The banality of evil

In 2012 I read a book that changed my life: The Human Condition, by Hannah Arendt. I was studying music at the University of Brasilia and because I was also looking for alternatives of expanding my potentials I took various disciplines outside my curriculum. On my second year I picked drawing, drama and introduction in philosophy. Our philosophy teacher was a really nice young man who was passionate about Arendt's writings. Our task for the semester was to read the book 'The Human Condition', discuss most topics and write essays about them. I got in touch with many terms introduced by Arendt which had me deeply thinking about the whole mechanism that builds society and puts it into motion. Homo faber, animal laborans, public and private realms are some terms we dealt with and I'm glad I had the opportunity to see and think about structures and concepts that are part of the system we live in and binds everything together.

One thing I observe is that the whole panorama of life, viewed from the inside of the system and through the lenses of a citizen, passes us by too fast and we are too close to it, so realising the big picture becomes a difficult task. One solution I would bring up is: we could learn to zoom ourselves out of our everyday life's scenario and try to give it a sense of perspective in which we wouldn't see ourselves as being the game itself, but we would acknowledge ourselves as being part of the game, and that should give us mobility to transit along the scenario of the play instead of being stuck in one singly scene. What I'm trying to say is: we should develop a sense of desidentification with the role we play in our everyday life, in order to still be able to play it, but now from a different perspective, which is the perspective of the observer.

Another book written by Arendt is 'Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on The Banality of Evil'. I haven't read this one but I did read essays on it which gave me an overview of its main ideas. Well, the thing that captured me about this book is the idea of not blaming someone for something horrible he has done, but instead of making reference to Arendt's work I want to expose my own ideas on this topic. How often do you find yourself face to face with the evil? I would say very often. I think the evil has many faces and in most cases, unless it comes as a giant explosion like the holocaust, it reveals itself not very easily. I believe it comes with a sense of non acknowledge against an individual, in other words, it is when a person acts out of a mindset which doesn't include the other person as part of his own existence, which ultimately reveals that this first person neglicts on acknowledging himself as part of the whole system of living entities. I want to illustrate this with an example: have you ever heard statements like 'You cannot do that! You are not good enough! You will never get that job! You are so silly! That is not for you!... I mean, if someone tells you these things and you believe it, I'm sure you are about to be a victim of a facet of evil which is unseen but very powerful in degrading people's lives, in a way that touches the very subconscious self and builds many false beliefs that shape negatively our lives by influencing the choises we make and ultimately leads us towards a hypnotic state of mind that takes away from us our will-power to shape our own lives according to the qualities that we have.

The good thing is that alongside the potential we have of attracting negative energy we also have the ability of neutralizing it and converting it into positive energy. We also have the ability of stepping out of the game and observe, actively observe, and by doing so we can see how many of the things that negatively affect us aren't actually ours. Here I want to come back to Arendt's statement of the banality of the evil. My own perspective of this idea is that once we put our feet on the surface of earth we are subject of the influence of all the energy channels crossing the various types of coexisting realities. That makes us target for all sorts of brutality, and of course evolutive waves as well. But to my eyes, that what makes the whole picture become really nasty is when negativity becomes banal, and this is more common than we think. In fact, because it already has become banal we can hardly tell when evil pops up, unless it comes on giant waves, as I already mentioned.

On top of all that I want to add an idea that I learned in Buddhism: ignorance is the cause of suffering and suffering is what sustains duality. What I want to point out with that is: humans can be pretty bad people and that happens as a chain reaction due to our ignorance; and as they also say in Buddhism, ignorance doesn't mean not knowing the capital of a country, but it does mean the unknowing of one's true nature, and that could be pointed out as the ultimate cause of brutality, either at a small or a lange scale, and could then explain why the doer of a horrible act can ultimately be seen as innocent, or in other words as victim of ignorance. Of course I'm not saying one shouldn't pay for his debts, but this idea brings some light over really bad deeds of humanity, and along with light it also brings hope for a better world, should ignorance diminish over the course of history.

Putting it short, it's all about energy, either positive or negative they are always there wherever we go, and human beings are vessels for these energies. We have the ability of transporting them, and what differs from person to person is which spectrum of frequency one can carry along. To make another analogy, I can say that humans function like radio stations, we capture and send out signals all the time. So if you want to be tuned, a nice thing to do is try to be aware of your own body and how the body reacts throughout your daily life. The body is the key! It really gives us all information we need.



...I once thought I could find a place where peace reigns 100%, maybe this place exists, but for now I'm happy to realise I can live duality as it appears to me right now.

Peace and Love

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