The Blizzard is picking up.  I shall post for Saturday, January 23, 2106, on the night of January 22, 2016, lest I lose power with the winds kicking up.

In (the) synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit; he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?  Have you not come to destroy? … Jesus rebuked him and said, “Quiet!  Come out of him!” The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him!  All were amazed and asked one another, “What is this?  A new teaching with authority.  He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.”

Mk 1: 23, 25-27

Evil … tears apart, shuts out the other person, raises barriers, sets people against each other.

Rollo May, M.D.

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Evil has been discussed in cultures for centuries.

In the beginning Gospel of Mark above, evil is identified with what is likely a medical affliction assigned at the time to “evil spirits” or demons.  In May’s view he identifies the behavior that manifest elements of evil in the present, natural mortal world.

But evil is less discussed now – its manifestation ignored, even though we know and experienced the evil of Nazi Germany, of Mao and Stalin’s mass murders, forced starvation and tortures in their gulags and can recall the horrors of Communist Cambodia and Hannah Arendt’s post-World War II discourse on “the banality of evil.”

Yet, we do not see evil as the elected, chosen behavior of some, the conscious choice to be destructive, hurtful, even murderous.

We do not see those who May identifies, their destruction of our peace, of individuals, relationships, families, public discourse, civic order, community – the souls of others.

Nor do we see their destruction of nations with their ill-formed, a-historical, ignorant, self-serving, psychopathic quests for “change” and control, nor their easy and rapid destruction of institutions and sacred patterns of existence that have brought order, civil discourse, meaning to individuals and societies.

Evil is not merely the stuff of demons and the supernatural.  Listen to Joseph Conrad in Under Western Eyes:

The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.

We shy away from this. We find it too uncomfortable to admit.  We had best address what we do not like to see.

Non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as is cooperation with good.

Mahatma Gandhi

Shalom.

This is the fourth iteration of this difficult subject.  How we need a clear, informed public discussion of this.   Today evil is much like sin – we ignore it as if it does not exist in the present – but it does.

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