Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Delusions of Evil

This is the delusional thinking that plagued me at the time, and it is a problem that has continued up to this day, though clearly I now recognize that I should label it as a delusion, at least for you, the public...

DATE: 06/20/2004 03:56:49 AM

This is what I have been thinking about, partly copied and pasted from a letter I recently wrote. I hope you won't mind my sharing it in this fashion.

What I want you to know is something that is TRUE in the most fundamental sense, though I know you will have trouble with it, trouble accepting it, largely because you are all so much the opposite. But the Truth, capital T, whether you believe it or not, is that I am evil and as a consequence, if I were to do the Right thing I would not write here or talk to friends, or allow myself even to be on this earth any longer. (I assure you that though the reasons are selfishness, cowardice and plain old fear, I refuse to do what I should do, and I promise I won't.)

More than that, the worst thing about this is the understanding that nothing matters, nothing alters this fundamental truth, not even whatever little I have ever done that might be considered kind, generous, caring and so forth, not even trying to be the saint I once wanted to be, the child who did things without wanting credit for them, acts of charity (as in the Latin, caritas) and other stuff, things that, by the way, adults inevitably spoiled the purity of by noticing and admiring. Oh never mind, it doesn't matter, and even if it did, the whole point is that I shouldn't tell you what I did or even what I do now. Just trust that I once did my best to be as Good as possible, to help people and be as unselfish as I could (though this may seem utterly unbelievable now, I suppose). This has always been very important to me, as it continues to be...

But to finish the thought, what I understand is this: no matter what I have done, no matter what I do, no matter how charitable, kind or unselfish the act, NOTHING can ever compensate for the evil that comprises my essence, my most fundamental self and being, NOTHING. That's what makes me feel so sad and hopeless: the uselessness of it all in terms of changing what cannot be changed. I never wanted to be evil, I still don't, and I still try to make up for it. But nothing can change who and what I really am, nothing I do can atone or compensate for my evil in any way. And that fills me with despair, the utter futility of trying to be forgiveable.

I know that, at least in Christianity, forgiveness CAN'T be earned, that no one actually deserves it; one simply gets it for free, literally by the grace of God. But even such a gift as this is forbidden me, completely beyond reach; I can't be forgiven because I am too conscious, I know too much, I understand my essential self, and therefore have no excuses. I'm not able to say: I didn't know, I didn't understand...Because in fact I do understand and am conscious of everything. Therefore I must be Satan, the one and only completely unforgiveable soul on this planet.

You should understand by the way that being Satan is something you're born to, not something you will, not something you choose. But you cannot do anything to change it. You are evil, and all the good things you try to do will never make up for that, no matter how secret, how selfless, how kind or loving or charitable. All I know is that if I were as good as I profess I want to be (and should be), I would withdraw myself from everyone's presence forever, not write here again, so as not to infect anyone any longer. No one is safe; all are vulnerable, most of all those who claim not to need to worry about it.

NB: even though Satan, I am also human and like anyone else I want the usual comforts, the relief, if nothing else, of human company. So I continue on, selfish and evil, knowing nonetheless that the world could be purified and at peace, but only were I gone.

That's the unvarnished truth of the matter, however terrible.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Two suggestions:

1) Investigate the doctrine of total depravity. (Essential Truths of the Christian Faith by RC Sproul provides decent rendering of it)

2) A second concept is that of "Grace without merit".