, to be consistent, has little place, if any at all, for coercion and control. God is not a dictator – nor wrist-slapping and butt-spanking über-nanny, if you will – and it is also stated quite clearly in the Bible that, by following the way of Jesus, we do have a chance at gaining freedom:

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

Since freedom cannot be had without free will, Jesus promises that if we know the truth we will see our will freed.

And so, what is that truth that Jesus talked about?

I already argued that the supreme enemy of freedom is this sink of the will called ego. To further lend credence to this idea, next is another favorite arena of the ego in which it excels yet at the same time further promotes the enslavement of its keeper:

An Eye for an Eye

38“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’[g] 39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. Matthew 5:38-42

By proverbially turning the other cheek, you basically forgive your assailant as you free yourself from the self-imposed burden of having to commit will (time and energy) into preparing for retribution, which, when expressed, is likely to be met with a reciprocal retribution coming again from the assailant. Similar to two heavy-weight boxers exchanging body blows, the vicious cycle of reciprocating vengeance could, in principle, go on indefinitely or until, at least, one party becomes too incapacitated to continue. As long as the heat is on, both parties have their will tied up into trying to formulate and execute their destructive plots of vengeance.

By breaking this will-enslaving cycle, through forgiveness, the victim as well as the victimizer may direct their will power for other, ideally more constructive and benign, purposes. Indeed, as long as the victim sees himself as victim and works to exact revenge, it is true that not only is the victim not free, but that even further enslavement becomes a likely outcome if solace is sought in surrogate means of gratification in an attempt to alleviate the pain and suffering sustained. The possible consequence of acquiring a substance addiction, or indeed the pursuit of any other kind of addictive behavior, further robs the victim of freedom and of free will.

And so the capacity to liberate the will is positively dependent on the capacity to forgive.

N.B. This address should not be mistaken as an advocacy for the unconditional dismissal of justice. Indeed, I do not advocate that crime and evil acts should simply be excused and forgotten through forgiveness. However, and although I still need to spend time thinking more about this, I believe that the current system of penalizing crime offenders does not serve society well. I believe that it is principally wrong, to do as our transgressors and simply fight fire with more fire. Indeed, the prison system in its present form could easily be mistaken for an academy of crime rather than being a system of correctional facilities. A step in the right direction for example would be provided to introduce a mandatory apology by the perpetrator to the victim(s). I also think that community service instead of incarceration is a proper measure. But I am digressing, and the discussion of this subject matter, interesting as it is, falls outside of the scope of this letter.

So how can one possibly be able to forgive one’s assailant or victimizer? As stated in the book of Matthew, Jesus encourages:

Love for Enemies

43“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[h] and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you: Love your enemies[i] and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48

Nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes and while your enemy may have done you harm, you in turn likely may have harmed your enemy. By praying for your enemy you (psychologically) prepares yourself to eventually forgive your enemy, while your enemy ideally contemplates the same if he, in turn, prays for your possible transgressions. See my previous piece, Love Your Enemies (Matthew 5:43-44), for more on this.

Since it is the defiant and vindictive ego that stands in the way of the realization of forgiveness, it is the ego that is the enemy of freedom and so Jesus his promised freedom can only be attained with its defeat. The more the ego is subdued – i.e. the more we manage to overcome the subservience to our fears, possibly fortified by possessing demons – the more we will gain in freedom and free will.

Worship of the ego is the deception that leads to enslavement. In the spirit lies the Truth and freedom.

This is what I believe is the truth that Jesus alluded to in John 8:31-32.

It is up to us to choose between fear and love, between enslavement and freedom.

Meet Mr. Ego and Mr. Spirit

Mr. Ego Mr. Spirit
Mr. Ego is rash. Mr. Spirit is rational.
Mr. Ego works on his self-image. Mr. Spirit works on his self-awareness.
Mr. Ego suffers from myopia. Mr. Spirit enjoys a bird’s eye view.
Mr. Ego is ruthless. Mr. Spirit is compassionate.
Mr. Ego is never content. Mr. Spirit is ever content.
Mr. Ego is jealous. Mr. Spirit has no reason or inclination to be so.
Mr. Ego is blinded by bigotry. Mr. Spirit is guided by tolerance.
Mr. Ego holds in contempt. Mr. Spirit holds in esteem.
Mr. Ego is drunken with pride. Mr. Spirit is sober with humility.
Mr. Ego is clouded by vanity. Mr. Spirit is uplifted by modesty.
Mr. Ego is ignorant but covers it with pride. Mr. Spirit knows but admits he knows not all.
Mr. Ego is loud and in-your-face. Mr. Spirit is gentle and composed.
Mr. Ego likes to brag about himself. Mr. Spirit likes to give compliments to others.
Mr. Ego quickly takes things personal. Mr. Spirit has no inclination to do so.
Mr. Ego tries to figure out how to exploit other people. Mr. Spirit likes to work for the benefit of other people.
Mr. Ego likes to bring on a ruckus. Mr. Spirit likes to restore harmony.
Mr. Ego likes to take revenge. Mr. Spirit prefers to turn the other cheek.
Mr. Ego favors competition over cooperation. Mr. Spirit favors cooperation over competition.
Mr. Ego feels worse when other people feel good. Mr. Spirit feels worse when other people feel bad.
Mr. Ego feels better when other people feel bad. Mr. Spirit feels better when other people feel good.
Mr. Ego believes in out-of-control control. Mr. Spirit believes in grace and free-will.
Mr. Ego pretends. Mr. Spirit is sincere.
Mr. Ego really hides his true feelings. Mr. Spirit is true to his real feelings.
Mr. Ego wants to impress. Mr. Spirit prefers to express.
Mr. Ego is narcissistic. Mr. Spirit loves himself but not at the expense of others.
Mr. Ego likes to depreciate people. Mr. Spirit prefers to appreciate people.
Mr. Ego thinks he will exalt by depreciating other people. Mr. Spirit exalts by appreciating other people.
Mr. Ego tends to see his fellow human beings as threats or liabilities. Mr. Spirit regards them as brothers and sisters.
Mr. Ego frowns on other people. Mr. Spirit smiles to other people.
Mr. Ego holds on to grudges. Mr. Spirit has a forgiving heart.
Mr. Ego thinks in terms of conflict. Mr. Spirit prefers peace thank you very much.
Mr. Ego sows division. Mr. Spirit seeks a common ground.
Mr. Ego naturally distrusts fellow human beings. Mr. Spirit graciously extends his trust to fellow human beings.
Mr. Ego wants to do it to others before they do it to him. Mr. Spirit prefers to do to others as he would have them do to him.
Mr. Ego sees women as instruments for sexual gratification. Mr. Spirit sees women as fellow human beings.
Mr. Ego asks what it can do for him. Mr. Spirit asks what it can do for others.
Mr. Ego is greedy and likes to keep it all. Mr. Spirit gives freely and shares.
Mr. Ego never repents and seeks to rationalize his guilty conscience. Mr. Spirit always asks for forgiveness.
Mr. Ego is blinded by hate. Mr. Spirit is guided by love.
Mr. Ego is sleepwalking, lost in a trance. Mr. Spirit is wide awake and receptive!
Mr. Ego is self-deluded. Mr. Spirit is living in truth.
Mr. Ego hates you with a passion. Mr. Spirit loves you with all his heart.
Mr. Ego fears truth. Mr. Spirit loves truth.
Mr. Ego lies to hide the truth. Mr. Spirit speaks and glorifies the truth.
Mr. Ego says he doesn’t need to know. Mr. Spirit has a curious nature.
Mr. Ego refuses to want to understand other people. Mr. Spirit seeks to understand people, indeed all people if possible.
Mr. Ego hides his grief or channels it into rage. Mr. Spirit tries to ease his grief with love.
Mr. Ego ultimately is rooted in fear and insecurity. Mr. Spirit is secured in ultimate love.
Mr. Ego descends into darkness and ignorance. Mr. Spirit ascends into Light and Awareness.

Note that above characters are archetypal depictions of human beings. I don’t think that there are actually living people around who are purely Mr. Ego’s or Mr. Spirit’s. We all have our strong points and flaws and I think the only person who was a true Mr. Spirit was Jesus Christ and perhaps Buddha too. I think it’s important in life to try to use your consciousness to learn how to most closely resemble Mr. Spirit. Who would want to be a Mr. Ego anyway? LOL

Fighting Hate with…. Hate?

“Excuse me…..To all you f*cks out there who think you are better than another ethnic group just by virture of your birth….UNFRIEND ME….to all you supporters of the murdering regime of USRAEL….UNFRIEND ME…..We are all part of the same human family…like it or not…so get over your f*cking selves….stop feeding into the divison and the hate…..”

While I agree with your grievance, you basically spur people to hate the haters and that makes you a hater too.

It’s like saying I hate the people who hate, which is a convoluted declaration of self-hate. 😉

The problem you are addressing is at its very core not so much the haters, rather it is hate itself. Indeed hatred is what brings us to the very heart of the problem humanity suffers under.

One seemingly plausible way to go about solving the problem of hate is to simply persecute the haters. But really what does this bring? Here’s what will happen. By hating the haters, guess what? The haters begin to hate you back, this is only natural right? Consequently you will hate them even more because now you’ve become a target for hate too. Then they will hate you even more for being hated extra… baddabim baddaboom. What you have here is a mutually reinforcing feedback cycle of… hatred.

It’s like bringing a blowtorch to a fire in the deluded hope of succeeding to extinguish the fire. It dunt really work tha way, now duz it?…

So, obviously hating the haters does not lead to a resolution of hatred. What then does dissolve hatred?

It’s simple to articulate but exceedingly difficult, and indeed unnatural, to live by: LOVE.

Only love can wash away hatred, nothing else can. Does that mean one should try and love the hateful things that are being perpetrated? No, not at all. What it means is that one should try real hard to love the hater, not for what he does as a a hater but for being a fellow human being. A fellow human being who’s in distress mind you. Love for one’s fellow human being leads one to the willingness to try to understand he or she and what drives them to hate. You see, hatred has a reason, a cause. One does not hate simply for the heck of it because the hater exposes himself also. Hatred makes a person vulnerable for retaliation, so there’s a price the hater must be willing to pay for hating.

Hatred is a reaction to being hurt and then hatred develops from that sustained damage in an effort of the EGO to not be hurt again. All this is fostered by fear, fear of being hurt again. You see, while fear is the passive response and makes you want curl up in corner and shiver, hatred on the other hand, is the active response to being hurt with the aim of possibly and ultimately destroying the cause of pain. It is all grounded in being hurt and fear of being hurt again.

If one has love (sympathy) for the hater, one is in a position to try to understand what went wrong and so be able to remedy the reason for the manifestation of hatred.

Love is the answer baby!