Humanism teaches that people are basically good and it’s through a series of experiences that we become evil. This premise sounds nice, but in reality it’s like an alcoholic telling themselves that it’s okay just to have just one drink. This is made evident by the sheer fact that even the humanist looks down upon non-humanists in judgement and thinks the world could be a better place devoid of them. From religion to science, people have created factions that war internally against each other. Even mighty Rome, in all of its greatness, could not withstand the onslaught of internal conflict once they had conquered all there was to conquer. We debate, deride, dehumanize until someone is so moved that they will do anything to show how true a believer they are and often at the expense of another.
One premise says that the first step towards recovery is admitting you have a problem. If this stands true, then when we stop blaming weapons, belief systems, politics, or any other number of external reasons (after all, they are all external until we choose to internalize them). We are left with one common denominator: man. Mankind is an innately evil and barbaric race with an insatiable lust for chaos. If we lack it, we attack those with it to take it. If we love it, we hate those who aren’t equally passionate. We use status and belief to justify our superiority over others and when they don’t bow to our way, we murder to get the point across. We celebrate our viciousness in movies, songs, and art while calling others barbaric. And as we swim in an ocean of blood, we look in awe as others add to it as if they are the true evil in the world.
Mankind, at our core, is evil
Mankind, at our core, is evil. Observe children, if you cannot reconcile this in your mind. We must teach them to be kind, honorable, and honest. We must model compassion and love if we want them to display it. We don’t have to teach selfishness, ambition, or violence; it comes naturally. Until we can accept that, we are doomed to repeat our past over and over again. With each rotation of the cycle, we descend further into the abyss, having been rendered incapable by our beliefs to admit that we are the monsters at the end of the book. We are unrelenting in our assertion that we are basically good despite all of the evidence to the contrary. I do include myself, because despite any smidgen of enlightenment I may have, I constantly strive against my own heart in order to do the good that I wish to do in the world. I hold my tongue, when my entire being rages for justification. I fight to honor even when I have been dishonored. It is our ignorance of our nature that allows it to run free. Our ability to call what is evil, good, and to blame what is overtly bad on some external force.
Overcoming this will not be easy because the human race, not just a country, desperately needs revolution. The beginning is the knowledge of who we are and followed by the wisdom to choose something different. We must deny ourselves the angst we so crave and abandon our pride. Arrogance has no place in a truly enlightened person because they understand that their work is only done when the last breath escapes from their lifeless body. This means that we must attend to our spiritual needs as well as our physical needs. A person who is spiritually apprised understands that we were never meant to be a container, but a conduit. We take from our surroundings and give it out as rapidly as we bring it in. This is why those that are loved seem so peaceful; they have chosen to receive love and give it rather than to bathe in the chaos that is the world. Peace comes from love because at our core, spiritually, it’s what we desire. The belly of those who desire evil and chaos are never filled because they lack what is essential.
Through love, we defeat darkness
Love truly is the answer. Through it we transcend the boundaries set up by human hearts that have been abused and battered. We bridge the chasms we’ve created over race, religion, and social status. Our debates become a philosophical conversation aimed at what is best for all, rather than what is best for me. Through love, we defeat darkness rather than adding fuel to a fire that is already burning unabated. We relinquish our right to be right and develop a heart that listens, that finds a way to help others who remain in darkness. We’ve spent so much time and effort healing the body of man; it’s time we heal the soul.
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Feature image: Philipp Arndt Photography