Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bad People Doing Good Things and Good People Doing Bad Things

Let's begin by placing both words good and bad in quotations. "Good." "Bad." This will help you to understand where I am coming from. Probably no one will read this anyway because I don't read other people's blogs (I know, sinner!) but there's enough people scrolling through random blogs on the internet, who knows?

Ever since youth people have made what to me is easy appear to be hard. In order to assimilate, I began to act as if those things were truly hard, suspecting perhaps I didn't "get it," wasn't "doing it right" otherwise. The added downside of this is that TRULY easy things for everyone I treated as hard too. My brain did not differentiate according to social customs. I had lost my identity. When I could have breezed through so many situations, out of some sense of guilt, so as to not make others feel bad about their lacking abilities, I pretended to struggle.

I did the same thing with morality. In order to understand where other people were coming from, I compromised my own inclinations. Morality is such a vague topic. It's pretty subjective, truly depending on the individual's motives, knowledge, abilities and whatnot. (This is why the quotations). I noticed people void of sincerity and sensitivity and good intentions doing acts conventionally viewed as good. I myself as a sincere sensitive good natured person was punished for doing "bad" acts such as running away and smoking cigarettes. How were those bad? They didn't hurt anyone. The church flier that "good" person left on a total stranger's door, haggling his different belief system, how is that good? How is doing what people tell you good and refusing to do what they tell you bad? Obviously if someone is telling you to murder someone, obeying authority is surely going to destroy your soul. So this schism developed and with it this incessant need to test boundaries, test morality and reality.

I first tested if conventionally viewed acts of badness could be administered from a good person who had no selfish motivation, who was simply curious. I wondered if the universal outcome would be altered depending upon the intent. I wondered if it was possible to go against one's own heart while knowing one is doing it. Without knowing the nature and consequences of "evil" I would never be able to put my faith in "good." Threats never worked for me. If you are motivating me to do good so that something bad doesn't happen and you seem like a total moron to me, I'm not going to take your words to heart. If you're screaming at your math class but going to church, I'm going to question everything.

I learned that if you do bad things as an experiment, you still suffer consequences, but because there is no malicious intent, only the simple intent of learning, the consequences are less severe. The Forces That Be as well as my fellow humans are more understanding. I also learned that, yes, it is possible to go against one's own heart. I saw desire in people motivating them to such an extent that they were unaware of it. The desire and their actions were one. This disturbed me. How is anyone going to see clearly if no one can separate the two? So I divided those within myself. For instance, I had a beautiful journal at fourteen bought with my own precious money from a quaint store with one-of-a-kind things. I spent several minutes admiring it on the floor, stroking its cover, opening it up, staring at its blank pages. I asked myself then, what dictates that just because I love this journal I will not harm it? I see people hurt those they love all the time. What dictates their behavior? I know I don't want to hurt this journal. I really want to keep it nice. Am I dictated by a law beyond my control as those other people seem to be unable to separate desire from action or can I overcome my own desire and act unaccordingly? I began miming bending the cover back, reviewing the process over and over. It was so surreal. I wondered if matter would wall itself off, protect itself. But it didn't. I snapped it back, in half, staring at what I had done, feeling sad. I threw the journal away the same day I bought it, never writing a word in it.

This was my first major lesson in departure, the first of many many more to come. The flipside of knowing how to depart from your own desire is that I can now depart from truly evil intents as well. I can depart from either good ones or bad ones. I'm a master of my own will. 

I have done some pretty "bad" things with no bad motivations whatsoever, trying to get people to understand it is not what we do, it is who we are. The bad person singing choir songs is still bad. The good person robbing a home is still good. The heart is the heart.

Feel free to disagree.