I was one of those annoying kids–and teens–who, despite abundant evidence to the contrary, believed that everyone was essentially good. There were no people who hurt others for fun or to engage in a power play for the pleasure of it, only difficult, unjust circumstances that made people do bad things. As an investigator into the afterlife, I discovered that true evil does exist quite objectively and independently of one’s circumstances or any explanation that we might be able to proffer. The most difficult aspect of reaching 50 years (almost 51), is the realization that evil is not only a real force in the world, but that it has to be fought on multiple fronts.
Around 4% of the population is clinically sociopathic. Sociopaths are represented disproportionately in large organizations, usually in a position of power over others. They also show up in classrooms, families, churches and anywhere else people congregate for one purpose or another. I have met classic cases of this personality disorder over my 27 year teaching career. It never gets easier to deal with the student who spends all of his time attempting to manipulate me, his fellow students and anyone with whom he comes into contact. Superficially charming, friendly and open, the sociopath will turn on you with true viciousness once he’s figured out that his tactics have not worked with you. If you keep true to your boundaries, he will quickly seek out ways to hurt you, using whatever information he has gleaned about what matters to you. Once he knows what’s important to you, he will systematically attempt to destroy it.
The kind of cruel manipulation that I have seen in the living, I have also experienced with the ‘dead’: the demonic entity is simply the sociopath on steroids. That malevolent energy feeds off of innocent and trusting investigators and attempts to control their emotions, actions, and behavior with the goal of proving to them that they have no control over their lives, their destiny, their dreams or their loved ones. In essence, the sociopath, the ‘lower entity’, the demonic, all share that common goal: destroy your sense of autonomy and kill your hopes for the future. They also seek to kill off the most hated and feared emotion: love.
That, of course, no demon or sociopath can accomplish. Love is the most powerful force in the universe, and nothing can contain it, destroy it or alter it. I know that if I could face evil with love every time it attacks me, I would win. Perhaps not immediately, but love always wins in the end. Even the most frightening individual is at a loss when confronted with true love. I think that’s the only way I can understand Jesus, both as a concept and as a historical figure: He preached that all evil must be met with unconditional love, for darkness flees in the face of light. It simply cannot exist.
Institutions, corporations, individuals, governments, religions, any organized grouping of people will suffer from the chaos that the sociopath needs in order to thrive. However, the concept of ‘turning the other cheek’ is not about passively accepting the whims of the powerful and the corrupt, but about diffusing its energy, it’s reason to exist. Direct resistance is futile with evil in any of its forms. You can’t ‘win’ or ‘beat’ the demonic or the pathological personality at its own game. The sociopath will always win if you attempt to play his game on his turf. You have to win differently: by succeeding in spite of what is thrown at you, by enjoying the love of your friends, families, students and coworkers and by understanding that what evil wants is for you to be miserable. Nothing is more confounding, frustrating, enraging and confusing for the sociopath that witnessing your daily joy in life. That is your best and only revenge.
Much love to you all,