Learning From Evil

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    A social anthropologist from the University of Oslo, Thomas Hylland Erikson, gets the award for the understatement of the year by uttering this doozy: “We will have a society based on less trust … we will be a bit more anxious than before.”

    A bit? Some demonically possessed sub-human in Norway slaughters nearly a hundred of your best and brightest teenagers, and you say you’ll have a society “based less on trust, and…be a bit more anxious than before?”

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    The trust is gone, my friend; welcome to the global culture, led by yours truly, the USA. Putting the massacre in Norway in a Norwegian context is like compartmentalizing hell; the flames make a fool of you.

    Of course the social anthropologist’s bit of pathetic understatement conceals an important point. The purpose and goal of the evil in the Norwegian utopia was to destroy the last vestiges of trust in the Western world.

    Why? Because a people cannot be a people without trust.

    How? Let the monster’s own words speak for the devil: “Once you decide to strike, it is better to kill too many than not enough, or you risk reducing the desired ideological impact of the strike.”

    No, a people cannot be a people without trust. In addition, if one reflects on history, no people can carry out any advancement in their lands and on this earth without trusting each other. So it was in Greece, so it was in America, and so Western history ends in Norway. The question is: What now?

    The riddle we have now is: Can the horror in Utopia (I mean Utoya) be turned toward the good?

    Perhaps. The cleansing little secret about evil is that it’s up to the living whether it achieves its goal of the complete deadening of the human spirit.

    There is another option, you know. Faced matter-of-factly, one gains insight and learning from encounters with an eruption of evil. Therefore Darkness can serve to hasten the transformation of human nature that it desperately seeks to prevent.

    Let me be clear about our slimy little demonic friends (and I don’t mean their instruments like Anders Behring Breivik). Evil isn’t supernatural; it’s all too human. As a by-product of human consciousness, evil is the intentional death wish in human consciousness.

    It’s the congealed sum of all hatreds, grudges, and fears since the beginning of man, with intentionality. Alienation is at the core of every dead soul who acts out of collective darkness.

    There isn’t a person alive who doesn’t put themselves in the place of those teenagers being hunted down and shot like dogs over an hour and a half. Worse than dogs, since so many people are devolving, and canine consciousness has become king in the West.

    That is, except for the small percentage of psychopaths amongst us who imagine themselves killers and hunters like Breivik. As humans, they are part of us too, as much as we may deny it.

    It took a Norwegian to take American-style slaughter to the next level. This blonde-haired Aryan, Breivik, makes Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech mass murderer, look like a second-rate cannibal.

    The bombing in Oslo is being compared to the Oklahoma City bombing. Breivik is a farm supplies dealer who obviously had plenty of access to the same type of fertilizer that Timothy McVeigh detonated in another iconic moment of post-modern man. It’s not the bombing in Oslo that puts Breivik in McVeigh’s league however; it’s the horror on Utoya Island.

    Breivik declares that his actions were “atrocious, but necessary.” McVeigh went to his death-by- injection upholding identical sentiments. I say sentiments, but we’re really talking about sediments, the thickest, filthiest, and foulest layer of human consciousness, which somehow extrudes up and through utterly alienated individuals such as these cretins, erupting like some pyroclastic flow from Hades.

    Hell and the world have had a long and sordidly intimate relationship of course. Is “what’s puzzlin’ you [still] the nature of my game?” Or have you given up, given in, and given over?

    The funny thing is that the devil is playing a lose-lose game. Lose if it wins, and destroys the spiritual potential in man, a sentient species.  Then it will just have a lonely eternity of boredom.

    Lose too if it becomes a fuel source for learning and radical change in the individual and humanity. The living can face up; it isn’t that hard. The darkness we fear most is the darkness within ourselves.

    There is a grotesque irony in the fact that Breivik is a Christian fundamentalist, rather than the Islamic fundamentalist Westerners initially believed had committed the bombing and slaughter.

    But then, that’s the first of the old lessons that the McVeighs and Breivaks are perhaps teaching us at last—“We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

    This is a defining moment not just for Western civilization, but for humankind as a whole.

    Martin LeFevre

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