Millions of people around the world are trying to make sense out of the senseless bombing in Oslo and mass murder of innocent youth in Norway last week. I don’t think one can make sense of it. The acts are evil incarnate and evil never makes sense.
One hope I do see out of it all, though, is a growing awareness by humanity that evil motives that lead to such atrocities need to be checked in the thought of people long before they have a chance to manifest in deed.
Breivik’s actions did not gel overnight. He had been long designing such a plot and went to great effort to execute his malicious plan. Surely, to people around him, to those paying attention, there were signs that something was amiss in this person’s thinking, that evil was hatching an ugly beast.
Rather than ignore such signs, attention needs to be heeded by neighbors to ensure evil motives like these don’t continue to grow and become more difficult to deal with later.
Mary Baker Eddy wrote,
“Mortal mind, not matter, is the criminal in every case; and human law rightly estimates crime, and courts reasonably pass sentence, according to the motive.”
Evil motives lead to evil acts if not checked. A person harboring malicious intent should not be ignored or neglected.
Isn’t this fact permission to check evil in thought before it turns into a physical crime? Isn’t it admonition to pay more attention to evil going on in communal thought, and address it early on before it translates into an outward act of aggression that kills and maims?
What does this mean in practical terms?
To me, it means that if I have a neighbor filled with hate, anger and resentment, for whatever reason, I have a neighbor who needs help, and I live in a community that needs protection. I should not ignore the evil like it doesn’t matter. It does matter. The malice needs to be dissolved and dissipated so it can’t grow and turn into an outward act of aggression at some future date and catch me totally by surprise.
We do not live in a bubble. We live in communities, communities of thought. If we want safe communities to live in, we need communities of thought that are dominated by love, peace, goodwill. Malice, hate, anger, resentment, ill-will are enemies to peace, destroyers of health and harmony. But they are not to be feared. They can be healed. And those who understand the power and presence of divine Love can contribute to that healing.
Don’t ignore a neighbor mired in malicious thinking. Pray for him. See him in his right light, in his God-light. Help him out. Show him love. Kill the seed of evil at an early stage before it grows into something larger.
Love is all-powerful, and Love can do the work. But we all have a responsibility to express that Love and pour it on where it’s needed most. The world will become a safer place.