The shadows that dwell in the Abyss

This road is silent and lonely. It begins long before you have the ability to distinguish right from wrong, good from evil… The seed of corruption takes root before you even have the chance to defend yourself. Then, you’re ostracized, invisible – dwelling in misery where the lightest colors are just mere shades of gray. And feel it too. There’s something profoundly different. And you are taught about love and happiness, sincerity and humility – yet you are ridiculed as weak, weird and wrong. You can feel their drilling looks on the back of your neck, oozing venom. And then, you decide to walk the whole nine yards. Just do away with everything that makes you human, and embark on a murderous rampage in the valley of the shadow of death. The final plunge into the abyss where’s no return therefrom.

Is that the right thing to do? To discriminately murder anyone unlucky enough to walk past you that day? Most of the people are disgusted by the idea. Yet, it happens. It happens so often that we don’t know what to do about it. Are humans innately evil and disgusting creatures? I can’t say for sure, but there’s a lot of proof for it. We can call it religious conviction, mental illness, ideological fanatism – the results are always the same. Blood runs in dark rivulets of the dead’s cooling bodies on the floor of a church, on the sidewalk of an avenue, in a classroom.

It’s almost as if these acts of spastic and cathartic violence are the individual’s rebellion against the misfortunes of his/her environment. Many people think that those who commit these kinds of atrocities are psychopaths or sociopaths incapable of empathy. But this can not be further from the truth. The most horrific atrocities can only be committed by people with deep empathy. For only they know where does it hurt the most – and in which manner the inflicted pain and suffering would have a maximum effect. They do not necessarily enjoy the act in the way one enjoys a good meal or sex – as many people are led to believe. The catharsis in the act of stems from truly seeing their own power in impacting the lives of peoples around them, and moreover – the world. For there’s no sensation in the world as finally shedding the masque of nobility and letting the “shadow” take over and indulge in every bestial and violent behavior it has been denied – up until that very moment. The only moment where they are freed from the senseless suffering of everyday existence. It’s that senselessness of suffering, which drives many individuals down the path of utter destruction – or as Jordan B. Peterson would put it “Cain’s Endgame”.

How do we as a society prevent that? We can’t. What we can do, is promoting healthy behaviors, behaviors that benefit the community and do away with all of this nonsense of ‘self-made-man/woman’. Absolutely no one can be ‘self-made’ because humans can’t survive on their own in the first four years of their lives. And that’s why this era of atomized individualism has conferred on the society one of the greatest plagues of our time – loneliness. It has robbed a generation of purpose, giving it superficial outlets to substitute the real thing, instead. And if this doesn’t change, we will end up in a war that’ll make the last one look like a Friday’s brawl at the bar. For when men are robbed of purpose – war and bloodshed become a purpose in and of themselves. An activity in which the ‘shadow’ can roam unrestrained, with no repercussions.

Photo by Lennart Wittstock from Pexels

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