An interesting reply from a local friend of the Buddhist Sangha (www.dharma.tv) got me thinking more discriminately on topics of evil and hellfire, and my alleged "judgmental catholic side" that comes to the fore with such issues. I realized that there really is a discernment to be made here between that which is socially moral or religious upbringing, and that which precedes it... our feelings and emotions as they pertain to existence... this very earthly existence which Buddhists say is samsara or illusion, yet one cannot deny the aspect of Buddhism which points to nirvana and samsara being of the same essence and inseparable. It is why I am here learning from all this confusion, my errors, personal flaws and limitations, and evolving.
I CAN actually come to the point of recognizing how vindictive emotions, when overtly expressed in judgment can be very toxic... lest it be in a cathartic process (as the writer is prone to ...) of seeking clarifying or enlightening feedback.It depends whether or not one chooses to remain toxic and negative or is seeking only to understand and purge the Heart. The truth right now, which (in Krishnamurti's words...) is "a living thing" and not some transcendant otherworldly abstraction, is that I care about MY family and friends, and those who are most supportive of ME personally.... I would literally kill to protect those I love and care for, and frankly I don't think most people on this planet (or animals for that matter..) are any different or better on this count. The same love and protection I give to myself as well.
While evil may merely be an absence of good, there is an emotional element that I believe should not be brushed aside. In days of yore, and even today in Arab countries, people attended public hangings and other atrocities. There is an instinct in human beings to want justice, even flat out revenge... rather than get "holier than thou" and say "you should not be that way" why not go into it... REALLY go into it. How would you feel if your family was threatened right now.... just how much would you honestly care about the rights of this individual as a sentient being?
As much as we all really want to come together in unity the truth is we live in alienation, connecting with our own separate groups, societies and religions... and anyone who threatens to disturb or cause harm to this is considered the enemy, and this enemy if truly intending harm to others deserves little to no mercy.... Am I correct in thinking this? Perhaps only so from the perspective of another ignorant sentient human being, who feels too strongly about the people and things in this life which are my own. Yet if we don't acknowledge where we are confused, and ask questions, where is the possibility of any mental or spiritual progress??