The Origin Of Evil

Stories about the other world often explore the origin of evil. My work is no exception. The question about the origin of evil lies at the bottom both of philosophical work as work of art. In philosophy and theology, the question is often discussed as “theodicy”, which also implies the question why is there evil in the world?

Season Three Of Twin Peaks, already mentioned in the latest post “Ontological Shock“, is not only an example of a visionary experience but also a breathtaking meditation about the origin of evil by David Lynch in episode 8 of the outstanding series.

 

Episode 8 led to many discussions and became a milestone in modern TV, its central sequence of a nuclear blast turning into a surreal trip compared to Kubrick’s Odyssey 2001.

Along the convincing creative work of David Lynch there are a couple of remarkable things: on one side there is a near-literal visualization of gnostic ideas and also neo-platonic philosophy where things getting transformed from the world of ideas into the material world. The gnostic dualism has never been so obvious as in episode 8. On the other side, it evokes a feeling of a cosmic evil without explaining too much. On some level, there is no explanation necessary.

I wouldn’t even say this is an explanation of evil or the creation of evil (the appearance of Bob – the later killer-demon triggered that interpretation).

There could not be an explanation where there is no real explanation. There might be belief-systems or philosophical systems but episode 8 let us feel a darkness which can’t be understood in an intellectual way. There is no explanation. The atomic blast might not have created evil but perhaps it was something like a door-opener. If we imagine a universe full of life, full of conscience there are always elemental cosmic powers waiting in their otherworldly realm for an invitation.

Todd VanDerWerff is right when he writes in his article on Vox.com, “you can try to evoke evil in the audience”. What we can do in a movie or a series is that kind of meditation which let people remember something which they do know but what has been forgotten.





Furthermore, words fail to explain what evil is. What David Lynch does brilliantly in his work, is to make the invisible a visible and palpable thing through an atmosphere, through stories told in pictures and the interplay of actors who can express something which works like a virus and can possess you completely.


We get it that the ancient gnostic idea is true that the material world itself carries the energy of evil, that is is always around us and looking for expressing itself in horrible manifestations. You can show how it is always at work and be shaping our lives if we don’t care.

It always finds a way into our world, and there are endless forms or masks or ways of deception. It needs chaos to prevail and tempts us in ways we don’t imagine.

In the Forest Dark Movie Project, I will present my own vision about the origin of evil. I believe there is something we all know about this, but the definition is also a thing of individual belief and experience in life. A problem I see at the core of this question is that words fail to describe precisely what it is. As we have seen in “The Demonic Principle” even Goethe struggled with appropriate definitions.

Maybe there is even a relationship between creativity and the origin of evil. Longtime creative work is often also an attempt to express what is unspeakable, and it can be a gift or a curse to deal with certain things – it can mean for the artist to undergo his own dark journeys or he risks to become the sorcerer’s apprentice and gets abused in the cosmic battle between light and dark. Even more, the artist might be chosen a long time before by higher forces without knowing himself and given the task to communicate and to give us insight into the real order of the world.

“The Transformation From Mind To Matter Has Become Possible”

No longer there is a clear boundary between inside and outside.

“Ideas have become visible, palpable…” (Fantasy, Rosemary Jackson)

The closest genre to magical realism is “The Fantastic”. The principle of tales of the fantastic is its hesitation between supernatural and realistic explanation of events. It is even more about asking the nature or reality, since it seems more grounded in ordinary reality and psychology.


There is a well-known work about “The Fantastic” by structuralist Tzvetan Todorov who died recently called “The Fantastic: A Structural Approach To A Literary Genre”.

Even Todorov deals with fiction his analysis of the supernatural could be very helpful to better understand mysterious events in our real world.

Todorov mentions “the transition from mind to matter has become possible” as a generating principle.

Perhaps this doesn’t not only happen in literature but also in some real places like in the forest at certain times. Or in the skies: Psychologist C.G. young described the UFO phenomenon as a modern archetype in “A Modern Myth Of Things Seen In The Sky”. Jung believed in synchronicity where external events mirror inner states. However this is not about projection, it is about a different understanding of the realms of the mind and the material world. These archetypes are very real.

Visionary experiences resemble the principles of The Fantastic as described by Todorov: “The principle we have discovered may be designated as the fragility of the limit between matter and mind. This principle engenders several fundamental themes: a special causality, pan determinism, multiplication of the personality; collapse of the limit between subject and object; and lastly, the transformation of time and space…this list collects the essential elements of the basic network of fantastic themes…of the self“ (p120, The Fantastic, T. Todorov).

It is obvious that some modern theories in sciences (Quantum mechanics) sound like they would also apply to this principle. A reversed relation of mind and matter is often discussed in Quantum Mechanics.

“A fragility of the limit between matter and mind” suggests the same idea. It means a different idea of the nature of reality as we know it. There are many examples that could mean that the principle not only applies to fictional literature. In many near-death-experiences a collapse of eternal boundaries does happen. And the most frightening aspect of many tales from the forest or close encounters with UFOs is that the laws of nature do not work any longer. In a lot of accounts about phenomena of high strangeness there is a problem of consciousness and perception. We don’t trust our eyes any longer. Often we are convinced that what we have seen was real but trustworthy evidence is rare if not available.

If a transition from mind to matter has become possible it would be indeed possible that an “idea based on a true story” could also work the other way around. What we think could become a reality.

Todorov speaks of a special causality and pan determinism. We know that paranoia is never far away. Easily we tend to think that nothing happens by chance. Is personal freedom an illusion? In the works of “The Fantastic” the characters are often victims of a larger mechanism they don’t understand.

In our daily life we can only guess how things really work. Our actions are based on certain assumptions (think of “plotting” in politics – any intrigue is based on assumptions). But there isn’t much we really know or which we can be absolutely sure about.

Only if we look at events (in life, in history) from a different perspective or from long experience after a long time span we sense that there must be a mechanism or a secret pattern. On one side there are certain elites for example in the media business covertly modeling and manipulating a lot of things but there are still difficulties and obstacles which can’t be easily explained in a logical way on the other side. A lot of people feel that somebody is secretly shaping their lives.

Of course we can become the victims of our own projections, or we live in a bubble of pseudo-reality. But we can try to look through the veil. And this is what fiction often does, it makes us understand the very real invisible patterns which are guiding our lives. They are something which could be better described in fiction rather than in theories. See for example Goethe’s concept of “the demonic” as a driving force and how are we exposed to this force.





Nevertheless most of us would agree if we say that the phrase “the transition from mind to matter has become possible” is a theoretical idea. It’s hard to imagine.

However if we translate mind as “psyche” it becomes different. We know the ancient theories about ideas which become matter. The ancient philosophies suggest a different meaning of psyche as in modern days, it is the Greek term for “soul” or “spirit”, in Neoplatonism it is the animating principle of the world.

The psyche is not something which is only in our head. It is a universal consciousness, a spiritual realm. Some thinkers believe that all matter flow from a pure spiritual plane. This is philosophical thought but what we see is that the idea of a transition of mind to matter is not an invention of fiction but has a long traditional foundation.

It might be worth to mention that sightings or for example “mysterious” lights often are described like something which suddenly popped up in our reality and which can vanish in the same way, like switching from mind to matter and vice versa.