see MY WRITING for explanation of this document
Thoughts on Evil
42 Jonathan Wild, Jack Shepherd, Dick Turpin, pirates etc. Children are brought up with an understanding of something called evil, or wickedness, and they know it is attractive. The true villain as heartless, hating all humanity in return.
56 Suppose the SS in
Who is conscious of being ‘wicked’, of taking up the naughty wicked role that children can understand?
99& Reflections on life in general, Zurvan. Good and evil.
Frustration leads to aggression. desire is painful resistance. Happiness is the sense of resistance being overcome. So all the suffering of the world may be viewed as material for joy. Ahura Mazda is supreme.
Alternatively there are visions of paranoia and pure evil, ie Hell. Of good and evil, which is the ultimate master? Is the universe good or evil? Or could it be neutral? If Hell is eternal life is evil. If life is evil, hell is eternal.
Yet the idea that the universe is good rather than evil is an arbitrary act of faith. Yet is to say that hell is not eternal equivalent to saying the universe is good?
The supremacy of Zurvan means that both good and evil are subject to the passage of infinite time. Good and evil are two different points of view. From the viewpoint of good there is an end to all evil. From the viewpoint of evil this is not the case.
It is not possible to be agnostic between these two positions.
Good is the object of desire. If you are agnostic, you have no faith that evil is not eternal and your life is therefore contaminated by fear, which is the beginning of hell.
In the light of Zurvan, hell, though terrible, is but an occasional black bubble in a universe of boundless enjoyment, swiftly passed through.
‘How can you have faith that it is not eternal?’
When it appears it appears as eternal and totally terrifying we recognise this. This is sufficient for this terror. We recognise that a terrifying totality can present itself. The possibility of the evil vision.
But from the viewpoint of the good vision, the evil vision has to be false, delusive, limited.
64 Defining the values of one’s culture. Always there are the included and the excluded. Citizens and non citizens. If one is a citizen what does one care what is done to non citizens?
But especially if I feel I am by rights a citizen treated as a non citizen my rage will rise, my frustration increase to revolutionary levels.
Frustration is probably the most dangerous for others of all forms of suffering. Poverty, destitution pestilence all may be tolerated, but frustration is intrinsically intolerable. It leads to crime and violence. Sometimes the build up of tension is such as to make it inevitable and it is useless to moralise. As Nietzsche says about the tasty morsel of raw meat shown and pulled away from the wild animal.
One persons frustration can be his most passionately held conviction.
If an outsider sees him as evil that is irrelevant, unless he shares that view of himself, which he probably does not until he is depressed with his sprit broken.
If one man’s frustration is aroused by the existence of a particular prevailing order, then that order is in that respect oppressive, and it is false and even more frustrating to deny it. To acknowledge the reality of universal oppression is to take one small step to relieve it.
But some may take a further step of becoming conscious oppressors.
Step from De Sade to Hitler, Brady, Neilson or others.
208 Of evil men and the damned. The concept of evil is not
something clear, fixed and precise. It can seem something very attractive,
The evil that is proud egoism and strength, reserving to itself the right to cruelty.
The concept of wickedness is a detestable one that should not be used. It carries the most horrible overtones of wretchedness and guilt. Nor is it true to experience.
With the onset of depression guilt feelings ensue, but anyone may be liable to them, irrespective of what he has objectively done.
But there is a different concept of evil that could perhaps be useful in analysing certain characters.
I would not apply it to most of our politicians, X for instance, is loathsome and a malicious fool, but not therefore evil except from a subjective point of view.
The concept of which I speak is not that of something attractive. De Sade was called the divine Marquis, seen as possessing the purity of a saint. Ian Brady could have become a saint, at least he bore witness to the truth as he saw it.
I think of a person who possesses power but does not use it in the service of truth in any form. He is not a happy person. He is malevolent to no real purpose but pretends not to be. He would never avow his villainy with the asides of an Iago.
He pretends to be a good citizen but he has secret passions that lead him into a destructive and malevolent path. Cruel, and hypocritically so.
He is not in a fair dialogue with other people and thus may deceive.
What I have in mind is to suggest that Y is actually evil, that his great talents are not sincerely applied. That he is operated upon by a great swarm of egotistic motives, that he is not playing the same game as the rest of his tribe.
Malevolence disguised as benevolence and pervading his whole life’s work. One would misunderstand him because one would misunderstand the framework which any dialogue with him would take place. In his case it would be egoistic desire.
263 One’s values, the battles, the wars of one’s youth. Traditionally of battles one would like to record them in poetry. One would like to respect one’s opponents, to have chivalrous battles. One would not like one’s efforts to be all in vain.
Imagine today the causes one fought against which one fought were no more. Should one regret that such folly has ever been? Does not even evil have value in enabling each generation to realise and define itself? Is there anything you can achieve, any victory worth achieving?
Triumph of resistance overcome, seeing all the folly clearly in perspective.
302 The problem of evil. My problem that it is. How can we avoid saying that evil is good?
Take, for example the rise of Judaism and its effect on ancient culture. The effect was to damn and exclude paganism. Seemingly a purely negative obscurantist, detestable thing. But the rediscovery of paganism comes as a peculiar exhilaration, the form of what had been repudiated and denied shines through with an entirely new clarity.
It is as if something new has been created and as if there were new knowledge in the world
So might it not seem good that what is known should become unknown that it may then become more clearly known?
In this sense I am a Christian.
But this seems to make so little sense. How can something so bad be good? Can we say that Satan is greater than God, than Zeus? Or that anything that is should not have been? Or that Christianity contains the seeds of its own redemption? That the Jews are part of Gods plan for humanity but in a very different sense than has yet been understood?
Satanism has a magic that is greater than that of the old paganism. One can feel it at Wycombe.
Here is knowledge that was not in the world before. Or that we cannot grasp as having been in the world before. Perhaps here is the key to it. When I attack Christianity and Judaism I speak, can only speak from the Christian tradition. I am not Celsus. I have objections to Christianity that did not occur to him. I must have because my emotional involvement is different.
109 Communism as a manifestation of evil, classic evil. In that sense Nazism was not evil, merely barbaric.
Communism corrupts the soul. It stimulates the most primitive reactions of opposition.
The white position.
Here we have a conception of evil different from that which Nietzsche discusses and attacks.
We could have the stuff of a drama, like a Greek or a Shakespearean tragedy.
Evil is something that degrades the self. It is not a proud
egoism, not the amoralism of the Italian renaissance. Evil is a curious curse,
a kind of blindness or spiritual disease. A country in the grip of evil is an
Such a fantasy is reprehensible; it is guilty.
This is pollution, moral taint. People whose programmes and ideas are liable to lead society into this kind of pollution are themselves profoundly blameworthy.
A society polluted, tainted not so much because of its poverty, or even its oppression. On this view evil is a fundamental pole, to be shunned like disease, like poison. Less that it is evil because of some external factor. Evil in this case is not so much a judgement on other people’s ideals and behaviour ie it is just that which is threatening or dangerous. It is something that contains its own punishment. Something tangible, a state that one may fall into. It is something intrinsically bad, something that cannot be admired.
Adolf Hitler, Mussolini, Jeremy Thorpe. Thorpe is a criminal, for attempting to murder Norman Scott. But he would not have wanted to see himself like that. He might have seen himself as a renaissance politician, ruthless in eliminating opponents. His criminality is extraneous to his action. The role of criminal is the interpretation society wants to impose upon him. His interpretation is not acceptable in a modern civilised state.
Intrinsic evil is not this. Difference between Richard III and Macbeth.
I do not blame Stalin, I blame the true believers. No one does evil knowingly.
310 Attraction of evil. Evil as freedom and meaning. The great virtue of taboo breaking.
Evil, not for the sake of the simple appetite, rather a proof of independence. Symbolic significance of actions in overcoming resistances. Resistances of false doctrines, the expression of alien wills.
Mandeville’s repudiation of the long influence of Plutarch. All the prejudices derived from stoicism concerning decadence et al. Coalescence of motives.
It can seem childish to admire a piece of work simply because it is forbidden. The sixties was the great age of literary pornography. Modern video porn is simply depravity.
Pickles called him a dinosaur. His attributes are those of Victorian Christians
He is evil because he wants society to be constructed upon and evil and hateful principle and because he has the power to enforce it.
Evil is hateful in the same way that foreign conquest is hateful.
Also some item in the news about the Catholic church denouncing masturbation as evil and depraved, though less so in adolescents than adults. See the hatefulness of the Catholic church, something one might be in danger of forgetting.
I take these things seriously and see them as threatening. As the caterpillar chooses the fairest leaf…
The curse on sexuality is not quaint; it is odious and disgusting.
62 Stuart Hampshire Justice is Conflict.
Idea of remedying evils. Idea that female inequality is an evil. That it is progress to identify it as such and decide to eliminate it.
With something like this, I think there is a degree of confusion. One is not talking about an obvious evil, or a suffering, but about desire, someone else’s desire. He justifies his socialism in terms of the desire to reduce certain evils, like poverty or discrimination against immigrants.
His views on immigrants would override democracy. He admits how offensive some of his ideas would be to many people. It is all a good start.
He does not go far enough in admitting will to power, though he goes some way.
It is like a Nietzschean framework but without a Nietzschean motive, ie without the sense of oppression by the massed power of the weak with its lying.
Hampshire on ‘great evils’. He includes the subordination of women. To call subordination of women a great evil, is substantially to beg the question. Incompatible conceptions of the good. If a conception of ‘the good; is a bare matter of personal feeling, it has no hold on anyone else.
81 Kierkegaard’s shadowgraphs. These portraits of possible unhappiness. We are all in the lap of the gods. Idea that madness can invalidate your metaphysics. Or sanity justify.
I do admit the portraits of unhappiness are philosophically interesting, the aesthetician who creates these little traps for thought, Like revelations of an evil universe.
Moralistic prejudices under which we suffer. Idea that the universe is one, that if it is good it cannot be bad. That even the bad can be reconciled with the good, if only by time.
Or like there is a solution for the bad. That someone in such a state of mind is in error. Theoretically one could point it out to them. But suppose they are not in error. A radical discontinuity, unbridgabilities Natural evil, original sin.
321 De Tocqueville. His
pessimism. His peculiar cast of mind. Seeing democracy as the future. Trouble
Affirming themselves for all the evil. Affirming evil.
112 Idea of a republic of evil. Evil having clearly different senses. Evil without and evil within. The evil that is perceived in a pure hostile will.
Richards in Lytton’s story, The Haunted and the Haunters.
Selfishness can be rational and can provide the foundation of society. Rational self interest. One can do without morality in what is one sense of the word. to that extent one may be an entirely evil person. Of such will, crime may provide a most admirable image. Yet one may still have to taboo murder. Real evil, as I see it, is different. It involves weakness, self delusion, self division.
205 TV prog on the KGB files on the architects and engineers who built the German death camps.
Meditations on the holocaust. That it would have been easy to get involved. Sense of it as crime. Precise sense in which it is immoral.
There is s a tendency to see it straightforwardly as crime, as the crime praised by Sade, Stirner or Nietzsche. Hitler as a criminal, an artist tyrant like Nero plying geopolitics for his own pleasure. Killing and stealing like a common criminal. But the idea of creating a better Europe by eliminating the Jews who had ghettos and a major influence in every city of eastern Europe, was form of idealism at least comparable to that of the Bolsheviks in killing ‘class enemies’.
The evil, I would say, lies in the collectivism. The idea of fulfilment lying in the surrender of individual will, ie the evil lies in the altruism. It is not even in some doctrine such as the end justifies the means. The end itself is bad when it involves renunciation of the individual will. It is only that that made the holocaust possible, not immorality in the traditional sense, but morality.
Not the delight in murder of the traditional psychopath, though he might take great pleasure in that idea. But a vision of the future that is not beautiful and free because it is collectivist, because it involves suppression of the free individual, however much love it offers. The illusion that is offered of independent action. This Hegelian delusion of a synthesis between incompatibles.
102 The most Nietzschean aspect of anything is its most evil. Only of course in the specialised sense of evil, where evil means selfishness and expressed desire. Nietzsche’s concern is not eudaemonistic. But unnecessary, pointless suffering can be reduced.
Himmler’s Posen speech.
Guilt, shame, pointless suffering.
Stage villains. But allowing the instincts free rein results in much less suffering. These laws of nature. It is morality that results in the most evil, though not in the gleeful sense.
Nietzsche was concerned to reduce suffering. Not suffering in the abstract, but a particular form of suffering, like that springing from morality.
Attack on ‘evil’. The crude idea of evil, the popular idea of it simply as abuse of strength.
But there is another view of evil. This is bad not just because it has had bad conscience joined to it by association. Express your evil and much of the worst will be cured. States of suffering, confusion, weakness, cruelty.
If everyone is more honest open and direct, even in their sadism, we will not get the peculiarly abject conjunction of power and weakness. The worst cruelty comes not from immorality but from morality. From people who think they are observing the Kantian categorical imperative. Eichmann.
If everyone was willing to do evil few would succeed. One may still use the word evil.
In wishing for man to be more evil one wishes to do good.
One wishes to reduce suffering. Of a particular kind to be sure, but one has to specialise.
People who wish to do evil ie satisfy their selfish urges are far less dangerous that people who believe they can do good.
In another sense there is an evil it is impossible to desire. Evil as a state of inevitable ignorance. Pain even.
To minimise moral evil and secure certain ‘good’ ie certain manifestations of happiness, it is desirable that man should become more ‘evil’ ie that the consciously evil will should increase.
103 Scene two young people talking about evil. They do not
yet know the lives they are going to lead. What is good and what it is evil?
Evil appears sexual and voluptuous, Baudelairian evil, sadistic, shocking,
What is ‘good’? security, Charles Dickens, children in a state of ‘goodness’ approved of by Mummy and Daddy as Catholics are approved of by God after they have received absolution.
So one of the two the girl, chooses the good, the other chooses the evil. What are they choosing as lives for themselves, what will be brought?
This good and evil, it is admitted, are primitive concepts, ultimately they are Blake’s innocence and experience. The entry into experience demands the smashing of a taboo, an individual act of rebellion against the whole moral code. The good is the Vale of Har.
But there are different lives. How was the good construed? As a moral, peaceful life. But the evil? Is it thought of merely as a contemplative sadism, the immediate effect of smashing the taboo? As an emancipation from moral restraints? Selfish success in other words? It means far more than that. In the simple titillating conversation between two young people they take on more than they know.
It is not a just a question of attitudes to the lives they are to be given, it is the very lives themselves that are at issue. What is the experience that the girl is choosing for herself? She is choosing certain limits. The other, obviously has not wished to unleash all the demons of hell upon himself. But he has not put himself in a framework where only certain kinds of events can meet with his approval.
The ‘good. ‘’virtuous’ life sees itself engaged in a struggle against evil, with evil as a threat.
Life is to be basically lived within a framework or order that can be set up. One could almost write up a set of rules for a satisfactory life, a happy marriage, a harmonious household, job satisfaction. Many attractive women would be out for the start, unthinkable as partners. The object of such a life is to avoid suffering, if suffering comes one carries on despite it. Society today expects such a life of us, it does not see wisdom as coming through conflict. To disobey the rules is to bring what is to be avoided at all costs, the chaos outside. There is a form of happiness which is provided by sticking within the rules.
The one who chose evil, has a different life. He chose what from one angle looked like suffering. But whose suffering? The whole world suffers all the time. It must be suffering closely related to his life, not necessarily his own, but sometimes it will be. His world, we may say, his significant life, is one of bizarre accidents, near disasters, strong passions and frustrations. Through all this he will, if he can, find wisdom.
The one who chose evil did not foresee in detail what he had chosen that in fact he was bringing unpleasantness on himself and a lot of it.
What it amounted to, to choose evil. Rejection of the rules, the promise of joy through that which outside, that which is to the ‘good’ life ‘evil, that which to enter is sinful and dangerous. Breaking taboos. Not just pleasure in suffering, obviously, but following desire past the taboos to the point where strengths are pitted against strengths. Esoteric wisdom. Life comes to acquire a dramatic, almost a tragic, meaning. Yet there is a chance of pushing through to a higher conception and realisation of the good. The real problems of life can only be faced in the world of experience.
105&& These bad aspects of life, one lives through them does not endeavour to shut them off, trying to seek all satisfactions only within the rules, seeing the evil only as something to be fought off, or as one of those things the modern Americans call problems (as in ‘he’s got problems’) mere impediments to the happy virtuous life.
This has been my life, and I am reminded of the peasants in La Terre, nothing steady one would wan to call happiness, I have never been in full control, never really planned anything, just been led along by my desires as they harmonise or more often conflict with those around me.
This is the result of choosing evil. I seek my wisdom, my fulfilment, amid disorder, and the modern world is really very much opposed to that.
We talk about Milton and about Blake but it is in daily life that the test really comes.
It is our own lives that we really have to set value upon. What is it to reject the Christian God, old Nobodaddy? It certainly has significance more than we can immediately know.
We are given issues to grasp and resolve if we can in our own passions. It is our behaviour with respect to these that is affected by our religious beliefs. The value we set on our passion.
This is an interesting question this one of the choice of evil, and it irks me that I have not been able to express sit as well as I should. It is like the choice of the apple in the Garden of Eden. ‘Goodness’ is an attempt to erect barriers, evil not merely to act with aristocratic unrestraint but also to enjoy aspects of the game that goodness finds totally abhorrent. There are the sorrows of Satan but also his joys. To reign. For that one accepts the pain. So one accepts a different kind of game, more chaotic, certainly, but not necessarily to the point of total destructiveness. Evil, energy from the body. The animal energy and passion can help us to survive. The individual to whom the gospel of evil is preached cannot wreak limitless destruction. Virtue is a sealing off of much of the pain of life. Certainly it is necessary, to make a more tolerable world, but for the individual it can make life dull.
What is the characteristic joy of evil? (la volupte unique et supreme de l’amour’)? Is it simple disobedience? Or the joy of acting without restraint? Or is it the challenge it brings to make art? It springs from a hatred of tyranny, and it brings the kind of suffering in its wake that is brought when desire runs freely. Good and Evil seen as opposing forces, we choose evil but a viable evil that sets up a higher Gnostic good.
By suffering I do not mean inevitable horror and catastrophe, only elements of that disorder which virtue strives to fight off. To live in disorder. To a great extent one is protected by the elements of order which civilisation has brought. But one does not respect order in oneself, retaining the freedom to accept so much disorder in certain spheres One will seem like a parasite, one will certainly be an elitist, in fact one is the fountainhead of creativity.
115 Influence of Dostoyevsky on my early self. Dostoyevsky and De Sade both reacting against the hold of a shallow rationalism. Evil and murder become things admirable because they are marks of ‘freedom’? freedom. It is not the act or fact of freedom that are important. It is nothing to with the spiritual value of exercising choice. It is a reaction against a false and oppressive account of human nature. To abide by this account is felt as self betrayal, acutely uncomfortable repression of instincts and desires. One has to do what is forbidden; it become profoundly necessary and the only thing that is really satisfying.
No satisfactory reason has been offered by the fashionable rationalism as to why I should not commit crime. Abstaining from crime is to seem, to oneself perhaps, to adhere to this shallow rationalism, which is felt as false and repressive. It thus presents a tremendous resistance. Its falseness and inadequacy is felt, violently, but one feels one is living as if it were true, and everyone else assumes that one is. One has to break loose. If others assume one is, how can one be sure oneself? Therefore an acte gratuit. One must become evil. After that to establish one’s own set of values. Blake Dostoyevsky, De Sade. Psychological truth. Greater than these was Nietzsche. The existentialists get it wrong, make ‘free will’ something important. All that was ever important was satisfaction. It is not that the important thing is to be free, rather to escape once and for all from a false and shallow rationalism
Scheme. Once free all ones emotions can be given full range. A degree of sadism may be admitted into one’s character. But one will lose the sense of urgency the need to prove oneself. Self interest can be served more simply. All possible moral ideas can be placed in the service of one’s emotions. It is easy to develop your character to the point where you are clearly and obviously free from the shallow scheme.
All the same it would be nice to do something evil to inspire others with fear of one’s capricious power. But one needs moral weapons against arbitrary power, directed against oneself. Perhaps one might like to distinguish between the evil and the base.
Much on Dostoyevsky.
126 Children’s concept of the bad. A concept of evil derived form nursery villains, pirates etc. The child has a concept of evil as an alternative value system. It is an inversion of values. There is no room in it for soft virtues like affection. The child could understand the pleasure of pure egoism via evil. The baddie has no redeeming virtues but it is understood that his life is fun. He lacks love.
122 Calvin is right in that there is no problem of evil. If God is the source of the concept of justice, how can one criticise him under that concept? He is just by definition, and all we do is try to understand it. If one believes in an omnipotent God, then justice etc all emanate from Him.
97 Gulag Archipelago 2 (Solzhenitsyn), a scale of evil undreamt of by De Sade. But then what De Sade describes is arguably not really moral evil at all . If one thinks of the psychopathic sadist as the epitome of evil one is really missing something. Evil in that sense might arouse ferocious indignation and moral outrage. But such an ‘evil’ man may be quite happy to live by his own values. He may have a good conscience. To call him evil is to say we find him dangerous. There is a far more insidious form of evil that is associated with fear and bad conscience. A nation of stool pigeons. The debasing effects of tyranny that have been known since ancient times. The atmosphere of Claudius’s court at Ellsinore.
To call De Sade or Nietzsche moral nihilists is very unhelpful. Their opposition to Christian values, even what might be called their condoning of the psychopath, does not mean they lack sensitivity to evil in the second sense. A moral nihilist as I imagine it is not a supporter of barbaric or royal Assyrian values, he is someone without any loyalty to any principles persons or ideas whatever, is prepared to live with a bad conscience and to see the rest of society doing so. The Christian dichotomy of God versus devil blinds us to a lot of things. The Christian Devil is not the enemy of all moral standards, only the Christian ones. An egoistic morality, even an antinomian morality, can still be a morality in that it can identify forms of evil to which it is opposed.
In fact the Christian concept of man as a sinful creature in need of periodic repentance is fully compatible with real moral nihilism. A society riddled with bad conscience, is that not the ideal Christian starting point? And is not the bad conscience what Nietzsche and De Sade were so concerned to get rid of?
202 the child, happy in pursuing its own self will, worried only about getting caught. When he is caught he is made to understand that he has been bad, that he has made a wrong moral choice. That his very pleasure has been an evil pleasure. That his selfish indulgence has been of the Devil, that he has been blinding himself to the light, to moral goodness.
Some people stick with this childish pattern throughout their lives; they do things which they enjoy doing and later feel remorse about it.
228& Magically speaking etc..
Every argument for evil, including Ian Brady’s, serves the understanding, which is something good. All evil ultimately is ignorance. To have an evil will is to be ensnared by obscuring passions,. Ultimately the enlightened will is unpredictable however it will not be all powerful. Nor will it be evil, virtually by definition. Not that enlightenment is defined as not evil, rather the converse.
313 The good woolly liberal disregards logic and reason; he does not really believe in them. He is led by the heart rather than by the mind. ‘The Devil can quote scripture’ they say. But then hasn’t he as much right to quote it as anybody else?
Enemies of the mind and of the reason. The woolly liberal has his mind on what he takes to be a good cause and is not open to rational persuasion. He is predisposed to think that such reason must have a defect. Causes that flourish as faulty logic. Those predisposed to them assume the logic might be patched up, that however logical the enemies of those causes yet their views spring from a bad heart.
Yet the best reason is always on the side of the best cause, simply because ascending life is inevitably stronger than declining life.
Always I am open to persuasion, but never against reason,.
111 Are you evil are you good? – I am not responsible for my actions, I am driven by God. That is the answer to what I ultimately am, where I ultimately tend. Think of what L used to ask me when I first knew her. ‘Are you really evil?’ I tired to explain that I was not a brother of the left hand path. Such people appear to me to be pretty well dammed, locked up in their selfhood. ‘so you’re not really evil, you’re just out for a good time?’ Not that either. It is not my choice. I am a force of nature. Part of my activity may involve destruction.
How much in fact can be determined by choice? E.g. the kind of choice someone like Vico has in mind. There may be a point at which it might appear that you can choose your principles. You throw in your lot with some basic set of life concepts, that should do you for at least a lifetime.
Elements of decision made in childhood. Take Christian conscience (not Heideggerian). One may decide, as I did, to do away with it, not to experience life on those terms. So with love. There are different ways in which one may love, some are dangerous. One may choose to avoid them. So the child chooses. It is impossible for the adult to rechoose. He is driven by God.
Children before the age of ten are considered to be not responsible. I think that perhaps they are the only people who are responsible.
82 If Crowley was beyond good and evil, yet sometimes his appeal to the uneducated is merely to the evil. The merely evil is guilt involved and death obsessed, ie often people on the slippery road to ruin.
Beyond good and evil. The merely evil is not beyond good and evil. It is just the other side of the Christian antithesis, and the Christian understands it well.,
119& The concept of wickedness, an extension of the child’s concept of naughtiness. Old age as second childhood. The rebellion against God, against Christian morality, springs largely from the urgency of desire. The Christian concept of wickedness, that certain actions, certain desires, are wicked and wrong. As if unbridled selfishness is something evil, something wrong.
The child who is naughty has to be taught not to be naughty, because the path of sheer naughtiness is dangerous and self destructive. Undisciplined impulses are in reality dangerous. There is an extension of this in the adult world. The idea of punishment in Hell is brought in to make the pursuit of undisciplined impulse all the more apparently dangerous. Then the whole concept of wickedness is of forbidden impulses. Not only violence against others but violence against morality and religion.
The naughty and the wicked. The concept of the wicked, the timorousness of the suburban housewife looking out at the world through lace curtains.
I suppose I have been under the influence of Baudelaire who seems so often to wallow in drug induced paranoia.
Crowley was right to take Baudelairean Satanism to its furthermost hysterical even surrealistic extreme.
Lord Longford using Baudelaire to convert Myra Hndley.