Friday, July 15, 2011
Humans are Horrifying
It's a question that man has asked for time immemorial: why do humans inflict such pain on each other? I can't answer the question except to say that he probably had a few screws loose and, until that point, did not have the opportunity to realize the darkness within.
Such horrifying acts are not monopolized by any one culture or socioeconomic status. Humans, no matter where they live or how they live, are always going to perpetrate insanity on a level that is difficult for any normal person to understand. Some people like to believe that it's Satan tempting us, coercing us to do evil, but people only tell themselves that so they can feel less hopeless.
The truth is that some people are just plain fucked up, and no amount of prayer or support can help them climb out from the pits of their dark hearts. There is no evil boogeyman urging them. What they feel inside, the urge to kill, maim, mutilate and torture their victims, is a part of who they are. Just as some people naturally desire to do good, to be virtuous and just, others naturally desire to commit atrocities, to be licentious and destructive. They can't help who they are.
Sure, we all have bad desires that we learn, over time, to suppress, but not everyone has an intense compulsion for those bad desires. Not everyone has the desire to torture and murder. Those who do have those desires weren't necessarily born that way either. Some people develop their nefarious hungers through horrible socialization experiences. Unfortunately, those who become the monster that man fears almost always have made that transition irreparably. They'll never return to any semblance of human decency.
It's hard to stay hopeful when you know that madness is sometimes only a few yards from your doorstep. Given the incredible power the brain holds over human action, it's even more disheartening to think that we might be powerless to prevent the slip into evil ourselves. Every brain reacts to certain stimuli in a specific way, and we don't know exactly how it will react or change given circumstances of extreme conditions. It sucks an inordinate amount of ass to think that perhaps there's a killer inside all of us, locked away in the prison of our minds just waiting for someone or something to slip him the key.
And we can't deny that we have an inclination towards violence. Even decent, upstanding people have admitted to participating in, or at least a willingness towards, torture. They let the killer out of the cell for an hour in the yard for some exercise. In most cases he's probably still in shackles, but for some he's given free reign for a brief time.
My purpose in just about everything I write is to get people to look inside themselves and determine what in their lives are merely the shadows on the wall. We all have beliefs and ideas that we hold to be true, but most people are also afraid to truly look inside and discover who they really are. It's easier to say that "all is well," and accept the norms of socialization that have been thrust upon us. We lie to ourselves, because the fiction is usually far more pleasant than the fact.
The fact is that there is darkness in all of us. There are places in our mind in which we let no one tread, not even those closest to us. Wether it be a spouse, a brother or sister, or a best friend, there are corners of our soul we keep hidden, and rightly so. We keep the prisoner locked up because we don't want people to know he's there; we don't want others to see who we really are.
So I invite all of you to truly look inside. You don't have to share your sentiments here, because they would almost assuredly be false. After all, who wants everyone to think they're a potential serial killer? No one has to know the darkness of the heart except for yourself, because recognizing that darkness is essential to full self-awareness.
If you're truly honest with yourself, you might not like what you see.