From Everything To Nothing


by jun asuncion


Transparency and accountability are two things that are so earthly. You don’t blame the universe if it’s hard for people on Earth in responsible governmental positions to cultivate these two qualities while in office and having access to the material which the Bible calls the source of evil: Money. But one time I reasoned out that it’s not money but our basic instincts that are the real causes of our “evil” actions- the instinct of hunger, the libido instinct, etc. Later, I realized that instincts per se  are not evil for how can they be evil  if they keep you survive, protect you from dying?

What is the source of evil then, a source that is true for all men? I found out, however, that- to come to a satisfying answer to this question- first we should know what is evil. What then is evil? What  is an evil thought, what is an evil action?

Again, I realized that there are many definitions of evil, depending on the  discipline from which you view it, – philosophical, legal, theological, psychological, etc. I also think that it is indeed a relative case because people from different professions, cultures, and people having different views of the world have different conceptions or even experiences of evil. Therefore, since, I had no intention of writing a  lengthy “Treatise On Evil” for anyway I just wanted to make use of my coffee break  and post my thoughts as soon as it was time to go again,  I’ve concluded that evil is hard to define and so I just went back to the most personal knowledge of  evil or source of evil as I view it.

And exactly here,  I bounced my head against a thick wall  where I no longer knew what I know, where my thinking has failed me and led me  from everything to nothing. But in truth, it was not that there  was nothing left in my head but it was  my thinking that seemed to prevent me from arriving at a quick and simple solution to my coffee break dilemma: what is the source of evil?

About to go back to the music room when I remembered a video clip that was forwarded to me  by my  music teacher some years back. It is called the Black Hole. Alas, I found the answer in the middle of being within a black hole myself. It is Greed, that I think is the source of evil, and evil is the  negative, painful or destructive result or results that it brings to others and to the doer itself. Greed is not a basic instinct but is a distortion of the basic ones. For  there are no greedy animals, only hungry ones.

 And we know of greedy human beings even though they are not hungry. It can afflict everybody, rich or poor, weak or strong, educated or not, religious or not. If Greed is a human problem, then evil is a human problem. If  it’s our intelligence that created human civilization, it also distorted our instincts and the corresponding negative events that accompanied civilization.

 Hence, greed is the distortion of basic instincts by way of the mind. Colonization, wars, etc.. were basically driven by greed. On the personal level, it is responsible for many of our problems in human relationships like failed marriages, felonies of all sorts and even leads us to self-destruction or  self-imprisonment. Let’s watch the video:

Greed among our government officials is the root of all our problems in the Philippines, of all the evils of our society such as poverty. Poverty is evil because it is not supposed to occur in a country with abundant natural resources. It is evil because it leads to many other problems; it is evil because its root goes back to the greed of our political leaders. But at least its the same root that destroys them, the same evil that leads them  from everything to nothing- to their own black hole.

This video speaks the truth.