Thursday, 24 March 2016

The Evil Outside and Within

Why is it so appalling when innocent people become victims of violent crimes? Eventually we all have to die some day - whether from aggressive cancer cells, malvolent viruses or a bomb, would not make much of a difference to us whenever it happens. Yet for those who watch destructive acts of human life it is a lot worse when someone dies of an unnatural death. Unnatural means as much as man-made. We are horrified when humans cause the death of other humans.

This horror is connected to our social conditioning. As social beings, we are depended on one another and need a minimum of good-will for our common survival. Now when somone for whatever reason violates this basic norm by sacrificing the life of other people for their own purposes, they irritate all the others who are still in the frame of the basic norm. For the basic norm only works when all join in and participate actively. Every exemption threatens the cohesion of the whole social body. Even the members of terror groups know that principle, as they do not tolerate murder in their own ranks.

In the first place, the insecurity is relieved by the society of the good-willed as they move closer together and call on the responsibility of those who have left the frame. Yet the fear persists as it can happen any time that individuals or groups behave violently and kill innocent people. Presumably this is one of the aims of the evil doers to increase insecurity, as insecurity leads to singularisation. With increasing fear, people first withdraw to smaller groups where they still can feel trust. When fear reaches a higher degree, they more and more feel they can only rely on themselves and want to save their own skin. The bigger the fear, the larger the disintegration of society. 

Terror groups themselves are afraid of societies which work with a minimal level of good-will. So they find their best ways for destabilising and disempowering their enemies, the democratic and liberal societies, in random attacks and haphazard assaults - spreading fear and splitting up common sense. A fragmented society cannot provide any resistance to the evil as there are no more valid and accepted norms. Under such circumstances, those with sufficient means of violence can satisfy their greed for power.

The propagandistic fear-makers in our societies support this fragmentation. They want people to step out of the shared consensus and join their seperatist group, which offers an exclusive safety from the evil. The good ones are inside and the evil ones get exluded safely with high walls. Many fearful people prefer a life in a bunker to the risk of encountering the evil in the free space. 

So it is crucial that we adopt the responsibility for our fears. We are not their victims but we create them inside of us by falling into confusion and trance by images we see and words we hear. When we explore our fears we realise that their roots are deeper, reaching back to insafeties in our childhood, which get triggered by actual events. We do not have to be dominated by these old fears as soon as we can face them. When we go a step further, we also realise that the evil we perceive on the outside e.g. as violence against innocent people, is existing inside of us as well. It is a derivate of our fears and wants to destroy the trigger of our fears to be freed from the fear.

Thus we might realise that we are not at all "better" than the evil ones but that with some luck we made our landing in relative safety and wealth. So we do not have to act out of our fears and destructive impulses but can enjoy a certain degree of choice and freedom. By gaining more inner peace, the evil on the outside loses any power over our inner world. This is the path of inner reconciliation, which leads us out of fear and insecurity. Now we can fulfill our tasks and responsibilities in society with clarity and strength and meet the evil on the outside with determination.

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