Thursday, November 23, 2006

Bad Moon Rising

WE HAVE BEEN TOLD that we are all born evil. Evil is an innate element of our being. I am not amazed at the evil of men and the lengths people are willing to go to in the acquisition of money, material possessions, power, status, etc. and a society that constantly extols and glorifies such non-values. (We must, of course, not ignore the fact that amidst this evil that pervades our lives there are pockets of goodness too, all too rare though they are in this world of ours today.)

For those interested in the study of evil and its genesis, look out for renowned psychologist Philip Zimbardo’s The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil (Random House, 2007), where he offers a disturbing and revelatory exploration of human nature and our capacity for evil. On the fiction front, there is Thomas Harris’s Hannibal Rising (William Heinemann, 2006) which goes back to the beginning of Hannibal Lecter’s life and attempts to explain the evolution of the evil in him. Norman Mailer’s new novel, The Castle in the Forest (2007), also looks at the subtle workings of human nature and the origins of Adolf Hitler’s evil.


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