Are We Evil or Just Mentally Ill

The photograph shows Hitler embracing Rosa Bernile Nienau, then about five or six, and is embellished with flowers which were placed by the young girl, Alexander Historical Auctions said.

Hitler and a Jewish Girl.

I’m going on a rant so hang in there or click out. I’m having this existential crisis as in, ‘why do I love bad people?’ Why do I see the light and soul in them even when they have told me to my face that they are not good for me. Why do I ignore red flags. Why do I keep best friends who belittle and abuse me. Why do I stay when I hurt and my life is so painful I want off world. Am I wrong to love “bad” people or am I loving the human beyond their obvious and sometimes painful trauma responses to life.

I don’t believe in the Devil but I do believe in mental illness. If there is evil on this planet it stems from the human consciousness or lack of consciousness we see daily in the news and in our society. The Devil didn’t make the Nazi, poverty, anger, despair, racism, and a need for revenge over the loss of world war one created the Nazi. The Devil didn’t create Jeffery Dahmer. Untreated childhood trauma created Jeffery Dahmer. Think of all the evil you have ever experienced, trace it back to its source and you will usually find a deeply painful traumatic origin story that leads to mass or individual mental illness. 

So, all those people in prison can’t be mentally ill right? Some of them are just evil right? Nope. They’re damaged, broken, traumatized and crammed into a system that will only injure them further. The rate of recidivism among inmates is so high because they generally come out of prison more damaged and mentally unstable than they were when they went in. The only evil under the sun is the human need to have power over another person, to create cast systems that makes one person lower then them, to hurt innocence, and destroy freedom because of an ingrained belief that if you are lower then me then I’m not at the bottom, you are. The only evil is us.

I grew up poor. My dad would walk through the house and laugh as he said, “We is Po Fuckers!” Yep! he was a racist immigrant who knew he didn’t have a pot to piss in and never would. He hated everyone who wasn’t white because that meant that his light skin made him better then the people he made fun of, the people I called friends and he called N*****s. When I told him my DNA proved we were gypsy and mostly North African and Middle Eastern he went silent. Who was beneath him now? His white brotherhood wasn’t his brotherhood anymore. He’s a Gypsy like me and the fear of being other must have hit him hard. 

Fear makes monsters of us. Fear yells in our head that if we don’t ace the next test or get into the good school we’ll be like them, the poor trash, the prison bound, the under dogs that don’t fight their way to the top but just get run over. I was born poor trash living in domestic violence and even when I thought I had fought my way out I realized I hadn’t. My thoughts about myself screamed in my father’s voice,” You is a Po Fucker and you won’t be nothing.” I was baptized in poverty consciousness, a mental illness that constantly reminds you that your next meal is not guaranteed, and your roof is only your roof as long as you can afford to pay the MAN to keep it. 

So how do we heal America? How do we end the mad dog savagery that is us. And please don’t think that just because you drive a Benz, live in the perfect community, and attend church regularly you aren’t just as big a lunatic as the rest of us. So again, how do we conquer fear and really turn this sinking ship toward shore? Well I’m just crazy enough to tell you. 

  1. There is no evil, there’s just you. 
  2. Fear is driving the crazy bus so if you want to get off you have to find faith in your own instinctual goodness. A person who does not fear can not be controlled. 
  3. You have to start loving yourself. A person who loves themselves can not stand on anyone else’s neck to get a better view because a person with a direct connection to self love honers and loves the Devine in everyone they meet.

Love yourself. You were divinely made. Turn off the news. Step out of the matrix. Fear nothing but your own need to control. Mental illness doesn’t have to be our final destination. We weren’t born to struggle.

The Very Human Need for Experience

Good and Evil

Good and Evil


I wanted to shelter my son from the world. I prayed away my foul mouth, hid my tears and played happy family with gusto. I wanted his world to be flowery, fun and fantastically clean. I didn’t tell him about my childhood unless I was telling a funny anecdote about a pet or a friend. I socialized him, took art classes with him and enrolled him in a co-op preschool where I could play perfect with other perfect mothers. Right out of preschool we enrolled in a perfect private school where I was sure he would bloom into the perfect prep school boy. In my search for perfection I lost something integrally important to the development of a well-rounded human. That important missing element was a well-developed sense of reality.

As time passed I began to see the holes in the world I’d worked so hard to create. I wasn’t being myself, my friends were drearily superficial and my son was unhappy in his school. Desperate for answers I turned to a book I stole from my high school, an ancient, dog eared copy of Herman Hesse’s, Siddhartha. I love this book for so many reasons. Like many other great inspirational books I can just open it to any page and find a piece of wisdom that will help me with whatever it is I’m facing. That day I opened the book at the beginning. I read of Siddhartha’s mother, her love for her child and her tragic early death. I read about the prophesy, proclaiming Siddhartha to be the greatest teacher of the age. Then I read his father’s reaction to this prophesy. Having just lost his wife and then faced with the loss of his son to a religious life, Siddhartha’s father created a perfect world in which pain, suffering and old age had no place. He imprisoned Siddhartha in a false utopia and robbed him of reality in order to keep him safe. How did Siddhartha react? He ran away in search of answers to the questions his father could neither pose nor answer.

Child in the Garden of Good and Evil

Child in the Garden of Good and Evil

Setting down the book I began to see the holes I’d identified in my parenting open into rather worrying chasms. I remembered the perfect children I’d known growing up, the ones who’d summered at the country club, vacationed in the tropics with their perfect families only to go slumming as drug using collage kids. I started remembering other sheltered kids who’d gone wild with sex and drugs the moment they’d found freedom from the suffocating control of their perfect worlds. Slowly I began to think that maybe by keeping our children in ignorance of pain and suffering we create a vacuum in their experience which will only propel them into a deeper need to experience the very things we try to protect them from. We cannot limit our children’s experience on this earth by sheltering them from a world they will someday have to live in.

So what is a frightened conscientious parent to do? I still only have a vague idea. In my heart I think a parent’s job is to guide a child through the world but not to shelter them from it. I feel that we must discuss even the small details of their day and how their different interactions made them feel. Most importantly we must validate their emotions with empathy, compassion and a willingness to hear while we admit our own feelings, failings and frustrations within the discourse. In other words it is very important that our children see us as loving, fallible humans whom they can trust with their secrets. We live in a tumultuous world of opposites. As much as we hate to admit it good lives in balance with evil and both must be experienced in order to be understood. We cannot end suffering any more then Siddhartha the Buddha did because suffering is a necessary part of experience and experience is the only true teacher. No matter how hard we try, we cannot recreate heaven on earth because that isn’t why we’re here.

Making Peace with Experience

Making Peace with Experience

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