Everybody thinks it’s repulsive to wish harm upon someone or actually hurt them, but have you ever been tempted or seduced by your evil side? Sometimes it’s easier to treat other people like tools to achieve your own goals. If you long to be the best at work, you just have to step on your coworkers. It’s a much shorter path to get what you want, and it will give you more satisfaction with less hold-up. Don’t we all covet this, at least partly?
Human beings always seek instant gratification. Going back to the previous example, we don’t like to give our all, put in effort, and wait for months and months until we achieve our goals honestly. If we can cut down on that time, why not do it? This is how those who get carried away by this kind of evil think. They stop treating people like people and start using them like tools to their own benefit.
Evil is seductive
We’ve all met good people who turned bad. People who became manipulative, who started doing things that used to make them cringe. This is the first mechanism that evil uses to seduce. It makes us feel hurt over what other people do to us. We feel like victims of circumstance, like we don’t deserve all the harm that’s been done to us. We get tired of all the problems we’ve dealt with, one after another. The resentment ends up taking control of us and turning us into people we don’t want to be.
People who are abused can end up becoming abusers themselves. People who are criticized can become critics. After so much pain, we decide to stop being the fool and start treating people the way we’ve been treated. What we don’t realize is that the objects of our evil actions are innocent people. A group we once belonged to.
Evil has another seductive quality that leads us to treat others as instruments instead of people: when we see the people around us become powerful through their evil actions. We hate them, we’re jealous of them. How are they so lucky when they’re such bad people?! All of these negative emotions make us want to mimic their actions, because our honest character is not giving us the luck that they’re getting.
If we open our eyes, we’ll realize that we’ve let ourselves become poisoned. It’s like we’re in a fruit bowl surrounded by rotten apples. Upon being unable to remove ourselves from the situation, from those people, we get infected, too. Contaminated by the seductive evil that causes us to treat people like instruments to satisfy our needs, or simply to inflict the pain that was once inflicted upon us.
The attraction of power
We feel resentful and foolish upon seeing others behave maliciously and still obtain the results that we want to achieve. But beneath all this, there’s a powerful reason why we become consumed by the dark side and why we stop seeing people as they are and start viewing them as objects: power.
Taking control gives us power, as does suppressing, manipulating, lying, hurting… We do this all intentionally, and sometimes, we don’t care if we completely destroy the other person if it benefits us. Now we have control of the situation, and this feeds our desire for more. We get carried away. How far would we be willing to go?
Although ignoring other people’s feelings can make us feel good for a moment, over time it will only make us bitter and sad. As human beings, we seek goodness because that’s what makes us feel at peace. Although evil can benefit us in some ways or allow us to get “justice,” the result is not the same.
We’re seduced by the power that makes us evil. This innocent flirting with evil can lead us to a point of no return if we’re not careful. Treating others like objects can help us get what we want, but it also takes us away from balance, peace, and happiness. We forget that when we act like this, there’s always a price to pay: sacrificing who we are to have more. Is it worth it?
Images courtesy of Catrin Welz Stein