by Deborah McInnes, Goonellabah, Australia
I grew up being told that evil was someone harming another, or plotting to harm another; a severe act involving blood, pain and at times death, and something to fear. This ugliness wasn’t spoken about much and was hushed-up by people, but we all knew it was there, lurking beneath the surface somewhere until it exploded out with a crime of some description.
Evil was also something I was taught at a young age was synonymous with the Devil and with hell’s raging inferno beneath the ground – where anyone doing wrong would live out their afterlife. There was certainly a feeling of everlasting condemnation and punishment for being ‘evil’, and that this sentencing would be at God’s hand. I was told that God would stop loving us if we were imperfect and did wrong. It never made sense to me how God, who ‘loves us unconditionally’, and is ‘all-knowing’ and ‘all-loving’, would ever be able to punish, judge or condemn.
Growing up it became easy to see the obvious evils – the disturbing image of some kind, or the evil act – yet all the time overlooking the subtle, hidden evils that we live with and widely accept in everyday life – evils that remain unchecked and do great harm.
As a child, I was given a small ornament of monkeys with their hands over their ears, eyes and mouth. It was explained to me as ‘see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil’… but is this not evil? To ‘ignore what we see’? To not see what is really there and to discount what we hear? To override our true feelings and senses, and discount our true knowing of what truth and evil are?
Consider a world that appears to teach us that we need to constantly improve ourselves and strive to become ‘someone’. Is this not encouraging us to never be content with who we naturally are? In the face of the masses choosing to live by the latest popular belief of how we should be, what we should look like, how we should think, what we need to have, we seem to be forever striving to become a new and improved version of ourselves – it actually begins to appear ‘unnatural’ to be content with who we already are and to remain true to ourselves. How absurd is this?
If we conform to ‘the majority rule’ and ‘don’t rock the boat’ or ask questions; if we discount our true feelings, and turn a blind eye to what we are actually subscribing to and willingly being part of – is this not further promoting the pockets of hidden evil that are all around us in their many forms, which we support and allow to remain by our silence?
Have you ever considered the hidden evil fostered in everyday beliefs that teach us to be someone or something we are not and never actually give us a choice to think otherwise?
For instance: the expectation that all girls will grow up to become mothers; a woman’s place is in the home; men will be non-crying providers and should not express feelings (as this is weak); a woman is less than a man and certainly not equal to a man; age is a curse, money is the root of all evil, work is a necessary evil; colour, race, religion, wealth, poverty and borders divide us; we should keep our minds busy; respect our elders regardless of their actions; what we see is what we get; reincarnation is a myth and we will all be saved from our sins. There are only five senses (no mention of our heart’s inner-knowing); what doesn’t kill us will make us stronger; and intelligence is in the mind and not the heart.
Could we say that there are many things we invest in that often don’t even make sense and that we know are not true?
How often are we told to ‘worry about it later’ and ‘it will be all right’? ‘There is never enough time’… ‘such is life’ and other phrases appear to encourage us to discount anything that doesn’t make sense and to not ask questions… If we readily accept these anomalies in life as the ‘norm’, it won’t take that long before we will have strayed far from what feels natural and true to us.
We appear to willingly accept versions of love and truth that are so far from their true meanings – growing up to believe neediness, attachment, sacrifice, sympathy, guilt and even punishment are all synonymous with love… when love is none of these things.
Love is absolute truth, complete equality, compassion, acceptance, understanding, wisdom, commitment, playfulness and harmony… and more.
Overall, we appear to accept living a life that is far less than the life we really want and deep down, know we could have.
What if we could live another way?
What if living another way has existed all along?
A way that sees everyone as equal, a way that is loving, true and honest and in total harmony with others; a way that knows what makes sense and what does not and the way to live a simple, joyful and fulfilling life – as our natural selves without the need to be anyone or anything else.
For most to never know that ‘another way’ could even be a possibility, let alone there being a choice involved – could this be one of our greatest evils?