Evil, no-evil

Night swallows day,
Sight fails in the inky shroud of black,
Knowledge withers and logic stumbles,
Imagination is tunneled down negative spirals;
A cave full of shadows,
Nothing is real but everything is a threat,
Leaking out on a world turned grey,
The core is poisoned,
The well springs empty,
Coughing, spluttering the seeker is lost,
A deep marsh of melancholy
For boots over-brimming with bitterness,
Hands seek to clutch and fists to lash
At the cruelty of life,
Suffocation – no air to breathe,
No possibilities in a world shrunk to a point.
Then comes the lightning strike-
Instant illumination!
If all is lost then only growth remains,
A new horizon spreading wings by the second,
Through parting clouds the moon shines bright,
A mirror to the soul long lost but un-tattered,
Sails filling up with sudden hope,
Lungs that breathe again like billows to the wind,
Hands no longer grasping round their own throat,
The noose falls away,
Evil recedes,
Thought and emotion tip back the scales of balance,
Imagination is freed and fingers stroke through long grass,
The mountain air clears the fog of war,
Above the stars, oh so many stars,
The spiral path loops ever upwards,
Day is born.
 
 
 

Western thought divides night from day, beautiful from ugly and good from evil. Evil is assigned to the dark; to that which we reject in society and ourselves. We lock away in jail those we judge to be evil, and lock away in our unconscious those parts of ourselves we are ashamed of. But any process of growth must shine the light of awareness into every dark nook and cranny, every shadowed corner full of the pale shapes of our shame and inadequacy. Many people spend their life trying to cover this up, to strengthen the mask, but always their nemesis is there to undo with wrong all they do with right.

In the East of the past evil was more rationally looked at as faulty thinking. This compassionate view saw the criminal as someone whose path through life has not taught him the lessons he needed to be good. His role models were men who tried to survive in any way they could, and so such a man he also became. The desperate, the weak, the afraid will always lash out. In this way we are no different from the dog that has been mistreated and mistrained by its owner. Chained to a lonely corner without discipline, without exercise, without love, it barks and snaps at any and all who pass by.

This does not mean we should open the prisons, that we should allow the street thug to attack us with impunity. To apply what we have learned about evil on others would be like the man who cast the stone before first freeing himself of sin. We must look within to explore the dark depths of our own minds, to bring light to the evil, the faulty thinking in ourselves. This is the only path that leads to stability, to strength, to a way of life that takes from its follower any need to lash out to prove himself to others. To fix the world, we must fix ourselves.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. seabell
    Jun 23, 2011 @ 18:49:56

    Though I read your day and night symbology, your poem took me to a place in Africa (Zambeze) where the storms seem to be the end of the world… After the chaos, a peaceful day emerges. Just like you said. 🙂

    Reply

    • mbwilliams
      Jun 23, 2011 @ 21:27:58

      That’s great…a sudden African storm when the sky turns black. Perhaps that is how such symbolism first took root in man’s mind on the plains of changeable Africa?

      Reply

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