My latest reading adventure is The Interior Castle by Saint Teresa of Avila. This is a classic spiritual book about a nun’s awe inspired passion for God. Her passion is clearly felt in her writing. What also jumps out at me is her regular references to evil.
Her accounts of evil seem filled with the fear of losing one’s soul. It is as if there are forces out there trying to take us down. This fear stuff related to religion seems made up to keep the faithful on guard or under the power of religious authority. What is with this devil person who seems more a character from a dark cartoon than a fallen creation of the Divine. Shouldn’t this belief of a dark side guy in red be questioned?
Is there evil in the world? Most would say yes. Are there people who are born evil? From my perspective as a mental health professional, I see people who were wounded growing up doing awful things. People who hate, are angry, power hungry and greedy seem out of balance as if something in their development was went wrong. I am a stronger believer in the impact of those around us as we grow up.
Yes there are leaders of countries and companies that do evil things. Yes there are criminals who seem heartless. Yes there are people who seem to live without any relationship to higher values. Yet I suspect each of them have stories of abuse or some kinds of experience that left them less than whole.
So if there is evil is it something we created or a byproduct of our own misguided ways. Are there evil forces in the universe? If you have ever watched the futuristic shows like Star Wars, Star Trek and others they often encounter evil force in their travels. Is that because evil is a part of are psyche, part of the creative process?
What experiences of true evil have you had if any? I have seen very disturbed people but never evil forces. I have never lived in a war zone, which could certainly make the world seem evil. What are your experiences?
As I write this I have three additional thoughts.
One is that I don’t want to believe in evil because it doesn’t seem to be a natural creation of the creative force of the universe.
Second is that evil is a creation of the mind and therefore exist only in thought form.
Third is I want to encourage the focus on what is good, positive and amazing about our fellow beings because that is real truth waiting to be discovered.