Evil, anger and love.
Oct 16, 1994 02:13 PM
by Jerry Hejka-Ekins
L> 2. I've been taught that it's effective to respond to someone
> evil with either Love or anger. Can anyone else comment?
That's been a bugaboo for me. If I respond with anger, then I'm
off center and vulnerable to repercussions. My being off balance
gives them an opportunity to do more damage. If it is a
situation made by a collectivity of people--e.g. being the
victim of slander where the person doing the slandering remains
anonymous, while others do the damage for the perpetuator, then
anger is at best fruitless, and at worst, adds negative energy to
an already negative situation.
On the other hand, responding to a person or situation of an evil
nature with "love" is an art that I find difficult to master. I
can respond with understanding (when I understand), or with
compassion (when I feel that it is called for), but love (I don't
mean a sentementality here, but a love that comes from wisdom),
only in those exceptional situations when understanding and
compassion is possible. I think that to respond to evil with
"love" requires a person to do the following, and in this order:
be very centered; be completely understanding of the situation
from all points of view; be very compassionate to one's enemy
(ies); and be completely detached from any personal gain that may
come from the resolution of the conflict. I've done it before
but it ain't easy, even under ideal circumstances. But it seems
that this is a problem that stays with us for a long time into
our spiritual development. Even K.H. admitted to Sinnett that
he was "annoyed" with Hume. If a Mahatma can get annoyed, where
does that leave us?
I think one thing that is aggravating about responding to "evil"
people is that truth is not enough. One can confront behavior
and meet with denial. One can protest slander, and defend
oneself, only to find people who read the fact that you protested
as further proof of your alleged guilt. In psychological
parlance these are called "crazy making situations." There seems
to be no answer, you just have to roll with the punches.
Politics seems to be the favorite arena for this kind of evil.
Many well meaning and sincere people have been eliminated from
the political arena by contenders manipulating public perceptions
to undermine their opponents. Remember George Bush convincing
the public that Michael Dukakis was a "wimp"? Of course the
public knew that Bush wasn't a wimp, when he draped himself in an
American Flag. I'm not condemning or defending either
politician, but only pointing out that elections are rarely won
or lost on the issues, but rather on theatrics.
A careful reading of theosophical history reveals more than one
crazy making situation under which H.P.B. had to suffer. The
Coulomb conspiracy is a prime example. When Olcott barred H.P.B.
from suing the Coulombs for slander, and Subba Row threatened to
resign if HPB continued to protest the accusations, this left a
clear field for the S.P.R. to take advantage of HPB for not
suing the Coulomb's in the first place. Since silence is taken
as consent, the Coulomb testimony that HPB used them as
confederates to fake phenomena appeared all the more credible to
the SPR Committee. I can imagine HPB spending many nights
banging her head against the wall over this no win situation.
Now, more than a century later, suspicion still hangs over HPB.
I guess in situations like these, you just try to "love." What
else is there?
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