If you spend any time around those pesky humans, you notice they do good things and bad things. No one would or should dispute that. But the question turns to why.
Are people who give up their time, wealth or lives for a cause secretly selfish? Did they do their good deeds out of fear, a thirst for status, a sense of spite, or hedonism?
(It feels good to give, after all.)
Or are the most twisted, depraved, heinous and evil people motivated by something noble? Something, dare I say, relatable?
Honestly, I think they’re both true.
Talk to anyone who fights for a cause or does a lot of charity – they enjoy doing what they do. They might enjoy other things more, but the joy that comes from service is a strong one.
As for the nobility that underlies evil:
Take an extremely evil act – something that all right-thinking people would condemn. Take someone burning an innocent village and laughing into the ashes. It’s a brutal act of violence committed for its own sake.
How can I call this person good when they take pleasure in this?
The acts are despicable. Never let anyone say otherwise.
But what drives someone to do this?
Maybe our villain craves power. This is a clear demonstration of it, after all.
Perhaps they want safety for their family. Destroying your ‘enemies’ removes a threat to them.
It might be that they want justice for crimes committed against their own people.
If our villain wants acceptance, then they might want to be a hero to their comrades.
Heck, maybe our villain simply finds it fun to destroy.
None of these excuse the act. None of these makes it ‘okay’ to commit evil. But these motivations are inherently worthy. If everyone had power, safety, justice, acceptance and fun, we’d live in a utopia.
Behind every evil act is a reason. And maybe there’s a reason behind that reason. Trace any action to its ultimate source and you find something good.
This is why I tell people about self-hypnosis. It brings both insight and tools to your own psychology. People don’t commit evil for the sake of it. It’s always because they think it satisfies some value of theirs.
Through the extreme introspection of the self-applied trance, you can see how your own mind works. You can gaze upon your own values and find the best way to satisfy them.
If you are scared, you don’t have to attack to feel safe.
If you can’t get respect, you don’t need to turn to crime to earn it.
When the world robs you of comfort, you don’t need to rob your neighbour.
There’s always a better way to get what you need. Always. If you can’t consciously see how, then let your unconscious have a crack at it.
Your needs are pure, worthwhile and good. Treat them accordingly and life becomes richer, easier and more fulfilling.
The world can be a great place. It starts when you surround yourself with great people.
Learn how to shape the forces lurking in your own mind. Attune yourself to your values and stop fighting yourself.
Take a breath, relax and let yourself go.