Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I picked up an interesting book the last time I hit the local university library, People of the Lie, the Hope for Healing Human Evil, by Dr. M. Scott Peck.

Tis true, that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, so I ought not to read too much into my miniscule comprehension of his theories about the nature of human evil.

But the doc makes some very, very valid points. As others have noted, evil can be quite banal. Evil people are not necessarily and perhaps hardly ever, wild-eyed, drooling cartoon villians. In fact, they are often quite the opposite -- seemingly successful and highly civilized ... even cordial and pleasant until their true depravity is probed.

Normal people who encounter evil people quite typically feel a peculiar sense of confusion, Dr. Peck writes. That goes to the heart of his thesis: that evil is all about a lie, a web of lies built up to shield oneself from any sense of personal imperfection. Instead, a scapegoat is sought, a fantasy constructed, so that the narcissist within can remain untouched.

There have been times in my life where I have indeed met people who left me with a highly disturbing sense of confusion. I couldn't put my finger on it. Now maybe I have an answer.

1 comment:

Ela said...
This comment has been removed by the author.