Friday 9 April 2021

Our task is to understand and confront evil; but first we must understand it

This whole epoch... has, according to Rudolf Steiner, the task of recognizing and understanding evil. Before we seek to confront evil, we have to understand it... and it is no wonder that we are surrounded by evil as never before in world history. It is not right to say, as many do, that it has always been like this

TH Meyer. The Present Age magazine, 2020: 6; 3/4: 46. 

This striking passage, which I first read only a few minutes ago, is a clarifying encapsulation of something that has become very evident over the past year-plus: the triumph of evil. 

And exactly because these are such evil times, the people are deeply corrupt - so the scale and depth of evil are not evident; or, when they are, the source and are misunderstood and the causes misattributed - which only compounds the evil. 

Evil is largely invisible almost-always misunderstood because people do not understand Good; and people do not understand Good because (for the first time in history) we have a generations-deep secular society that rejects God, denies the spiritual and regards the universe as meaningless and purposeless. 

Evil has been incoherently reduced to psychology; something to do with 'suffering' (which cannot be measured but only claimed or inferred) which may then, somehow, be multiplied by the scale of people involved - except when the suffering of one or a few people or a minority is deemed to outweigh in importance that of other people or groups... 

Evil is sometimes regarded as the perpetration of specific extreme acts of violence or killing; but at other times, extreme acts of violence are excused or celebrated. Sometimes great evil is attributed to a person (or organization) on the basis of a sentence spoken, half a sentence, the use (or alleged use) of a single taboo word...

All this mainstream moral discourse is incoherent, it is meaningless - thus evil can neither be recognized nor understood. 

Yet, from a Christian perspective, it is clear that indeed 'we are surrounded by evil as never before in human history'. 

To know this we simply need to know what is Good - and then we can recognize that everything working against Good is evil. 

In particular, we need to focus on inferred motivations that underlie specific actions.

We need to ask ourselves whether this person, group, organization is on the side of God, The Good and divine creation - or against these. 

Are they on the side of the spirit, on the side of resurrected eternal life in Heaven - or against these. 

Because, as of 2021, anyone not working for the Heavenly and eternal agenda of Jesus Christ; is working for the temporary, worldly agenda of the global totalitarian government. 

Anyone not motivated by God and Good is motivated by the devil and evil. 

Having reached this point, we are in a position to 'recognize and understand' evil: the great task of this era. 

All evil is one in its ultimate motivation against God/ the Good/ creation; yet we may then recognize that evil comes in several, superficially very different, types with different priorities. 

And these different types of evil, with their different priorities, may be in conflict - may indeed hate each other (as evil is prone to do), work against each other, fight and kill each other...

All of which can make evil harder to recognize. For example, anyone fighting a particular evil in the world of 2021, is most likely to be another, different type of evil person who has different priorites. 

It is for such reasons that I have adapted some of Rudolf Steiner's ideas about Luciferic, Ahrimanic and Sorathic evil - as useful categories to describe the different priorities of evil, and to help us recognize what is going-on. 

For example; a Luciferically evil person might be in favour of sexual liberation and the removal of law - when he thinks it will help him to achieve more sex, of a more self-gratifying type, with more people of the kind he likes to have sex with. His motivation is short-termist, selfish and pleasure-motivated. 

And Ahrimanic sexual revolutionary will be keen to implement bureaucratic systems for monitoring and controlling sexual behaviour; backed by laws and corporate regulations. His idea of sexuality is mostly negative, little to do with pleasure and mainly about 'rights'. Often focused on a 'lawfare' assault on Christian morality which intends to make it illegal to promote or practice Christian sexuality - ultimately illegal even to think Christian sexuality. 

While Sorathic evil is personal like Luciferic, but negative like Ahrimanic. It is motivated primarily by spite and resentment - and wants to humiliate, torment and destroy anything that is created by God; including not just divinely-orientated forms of sexuality, but sex itself. It is this motivation which lies behind the 'trans' agenda and the mixture of confusion, inversion and lies which seek to erase men and women alike. 

This is just an example; others abound - including in the realm of 'aesthetics' where evil (in its various forms) seeks to confuse, subvert and destroy beauty - and to advocate and enforce that which is ugly, vile, repellant, misery-generating, soul-crushing, and despair-inducing.

Our task is to recognize, understand and confront evil; in all its forms. 

It is easy work to find; since evil is everywhere, and seeking us out - each and every one of us; every hour of every day; escalating week by week.

That much is unavoidable - the question is what we each will do about it...



William Wildblood said...

"It has always been like this" I constantly hear this. It's nonsense , of course. Even in my lifetime it has not always been like this. I accept I have become more aware of evil as I have become more aware of the reality of God but even so the fact is that never before have so many people, almost everyone, in fact, actively embraced ideas, thoughts, actions and systems that work directly against God and the principles of creation.

Bruce Charlton said...

@William - Yes, indeed. I exempt those too young to know it from experience (although they are, anyway, typically blinded by pseudo-altruistic moral-grandstanding); but it is a sign of corruption that people cannot discern in their own lives such a large and rapid deterioration as the past several decades - in every area of life, without exception.

JohnB said...

"We need to ask ourselves whether this person, group, organization is on the side of God, The Good and divine creation - or against these."

Yes. A very good way to look at it. I suppose I have been adopting some variant of it for a while now, although it has really kicked into hyper-drive on account of this virus business. The interesting thing is I am dropping material things like there is no tomorrow: Coca-Cola? No thanks, evil. Shopping at the 'local' Mega Market? No thanks, evil. BBC License? No thanks, evil. Hastily prepared experimental vaccine? No thanks, evil. And so on an so forth. Of course, the leaves a person with limited options, but so what? They seem like small things yet when you explain them to others you realize that for most, they are large sacrifices.

That said I still fill up the car at BP, and I've not ran my eyes across their website for a fair time but I can imagine what I'll find: evil. I suppose that it is one of the most unfortunate things about massive centralization that by the time you realize the evil, you're already in too deep. You rely on it all too much. However, I do think that you can strip down what you use to a still practical minimum.

Looking back at my paragraphs, it looks rather like a rant against modernity.

Francis Berger said...

Great post. It's worth noting that the very act of discerning evil - real evil, not the faux evils promoted by the System - is in itself regarded as the peak of evil.

Without a solid awareness of God and one's own spiritual being, one cannot even begin to properly recognize, let alone comprehend evil. And without this recognition and comprehension, the world becomes an extremely confusing (not to mention increasingly more evil) place.

Bruce Charlton said...

@JB - Yes, that is the measure of the problem. The System is what keeps us alive. Our situation is *analogous* to a slave who cannot disobey without death. We cannot opt-out of The System without dying - and it is futile and dishonest to pretend we can. But this is the usual Christian situation - individual sins may be avoidable - but qualitatively sin *cannot* be avoided. Jesus said this explicitly, we are all sinners - and this is why repentance is of the greatest importance.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Frank - "the world becomes an extremely confusing... place."

Indeed it does; people are confused because they deny the simple and obvious, but their complicated top-down theorizing does not make sense - even at a very cursory level of examination. Chronic confusion is therefore weaponized by the Establishment and embraced by the masses for reasons of expediency/ cowardice.

But why Not be a coward, if life makes no sense?...

And so it goes, round-and-round.