When a heinous crime is committed, what do you think? Do you think the perpetrator was somehow influenced by evil? Some external force exerting an uncontrollable rage of reckless blood lust? Did some demonic form take over? Did the criminal inflict tortuous death on an innocent person because of malevolent forces? Some criminals will suggest that somehow something came over them. As a result, they "lost control of it" and destroy a life. What is it and where did it come from? These are interesting notions regarding a nebulous concept of human nature. One far more complex than simply "looking" inside the criminal mind. In short, evil is human nature at its worst form of behavior. Evil is in the cerebral realm of the owner, or the "eye" of the beholder. Dark, dangerous and deadly things lurk inside each of us. And, there's no way of knowing for sure what's really behind the masks we wear. Holy virtues are in combat with unholy sins. Mental warfare goes on inside our thoughts. We hide them very well. Everyone has some. No one wants to admit it. But, down deep, inside the dark recesses of every human mental landscape, evil resides. It's the Cain and Abel, the Jekyll and Hyde, we all attempt to control. Now, you'll never get everyone to be perfectly honest, straightforward or completely revealing about themselves.
We always conceal, hide and cover up the reality of who we are. Our thinking and modes of expressiveness are the tip of the iceberg of human proclivities. People wear disguises, cloak their intentions and mask their feelings. Sometimes, some people let out the demons. Others control them. Legions of thoughts, ideas and fantasies come to the surface of the real world. Criminal behavior acts out the inner motive, intentions and yearnings. Looking in the mirror, we can see the reflection of evil. The manifestation is right there staring back. He or she has many faces, screened by good intentions while traveling to many places. So, how do we extremely define him, her or it? We've seen our adversary and he or she is us. In the meantime, while we deal with harsh realities, others fabricate excuses. Things are not so simple, easily defined, reduced to black and white issues that the public, politicians and the press enjoy. Evil is what we do to others that is cruel, causes harm and creates human deprivation. It upsets our rosy view of the world and strikes at the core of basic comprehension. Malicious, immoral and wicked, evil is the violence we do on different levels of collective interpersonal action.
Religion creates a devil to battle with mystical gods. Hollywood portraits doctors as cannibals, while the news media finds "mind hunters" who hunt "monsters". Some in the field of criminology "profile" templates of simplistic formulas. In the process, they are hoping to emblazon the sign of the beast for all to see. Non-practitioners, theoreticians and academics piously postulate the latest theoretic assertions. Yet, the truth remains shrouded in layers of myth and metaphor. At the same time, a bugle call from politicians demand we strike back. Go after and strike back against evil forces in the world. Meanwhile, the public remains puzzled and perplexed. Everyone ponders what is the truth and who do you trust. The violence and cruelty of humankind knows no boundaries. Dynamics of personality cross civil lines of social order, depriving others of their freedoms.
History is rife with examples of intentional depravity that displays the criminality of people hurting other people. Wickedness crosses every social, economic and ethnic description of human existence. At the same time, evil confronts our basic notions of what we think is good. Our beliefs become a matter of mixed emotions when we come face to face with malevolence. Sometimes it's hard to explain why people do harm to each other. Yet, to see the face of evil, all we have to do is look in the mirror. The reflection of the demonic is right there in front of our eyes. Such a notification is not a matter of trying to interpret behavior as "sickness", like a health issue or disease. You can not catch criminality like a cold. And, you do not cure it with a drug. Neither is this an issue of exorcising some eternal battle between a god and a devil. Those are creations of myth, magic and metaphor. Devils are created to ensure blame goes somewhere else. Not where it really belongs. This is an issue of human behavior at the very core of human nature. Evil is a force of human will resting on the inside of human desires, motives and inclinations. Lurking and waiting, our inner self revolts against goodness, expressing vile intentions. We rebel against what we know is right and wrong. The results became fantasies translated into converters, rapes and assaults of one type or another. Our expression of evil attacks at the positive aspects of life. We flirt with death by way of power, control and manipulation. Goodness is the other person on the inside looking out, fighting to resist the temptations. All of which plays in the lustful fields of our inherent sexual nature.
Why is it so difficult to understand that people injure, maim and kill others because they want to? How come we are so baffled by our own crime nature? Not much has changed in terms of human nature in several millennia. We only have to look at the dynamics of our inner most thoughts. There we'll be able to examine the nature of evil. Most of the time, the majority of us keep these dangerous notions under control. Sometimes, we let go. A few commit atrocities. In the aftermath, many rush to find excuses. Criminals overlap them and mitigate the violence they've done.
Evil finds excuses for all manner of deprivation. People who violate the rights of others know exactly what they're doing. They think about it, plan it and then assess the risks involved. At some point, they'll carry out their actions. If you've got something they want, they'll come and take it. Evil rests at the heart of their intentions. Motives, means and methods fall in to place as the activities are carried out. Terrorists, for example, are people who commit violent crimes behind the pretext of some ideology. They're landscape takes on the cover of the political arena. Propaganda becomes a smoke screen for hidden personal agendas. Yet, they're like other criminals. Just brutal thugsaving an Ak-47. Or, they could be a head of state behind the politics of their own rhetoric. As such, they know the difference between right and wrong. So, suffice it to say one's person's terrorist is not another's freedom fighter. Terrorism is another form of violence perpetrated for personal gain at the expense of others. In the process though, many excuses for the behavior will be offered. Evil is the inherent nature of humankind's deadly efforts to conquer. It comes in forms large and small. Most of us are naïve to the basic nature of human beings.
Reactivity to our own inner makeup of mixed motives couples with a herding inclining. By blaming others and focusing on quick-fix illusions, we foster a foolishness of never ending excuses. Evil is found in the reality of knowing that Cain and Abel are actually the same person. The duality of ourselves lies deep recessions of the human consciousness. Some act out the urges and evolve motives of bad intentions. Yet, overall, why do we allow evil to live and breath? Because it resides in each and every one of us. To fight evil, we do not have to get "inside the mind" of a criminal. All we have to do is think like human beings. And, when bad things happen, we do not make mistakes. Neither do we commit some act of poor judgment. We simply carry our motives that contain the desires of our selfish inclinations. We are the ghosts that haunt the mansions of the mind. Refusing the exorcism of logic and reason, our malevolent inclinations surface in the desires of every intuitive manifestation. We are the nature of evil. We're the ones who rein in hell and serve in heaven. To understand evil, we must understand each other. If we want to get inside the criminal mind, we need only get inside ourselves. We are him and she is us.
In the public sphere of social intercourse, evil gets a free ride. We return malevolence for malevolence and justify the motives. That's because its reliability finds many places to hide. The malevolence of immorality is but one simple expression. Yet, we all too easily dismiss the deviance of individual proclivities as acts of a "depraved mind" or "sick personality". It's as though criminality is like catching a cold. Malicious notions are never far from each emotion. Evil is real and lives at the heart of our most basic level of thoughts. Its idea merges with each and every urge to value pleasure over pain. Of every vice we can justify, some external force gets blamed for our conditioning to suffice. Our "scapegoating" mentality avoids the essence of human nature's reality. Either mom's the blame, or dad abandoned the family, the explanations of self-exoneration are endless. From abuse to every other excuse, we can so easily find ways to escape responsibility and accountability for our actions.
Evil is a franchise for the mass marketing of our self-indulgent fantasies. It's the prideful arrogance of our own hidden agendas at the expense of others. We have to wake up to the reality that it's an essential part of each of us. No matter how hard we resist, we're capable of anything under the right or wrong conditions. Gossip, falsehoods, assertions without fact, and blurring myth into reality, all work in collusion with evil. Our responsibility extends beyond the nature of our own malicious intentions. It encompasses the necessity of confronting the evil we allow others to carry out. The history of human experience is a cold testimony to the internal reality of evil. Criminal behavior is no exception. Acts of violence toward others must be hunted down and punished. Retribution must sure, swift and certain.