Does evil live?

Posted on Apr 28, 2013 | 3 comments

What is evil?

Our definition here is not iron clad. So many of them have come and gone through the ages. My own may differ from yours…. but I think this one may get close for most. And still, at the edges of the bell curve there is wiggle room and exactness may blurr.

Simply put, “evil” is the enacting of one’s values at another person’s expense. It is not only saying that something is highly important to “me”… but it is so important that I am willing to take from “you” to get it, taking away from your freedoms and rights as a human being.

We all have  needs, wants, and desires that we are willing to fight for. Things and ideals that we demand to have in and from our lives. Things that we long for and strive for. And that is the way it should be, especially within a capitalist society such as the U.S. where competition is a strong value of the system itself. There are special places within this society for direct competition, where zero-sum game mentality is the norm and the rule (such as sporting events). But when a person takes or infringes on another person’s rights to have what they need/want/desire beyond these specific arenas it reaches beyond striving. Together, the last four of the ten commandments speak as a testament to this. Whether it breaks the legal rules or not, in general if it is an act of taking for personal gain specifically at another’s detriment it is ultimately nefarious.

Certain personalities find it easier to spin into this trap. Their narcissistic or psychopathic vision of reality drives them to not only fight into each thing they want, but justify damages along the way. Other personalities are not so extreme and extol minor versions of this. They are not so easily swayed to such radical ideals, yet smaller ideals just like this creep in anyways. In all versions, the one doing the behavior somehow justifies their behavior, and those of us who are watching experience a visceral reaction when we see it. We can almost smell it…. and when we do, it stinks.

When “evil” is extolled consciously it is bad enough. But when it is unconscious it is even worse. In this type of scenario at one level, at the conscious level, it seems that the person is speaking from truth, honesty, goodness. They are coming from a higher, wiser place. But at a deeper level, a level even they cannot even see, they are pressing forward from some panicked fear that hides within them and, at times, a seething anger that is looking to protect it…. One that is looking to manifest outside in the world at large. They are often not even aware of their behavior. You may recognize these people through their damage and consequent excuses and, rare but possible, apologies. Constant patterns of behavior that do not change, regardless of their words that often endlessly seek to diffuse or sidestep what was done. It is with these people that you pay attention to actions, not words, to determine where they are coming from and how to procede with them. They appear to not know what they are doing. You must be the one that is more vigilant.

When that person steps this up to a higher level, looking to impart their ideals upon the world at large, to indoctrinate others into their “philosophy” we have an even greater reaction to it. We may want to take up arms against their actions (figuratively or sometimes literally)… but that only hurts us as well. The pains they cause others have us believing that the only way to “stop them” is to meet force with force. But there is a better way. There is always a better way, a more evolved way to handle situations. One that has us take into account both the other person’s conscious desires to do good, to be a “good person” (most people, even in extreme cases, wat to see themselves as “good”), and their drive to get what they want at other people’s expense. The purpose is to evolve. It is always to evolve. So helping them to evolve is where our actions and our path lies. Justice has its place… but only when held in evolved ways of thinking. Love and caring has its place… but only when held in the same regard.

Always look for this. The way forward that honors all parties, all of theirs and yours. This will lead you into a place where you will not be in hate, but in love, honoring yourself, while finding room for justice. Closing doors to the continuation of negative behavior while opening the door to greater understanding and caring. Both are incredibly important and the higher you go up the ladder of understanding the more skillful you will need to be to maintain both of them in grace. In many ways evil is just a misunderstanding of the self… and if and when the person finally sees it, finally knows it and understands that this has been a functioning of theirs, they are forever moved and changed. Humbled by their own humanity. This is what we hope for and move towards.

There are deeper ways to address this. Within yourself, if you may feel or have experienced an imbalance, or when dealing with others, to curtail the unwanted behaviors and be a greater force in their own growth. Whether in an individual environment, or between couple/partners/associates…. TakeGiantSteps has more to share and teach here. Contact me at

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