This may be the most difficult topic for me, but it’s early in the A-to-Z Challenge. I may find subjects that are greater challenges. Regarding the dark side of human nature, I would simply prefer to accept it and move on. My research of our dark nature has revealed that we humans actually want to deal with it in reality, art, life, drama, poetry, fiction, behavior, and nature. Many of us admit to a duality of human nature, but even more of us reject the dark truths.
My dark side calls to me. I ask, “What do you want?”
It calls again. “Stop!” I say, “You’re bad. Nobody likes you. If I accept you, nobody will like me.”
Through art, literature, and life I feel the tug and I hear the voice. “To be fully human, you must accept and understand me. Fear me not, judge me not. Your rejection of me is ironically exactly what your fear is about—ego.”
Am I imprisoned by my own thinking? Aren’t we all? The Bard speaks to me through Hamlet, “Why then ’tis none to you; for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison.” Do I judge the dark side unfairly? Is it my thinking that makes the dark side so – bad? If I pursue the dark side of human nature through art, literature, or science; is that bad? Would I be bad or become less good and more evil? What do I fear?
In addition to Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray), which I’ve read, I shall add the following.
Edgar Allen Poe
William Shakespeare (Hamlet)
Nathaniel Hawthorne (Young Goodman Brown)
John Keats (Ode to a Nightingale)
William Faulkner (As I Lay Dying)
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Crime and Punishment)
D. H. Lawrence (Sons and Lovers)
Next week I plan to blog on Jekyll and Hyde from the classic book by R. L. Stevenson for more on this topic.
Maybe then I can begin to learn and to eventually know. The maxim on the Temple of Apollo attributed to Socrates is “Know thyself.” It isn’t know thy good-self or thy light-self.
Shaking his clenched fist at nobody
and shouting out in anger at nothing,
the proud, haughty rebel grits his teeth
and stands firm, straight and tall against
an enemy never seen nor ever heard;
crossing his arms in defensive defiance
against an adversary whose dwelling place
is in the dark, shadowy chambers of his
tumultuous and solitary, lofty and lonely mind.
[Dedicated to Albert Camus] ~ Kenneth Norman Cook
We may never know if the basic nature of mankind is good or evil, if we are fallen or risen. But we know something is there. We can hear it calling to us. To know it. Embrace the darkness as well as the light.
I read this yesterday: “If you took a picture of your soul, what would it look like?”