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"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to
  one who is striking at the root."
- Henry David Thoreau
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"The evil of the future largely and thus ultimately comes
from a complete willingness to accept it!"
—Michael Armstrong

The Evil of the Ordinary

The prevailing state

Experience has rubbed my nose in the reality that, overwhelmingly, people are intellectually irresponsible: primitive, lazy or apathetic, confused, dishonest with themselves and others, in denial big-time, heavily into escape mechanisms, spiritually stunted, cowardly and thereby oppressed, suffering from a lack of self worth, emotionally ravaged by abuse or crippled by upbringing, misguided or indifferent to what is really true and valid, incompetent in thinking critically, hapless victims of their “religious” or scientific programming and conditioning, handicapped in their communication not only by their own ineptitude but also by an amorphous and nebulous vocabulary of poorly defined terms, etc., ad nauseam. They carry all this around practically like an impervious carapace, hampered and controlled by it, reacting to it and with it in ways of which they are ordinarily unaware. Such is one side of the description of the ordinary person.

Sleep walking through life

Consequently, their preoccupation is with the ordinary, the mundane, the service of mammon. They have no compelling vision or inspiration, no burning passion of purpose, no energizing mission except to be socially acceptable, get along and strive to make it through life while being on the upside of the normal distribution curve as far as reasonably possible. For religious people this is usually combined with a thin veneer of spirituality and religious activity whereby they cope with and suppress the angst of the human condition, and if they are successful they find comfort in being in the majority, being part of the flock. Their primary reference to their value and who and what they are is comparison to other ordinary people and/or the less fortunate and less privileged. Their primary spiritual standard is tradition, and net worth is their most popular modern goal or way or to keep score.

Ah Love! could you and I with him conspire  
To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire
Would we not shatter it to bits—and then       
Re-mould it nearer to the Heart's Desire?   
Omar Khayyam

Evil of the ordinary

We live in a reality where one of our most intelligent, erudite men said,

"I have learned to seek my happiness by limiting my desires, rather than in attempting to satisfy them." - John Stuart Mill

Also, sometimes the worst evil for a human being is when nothing much good happens, when a life is so humdrum and mind-numbingly ordinary and uneventful that we turn into little more than complex but habit performing meat sticks. The ordinary bad stuff always happens, but sometimes the really bad doesn't happen, but nothing much good nor wonderful either. No ecstatic romance, no fulfilling relationships, no exhilarating success, no deepness of either agony or happiness. Under these conditions we don't even get any sympathy or much attention. We are left unfulfilled and disaffirmed, not even with much of a challenge to engage us. The sometimes unbidden cry of the soul, "Is this all?" can turn into the inescapable woeful conclusion, "This IS all!"

And finally, for those that are willing to come out of denial and courageously look ahead, is this passage in the Iliad:

"O my friend, if we, leaving this war, could escape from age and death, I should not here be fighting in the van; but now, since many are the modes of death impending over us which no man can hope to shun, let us press on and give renown to other men, or win it for ourselves."       Sarpedon to Glaucus – Iliad

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