Tag Archives: good

Brooding on Monsters

Forgiveness of others when they wrong me is a fundamental, though often challenging, requirement of my faith. I understand why it is so important, and why we often need help to accomplish it. I desire to be forgiven when I wrong others.

As far as extending human understanding, and even the idea of forgiveness, to some people, I seem to have limits.

Listening to the news has recently brought before me a recurring theme in my life: There is a homicidal torturer that lives under my skin. She longs to take predatory humans, especially sexual predators, into a brightly lit room and vivisect them over the course of several days.

There. I have said it. Yes, I know that many predators are also victims of predation or other horrible circumstances. I also believe that there is a predatory strain, an impulse, a siren call to dominate others, imbedded in humanity.

Obviously, I am no exception. I want to torture certain people, I want to murder them, and when all is said and done, both stem from that desire for domination.

I want to dominate and destroy an aspect of humanity (by proxy of humans that openly manifest it) that exists within me. Even more ironic is the fact that the predatory aspect I contain, that I hate so much in others, would be my motivation and means for attempting to dominate and destroy the aspect in others.

A friend said to me “but they are using it for evil. You want to use it for good.” She means that I want to use it to avenge the weak who are harmed and even killed by those who have the power to harm them. She has strong feelings about cruelty, and she has seen much first-hand as she tries to rescue animals from horrific abuses. She, like me, wishes she could pay the inflicters back, perhaps starving and beating them, then putting them in rings together and forcing them to fight and kill each other while people watching place bets.

There is a grim satisfaction in the thought. An eye for an eye is just. But then I remember that I do not believe that I am the judge. I am a fellow defendant, or at best, a plaintiff.

And yet, without that sense of outrage, that anger, that horror, I would have no motivation to act, to try and stop genocide, or human-trafficking, or rape. Great struggles against these evils are born from the anger, the sense of there being such a thing as justice and injustice.

Righteous anger is, I believe, just that. It is right, and it is anger. Some acts, and the people who perpetrate them, need to be stopped. Given the dangerous monster under my skin, I see the need for an impartial system to stop them, but sometimes the systems do not have the reach, the power, or even the desire to do so. What then? Is a mob, or a movement of the outraged better or worse than the lone avenger driven by righteous anger? A movement is certainly harder to stop, and they have achieved great things, like the Civil Rights Movement combating social injustice. But groups can easily become predators, too, or take their vengeance too far.

After all, not everyone agrees on just causes for anger and action, or the extent of just punishment.

But that is really another issue. What I am trying to process, here, are my own murderous desires. God help me, I know that though my anger may be right, those desires are not. They are understandable, but corrupt. If they are any less horrible than the acts they clamor to avenge, it is not a very great difference.

“Love the Sinner, hate the sin,” is one of those sayings that is too short to be helpful. For one thing, it has become trite, and for another, it is wide-open to all sorts of interpretations and actions. Even if I take it in what I believe to be the right way, I find it rife with complications. How do you love someone when they have done truly horrific things to others? How?!

Perhaps distance makes a difference. It is far easier to simplify matters from a distance, to empathize and demonize ideas of humans rather than real ones. But that is not the whole story. Chances are that I have met perpetrators, predators, and been unaware. I have not yet had to look someone in the eye, knowing horrible things they have done to another person, and try to separate something human from something monstrous in my mind.

I have no solution to this yet, other than the mysterious power that rests in prayer, questioning, and seeking. I am not sure I want answers from others, either. This seems to be one of those instances where I need to find the answer for myself. People vary so much in what makes them angry, how they react, and what they feel or believe is right. Everyone might have a different “answer,” and unless I find this one myself, I will not  trust that it is mine.

I am not even entirely sure why I am writing this post, but I desperately needed to vent, and one thing I do believe is that this world could always use a bit more honesty.

So here I am, raw and snarling. Today, I do not like what I see in the mirror any more than I like what I see in the news. I leave the can of worms of “News Media Bias” unopened, and I ask you to leave it closed, too. I cannot deal with that argument right now. However, I do believe that the sensationalism, the constant barrage of horrors and the voyeuristic hovering, has an effect on me, and on others.

There is good advice to be had in Philippians 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

I need a bit more of that right now. Predators must be fought, but if we forget what it is we fight for, then what is the point? Perhaps that is the beginning of an answer for me.

Perhaps the monster in me wants to fight against something it hates, but God’s will is that I fight, instead, for something I love?

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Zombies vs. Bunnies

“Dream,” to me, does not have positive connotations. It does not have negative ones, either.

It is a neutral term.

I remember happy dreams from childhood, but since then even the dreams I enjoy are not really “good” dreams. I have had a few lucid dreams, always fun, but even they have deep shadows.

The dream I enjoyed most in the past decade involved a water-park and a hideous plague that turned its victims invisible as it killed them so that people were playing in water among corpses they couldn’t see.

You may wonder how I enjoyed such a dream. I didn’t enjoy all of it, obviously, but the overall experience was good due to some extenuating circumstances.

1. most of my nightmares, and some of my dreams, involve zombies. At least the invisible corpses didn’t get back up.

2. I am sure you have experienced dreams in which things that ought to have bothered you didn’t. I was once fine with being coated in spiders in a dream. I only freaked out when I woke up.

3. Instead of being a helpless victim, I had an objective Being active makes a big difference in fear.

4. In the dream I was a big, glowing dog who could run across water. I highly recommend being a quadruped in one’s dreams, especially a glowing one.

So I have dreams that I enjoy, and dreams that only perplex me, but none of them are truly positive.

Then, of course, there are the nightmares. I have already mentioned the zombie problem. That started before I really knew what zombies were. I was a child dreaming that I was in my back yard. My beloved dog looked at me, and she wasn’t behind her own eyes. Imagine a moment where you realize that your pet has died and been replaced by something malevolent that keeps her body moving.

From there, the zombie dreams have only gotten worse. The most distressing involved my brother and I trapped in a zombie-filled library. It ended with him becoming an undead and chasing me up an elevator shaft, but the worst part was my fear, throughout, that something would happen to him and then my utter horror when it did. Brotherbeast, if you are reading this, you had better not get bit on z-day.

Why all this morbid musing? Well, I am trying to process my completely un-morbid dream of last night.

It involved bunnies.

Baby bunnies.

For some reason I had three young rabbits in my care, each about the size of my fist. One was cotton-tail colored, another was spotted black and white and the third was albino. They were ludicrously cute.

They had not been handled much, or had been handled too roughly, for they were afraid of people. I was preparing food for them when someone (there were several non-identified persons in the room, as there often are in dreams) picked up the wee albino. The bunny escaped and proceeded to run around the room. Everyone tried to catch it, but I crouched down and waited patiently. I was aware, even in the dream, of being far more patient and much less panicky than I would normally be under such a circumstance. Several times the creature ran past me and I failed to catch it, but I waited. Then it came close enough and I got it.

I held it firmly but carefully to me, stroked it, and put it back in its box with the other two. Then I fed them. Somehow I was confident that I would be able to win their trust in time.

Then my cats woke me, wanting to be fed. It wasn’t until I woke up fully that I was struck by the unusual nature of this dream. There were no zombies, no plagues, no horrific injuries or deaths. Even the “threat” in the dream was mild. The bunnies didn’t bite me (I have been bitten by a hare before. I can’t recommend it). I might as well have been dreaming about unicorns and rainbows.

Baby rabbits, little balls of warm, soft, vitality.

For the first time in at least two decades, I had a truly good dream.


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