Last night I began reading 'People of the Lie,' by M. Scott Peck, M.D., and immediately became engrossed. I'm halfway through and couldn't relate more to his assessment that evil should be considered a diagnosis, that it's a toxic illness, pervasive throughout our world. He states -- and I agree with him -- that people often question the evil in the world, when evil is inevitable and far more prevalent that good. It is the good that should come more as a surprise. So true is this concept. This explains why the small wonders of the world, like a kind smile and friendly wave, seem so pleasantly out of the ordinary, making such gestures that much more uplifting.
Dr. Peck proves through his writing his keen perception as to the workings of evil in others, as demonstrated by his case examples strewn throughout this book. Right away, he captivates the reader by telling of the case involving a man, an ordinary working man, tortured by his compulsive thoughts, leading him to make a pact with devil so as to achieve the peace of mind for which he so desperately yearns; only that peace of mind is clearly artificial, evil, immoral. Dr. Peck doesn't narrow his focus on the medical science and stick to the status quo psychiatrist approach in response to the situation. He acts on truth, with ethics and integrity. He shows us how religion is very closely intertwined with our way of being. We can succumb to indolence and fear, thereby creating and perpetuating a living hell for ourselves. Ultimately, the aforementioned patient had a choice, to choose evil over good by maintaining his pact with the devil or to work through his demons and come through the other side stronger and more equipped to persevere in life. His innate goodness caused him to feel guilt. Dr. Peck's implementation of moral feedback helped him see the light and walk towards it, his torment subsiding with each effort to acknowledge those issues which were manifesting themselves in his obsessive thinking.
In essence, our suffering makes us human. Our pain, our reservations, our self-criticisms, and worriment are positive attributes, full of truth and honesty. Those who experience such emotions, or are more sensitive by nature, are quite opposite from evil. It is those who put up a front and refuse to acknowledge their feelings, their truth, their defects, who are in need of help, of healing, from the evil which they inevitably suffer and transmit to others, poisoning the earth and its inhabitants in all their ignorant glory.