Evil does not exist as a specific entity. Only evil acts occur and these occur as a result of people’s thinking and their beliefs about right or wrong. Someone may truly think that a certain person is bad and should be killed. It is not that the first person is evil, they are just deluded by their thinking. It is at the thinking level that change is required.
When masses of people believe the same thing atrocities can occur. Good people caught up in bad situations due to a mob mentality. It is very hard for the individual person to resist this when there is mass hysteria and pressure to go along with the rest. These atrocious acts are often done with a clear conscience, as those doing them believe that their cause is important and their actions justified. They don’t realise the damage they do or the harm they cause. That is blocked from their sight, filtered out of the data that they observe. Simply because of their thinking and belief systems about right or wrong.
Child abusers who harm children don’t realise the long term consequences of their actions and don’t care what they are. Does this make them evil? Yes and no. The acts are detrimental, but they occur due to the person’s lack of awareness and their own internal pain. Most who abuse others were abused themselves and the cycle continues because noone seeks help to resolve their inner pain. Instead the pain is projected outwards causing pain for others and so on and so on. This occurs until someone is brave enough to look within, feel the emotions locked inside and become more aware. Then with kindness and love the person heals the hate and the need for revenge drops away.
As love expands in one’s heart, the judgement of others also drops away and eventually compassion is felt for all involved, and it is acknowledged that anyone hurting another is hurting deeply inside. So the individuals are not evil, just misled, unaware and wounded internally. Love is what heals such conditions. Love is needed, not judgement, condemnation, punishment, isolation or imprisonment. LOVE.
But what to do when someone is not willing to look within or change their mindset? It is true it is not beneficial to let them keep hurting others, and that is why your laws exist and prisons exist. There is a fine line between helping and making things worse at the institutional level. If prisoners are treated poorly, their beliefs about life are likely to worsen and they will not be rehabilitated at all, no matter how long they are locked up.
If they receive support, encouragement, counselling and healing services while imprisoned their views on life may improve. If they are shown how to heal, to release their trauma so that they can be more peaceful then their anger, hate and rage will diminish.
Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE) is a powerful process to help with this as you don’t need to talk about your past. You don’t need to be vulnerable and risk connecting with others. It is a practice you can do by yourself if you want to and it helps your body to release the tension, stress and trauma bit by bit, shaking it off, letting out steam from the pressure cooker inside. It helps you to unwind, be less defended and reactive.
As your body relaxes and starts to feel safer you can see life differently, see more possibilities, as you are no longer locked in fight or flight wanting to defend yourself or attack others. TRE is taught in a wide range of contexts – to individuals, to first responders (army, ambulance, police, fire officers), to children and would be great for inmates too.
If inmates are taught a trade, given an opportunity to make a better life for themselves, then many will, but some may not. Some may be so hardened in their hearts that it can not be felt or accessed, no matter how much love is shone on them. Such a person needs compassion and understanding, to let them be how they are, not made wrong. They may not heal this lifetime, it may be the next or the one after that or many more to come. But kindness and love is going to help chip away at their armour and plant the seeds of change. They should never be treated badly as this will just worsen things.
No person is truly evil, all are of God and God-like, made in God’s image. The light is within us all. The person who does evil acts is just someone who has lost touch with their heart and the light within. They will find it again, it is just a matter of time. Blessed BE. Amen.
By Jodi-Anne (18 Dec 2015).