I keep thinking of that little girl in France, Miriam Monsonego, who was cold-bloodedly murdered by an al-Qaeda madman. Her mother said, “This is my sacrifice.” But sacrifice to and for what?

‘Sacrifice’ is one of those words that has two completely opposite meanings. Obviously Miriam Monsonego was a sacrifice in the worst sense of the word–an absolutely needless killing, signifying the utter waste of which man is capable. But is she also, potentially, a sacrifice in the best sense of the word? How could that be?

Something about this particular example of unadulterated evil burns like a hot iron within me, firing an intent to find out if the murder of such an innocent a child can have some meaning in and for human consciousness. There are many who maintain that Miriam’s death can have no meaning, because the murder itself is meaningless, as ultimately, human life is in this view.

But such a lie, held by millions of so-called educated people now, is but another tributary feeding the river of darkness that gave rise to the satanic actions of Mohammed Merah. He was so proud of his malevolence that he uploaded a video on the Internet showing him executing the helpless, terrified 8-year-old girl as he clutched her by the hair.

What good thing can possibly come from such vileness? To find out, we have to ask: What is the intent of the darkness that pulled his strings? Make no mistake, there is an evil intentionality beyond the individual, a congealing of all that is hateful and vengeful and malignant in collective consciousness.

There’s nothing supernatural about evil. It’s entirely a man-made accretion, plus intentionality, pouring through heartless, walking cadavers like Merah. But that young man was still human, and to ponder how a 23-year-old petty criminal could become such a monster is to feel a glimmer of pity along with the gale of revulsion.

Darkness gives itself away not only by its acts, but by its unbridled desire to squeeze every bit of spirit-enervating juice it can out of its evil-doing. That’s why he posted the video, which was described as “sickening” even in tabloids with attention-grabbling headlines such as “Horror Movies.”

I have no intention of seeing the video. Those that do seek it out are vicariously participating in and contributing to the torrent of darkness sweeping the world and searing the human heart.

The intention of darkness through such atrocities as the cold-blooded murder of this little girl, and its videotaped dissemination for entertainment purposes, is to be so benumb and benight the heart that the human spirit gives up the ghost.

Most of us are capable of evil acts, but to be a puppet on the string of some demon, a conduit through which unspeakable malice leaches, is another matter. To be a conduit one has to consciously quit on humanity and life, trading numbness for disturbance, painlessness for heart-wrenching sorrow.

That’s a bargain no human being should ever make, even if millions have made such a pact with the devil. One pays the highest price for shutting down and cutting off one’s heart. Even so, can anyone return to life?

It’s hard to conceive that Merah, had he lived and been imprisoned for the rest of his miserable life, could have ever felt sufficiently sorry to feel God’s (Allah’s, in his case) forgiveness. But though human beings can grow into gods, we aren’t God, however we conceive cosmic intelligence, and we cannot determine the truth of anyone’s heart except our own.

Of course, entire peoples can become animalized and act as one body, if deadness is extensive enough in a land, as demonstrated in Germany, Rwanda, and Serbia in the 20th century. Do the millions ‘sacrificed’ in genocide throughout human history carry any meaning, or are they merely an unscalable pile of fossilized hate in human consciousness?

The mind and heart cannot encompass genocide, but the execution of one little girl, Miriam Monsenego, on a sunny morning in France holds the potential for decent people to shine a clear, steady light on the dark recesses within ourselves, from which evil originates and oozes into the world.

In so doing, ordinary human beings, our hearts bruised but still intact, can look the evil of man in the face, without flinching or giving a moment’s indulgence to its handiwork.

That’s the inward action the agents of collective darkness fear the most. And it’s the beginning of dispelling darkness in human consciousness.

Martin LeFevre